“It isn’t events that upset us, but our interpretation of those events”. Epictitus (Greek philosopher)
“…our thoughts, our emotions, our behaviour and therefore, our mental health are largely dependent on our understanding of the world, our thoughts about ourselves, other people, the future, and the world.” Peter Kinderman (Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool)
“…the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.” James 3:17 (New English Translation)
In light of the above notions counselling is to provide a non-judgemental and supportive environment for interpreting your story and understanding its relation to the world to equip you successfully for their management. This is the simplest formulation of the counselling which I would like to offer for dealing together with whatever challenges you are facing and facilitate environment to empower you to overcome them successfully.
It is a challenging world – our place of life where our abilities to cope and manage are tested daily. The diversity of contexts, stressful situations, complex relationships, personal dilemmas and social turbulence constantly take from us our mental and emotional energy with the demands for appropriate responses. The search for consistent peace and balance inwardly and outwardly can be helped through the process of an effective counselling. This is my offer to you.
I am an integrative counsellor and as such using compilation of therapeutic methods relevant to the personal needs of the individual providing an environment for enablement and empowerment to achievement of the individual goals and personal growth. I am progressing successfully with a research project for the development of innovative psychotherapeutic model, conscience therapy, to facilitate effective recovery from addictions and other psychologically challenging conditions. The first part of the project is already completed and published (see books).
My counselling approach integrates the knowledge of scientific theories and well established treatment methods personalised through my experience. I will present here some of the significant ones and their integration.
Person-centred approach: Developing an empowering framework focused on the internal resourcefulness of the client through establishing rapport in relating, listening and understanding with using the core condition of congruence, acceptance and empathy to facilitate therapeutic change.
Motivational interviewing: One of the effective treatments of addiction is motivational interviewing. Its main presupposition is the internal resourcefulness of the individual. When this is engaged effectively through the interventions the positive impact on recovery is imminent.
Cognitive behaviour therapy: Cognitive behaviour therapy stresses both cognition and consequent behaviour. It engages with the person’s biases, deals with the inadequate beliefs and tackles the behavioural responses. Modified beliefs lead to corresponding behavioural responses which formulate progressive recovery.
Solution-focused brief therapy: SFBT targets positive outcomes considering client’s available resources away from nature and causes of existing problematic. The process of transformation rely on the centrality of client’s role. The effectiveness of SFBT is scientifically evidenced.
Mindfulness: This spiritual construct of treatment is defined through comprehension of one’s present reality with a non-judgmental attitude. The absorption of the present through self-realisation shapes one’s internal change and develops recovery.
Automaticity and attentional bias: Automaticity is a nonconscious response to environmental stimuli involving one’s cognition, emotion and behaviour on a continuous basis. Attentional bias is the automatic activation of cognitive paradigms by the environmental stimuli manifesting in a associatively learned behaviour. The automatic attentional bias is tackled through understanding one’s vulnerability to the addiction related contextual stimuli, training oneself to recognise them and manage one’s cravings through strategies and without the use of the substance.
The Minnesota model: MM is a multidisciplinary approach of substance addiction treatment combining the principles of the 12 steps, the results from medical and psychological research and the individual practical experiences. Its philosophy is holistic addressing ones’ physical, mental and spiritual needs, integrative involving relevant elements from other modalities and flexible adapting according to the individual needs and goals.
The Psychodynamic model: The model takes in consideration the formation of unconscious defence mechanisms while forming psychological abilities to manage internal and external life challenges. It further explores the past for understanding challenging relationships and their impact considering what will be beneficial for positive change in the present. The counselling rapport takes in consideration the importance of transference and counter-transference as therapeutic tools. The manifestation of the unconscious in the client’s life and within the counselling framework are explored and interpreted to lead to improving self-awareness and developing coping life capacities.
Conscience therapy: Maintaining healthy and well-functioning conscience is the goal of conscience therapy. This is achieved through enlightenment, empowering and edifying the nature and functioning of conscience. Enlightenment is achieved through exploration and understanding of conscience. Empowerment is reached through spiritual transformation considering belief system, worldview, faith in God, religious affiliations and spiritual formation. Edification is the maintenance and development of conscience through spirituality for a balanced moral framework, adequate decision taking, progressive wellbeing and personal growth.
Modality integration: The integration of these models of treatment provides the foundation, framework and main techniques for my counselling approach shaped further through empathy, respect and constructive rapport. The approach is holistic dealing with the physical, cognitive, emotional, behaviour and spiritual dimensions of client’s treatment. It is also well balanced addressing client’s needs and utilising my potential for the counselling. The approach also integrates relevant elements from different therapeutic models. The diversity and complimentary blend of these therapeutic models provides my work with the necessary tools to facilitate client’s progress in recovery.