Professional Counselling Service

Contact Details:
H. 028 90 610778
Mob. No. 07902691876

My practice as a counsellor is informed by a Humanistic Integrative Therapeutic orientation that utilises, as appropriate, the following three modalities.

1. Person Centred:

Like all therapies, the person-centred approach is ever in a state of evolutionary development. Organising principles include...

Belief in the ability of people to understand and resolve their own problems through engagement with a therapist who can genuinely manifest the core conditions of Empathy, Congruence, and Unconditional Positive Regard.

Recognition of the importance of the manifold ways in which we obtain, cede, compromise, lose, and share power and control with others in our lives.

Identification of each individual person as own ‘expert’ on self. That no-one, regardless of insight or qualifications gained, can ever be considered more knowledgeable on the lives of others than such persons themselves.

Acceptance of the fact we all possess a drive towards fulfilling our potential. That sometimes this capacity for self-actualisation becomes thwarted by external factors not least including the imposition of others’ agendas upon us.

2. CBT:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seeks to identify and address ‘faulty thinking’ that is causing distress or adding to the same. CBT recognises that we all have a potential for both ‘straight’ and ‘crooked’ thinking and that in times of stress our capacity for crooked thinking often enlarges. CBT does not attempt to straighten out every crooked thought we may have as undoubtedly we all distort reality in myriad ways, but rather seeks to help us with those cognitions/ideas which are contributing to ongoing unease and which may even lie at the roots of our distress.

CBT encourages a closer look at the importance of our thoughts in and around any given situation which, in turn, shape our feelings about that situation. Our feelings lead to physiological responses within us, and again, in turn, our physiological responses lead on to our behaviours. The basic 5 part model of CBT encompasses Situation – Thoughts – Feelings – Physiological Responses – Behaviours, thus enabling us to reflect upon and separate out how our thinking patterns might be contributing to our unease. The application of the 5 part model can provide an opening window upon ongoing and deeper understanding.

3. Psychodynamic:

In general terms psychodynamic theory and practice concerns itself with the interrelationships between the conscious and presumed unconscious aspects of a person’s mind. These interplays are influenced by the external environment with its many demands and thus what we call ‘psychodynamic’ may be understood also as a systematized study of relationships, those within and those without, and their interconnectedness. Many people have heard of Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis. Freud helped originate the concepts of id, superego, and ego which he believed to be engaged in oppositional struggle throughout a person’s life. If the struggle is going acceptably well and our inner conflict does not cause us high levels of anxiety then we are best placed to deal with the demands of life, love, and work. In psychodynamic therapy clients can become aware of dynamic conflicts and tensions that manifest as symptom or challenge in their lives.

As a therapist I recognise the importance of all relationships and I find much in general psychodynamic theory that appears to me to be insightful. Clients however sometimes voice concerns in first sessions that they may be ‘psychoanalysed’ or have their past ‘raked up’ time and again, or that their childhood will be subjected to never ending scrutiny. This is not how I work. As an Integrative counsellor I accept and welcome that Integrative therapy is client-led, clients decide the pace and content of their own therapy. I am familiar with most psychodynamic theorising, Freudian and Post-Freudian, and while not neglecting the importance of the past my more immediate focus is to help clients help themselves better cope in the present. Should client issues appear to require more intensive therapy however I am trained to recognise the same and can assist in the signposting to other therapists/therapies where appropriate.


“There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before”.

Henry David Thoreau

Integrative Counselling is a member of a family of therapeutic approaches known generically as ‘talking cures’. These family members all have their own claimed successes and appeals for prominence. Professor Mick Cooper, however, in his recent excellent book Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2008) has demonstrated that all versions of the ‘talking cure’ are roughly equivalent in terms of therapeutic outcomes. What is crucial, and empirically proven to be so, is the quality of the therapeutic relationship that exists between client and therapist. As a therapist I have consistently found this to be true and I have discovered also that I am a person who can facilitate and help sustain excellent working relationships through moderate to more challenging issues. The bedrock of this is my unqualified acceptance of people, my respectful and non-judgemental empathic understanding, my natural curiosity and ongoing commitment to ever-learning about the human condition.

As someone considering entering a period of counselling you may simply wish to explore issues or events in your life with an objective listener. Alternatively you may be facing personal challenges and feeling the need of an experienced therapist to help you best negotiate what may be done. As a therapist I will work closely with you and together we will strive to help you overcome that which troubles you, whether by resolution or by increased wellbeing and better coping.

Copyright 2012 Cherrytree Professional Counselling