WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Psychotherapy is an opportunity to meet regularly (usually weekly) with a person who’s role is to apply their skills, encouragement and their compassionate presence to exploring issues or topics of your choice alongside you. The aim is for you to achieve greater awareness and therefore to be able to identify and give space to your feelings, notice your habitual responses, and consider the full extent of your options.
Some people come in response to a clearly defined difficulty such as losing their job or a relationship breakdown. Some come in response to confusing or uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety or depression, the cause of which is unknown. Still others come because life is going well and they want to take time to really appreciate that.
Sometimes the things that bring us to psychotherapy can feel really big and can be interfering with our ability to function in our day-to-day life. Equally, an issue may seem fairly minor but we suspect that life could be a little bit easier or more enjoyable if we were only able to see clearly and resolve whatever is bothering us. Working out what is actually happening for you, being deeply listened to in the telling of your story, and validated in your experience can dissolve a lot of tension and distress. This can then leave you free to let go of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are no longer serving you, or to make changes in your life if you want to.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
The particular type of psychotherapy which I'm offering is Mindfulness Based psychotherapy.
It is an integrative approach which means that I am able to draw upon a number of different theories and methodologies according to the needs of individual clients.
Mindfulness is said to have originated in Buddhist thinking and meditation practice over two and a half thousand years ago. Over the last 30 years mindfulness has become secularised and simplified to suit a Western context. In the past decade many neuroscience studies have shown that mindfulness can support individuals to feel less stressed and can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and other painful or upsetting mental states. Mindfulness helps us to spend more time in the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or feeling anxious about the future. It helps us to have more awareness about our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, which in time may give us the opportunity to think, feel and behave differently if we choose.
Mindfulness-based psychotherapy incorporates Eastern philosophy and awareness practices and is also informed by a wide number of Western psychological and psychotherapeutic models. This therapy shows us that unless we pause and examine our lives, we tend to hold on to how we have always been. We repeat patterns, tendencies, attitudes and ways of relating whether they work for us or not, and it feels increasingly hard to make fresh choices as time goes on. Similarly, our past relationships shape our present relationships and, unless we become conscious of how, will continue to unconsciously shape those relationships we have in the future. If these past relationships have been traumatic or difficult they may not have given us useful templates. By exploring these issues within the safety of the therapeutic relationship, it may be possible for you to find new ways of being with yourself and others.
Part of the therapeutic process is to encourage and support you to discover and utilise what nourishes you in your life. What is it that makes life satisfying and gives you joy and meaning? How can you bring more of this into each day?