What is counselling?

Counselling is also known as psychotherapy, talking therapy or just therapy.

 

 

At Active Listener we are fundamentally humanistic in our approach to counselling which means that we believe that people have an instinctive drive to want to make themselves better and that each of us  has the resources within ourselves to do this provided that the conditions are right. Counselling is where those conditions can be created. So what is humanistic counselling?

An Active Listener’s core principles of counselling are:

Confidential

Nothing that is discussed in counselling is talked about anywhere else unless I believe that you are a danger to yourself or to others in which case I will first tell you that you or I need to contact your doctor and/or the police. I also have regular supervision to ensure I am working competently and ethically and although I will discuss our session, your details are never revealed.

Safe

For you, talking about certain topics or showing certain feelings might have been prohibited, risky or even dangerous. It is my job to show you that in your counselling space, you are safe to say and be whoever and whatever you need to be without fear of me judging, guilt-tripping or being angry.

Respectful

Leading on from safety, in counselling you are free to be you. Whatever hurt you have experienced or whatever hurt you have caused yourself or others, I am here to listen without fear or judgement and at your pace.

Empathic

I understand that everyone’s experience of the world is unique and although you may have experienced what others have experienced, I do not presume to know how you experienced it. It is my job to listen, understand and clarify as best I can how you experience your world.

Mutual

You and I are the same, we are equal human beings sharing a space and a time. However, I am the expert on counselling and you are the expert on you and we can share our expertise to work together.

Exploratory

Together, like detectives, we will explore your world looking for clues and answers that underlie your reason’s for coming to counselling. Our agenda is you, and we will explore at your pace, I will never intentionally enter any part of your world without your invitation.

Boundaried

When we first begin to work with each other we will draw up a contract that we both agree to work to. This is the framework in which we both agree to work including the location, time, frequency and number of sessions we will have together. We will establish what you hope to work towards and we agree how and when we are able to contact each other outside of sessions. Our contract can be renegotiated by either one of us at any time, but we must both agree any changes.

Congruent

I agree to be authentic with you at all times. This does not mean that I will talk about me and my life as our time together is about you, but it does mean that if I feel happy I might laugh, if you share something painful while laughing I won’t laugh too, if I feel you are upset with me I will ask you. The more congruent you can be with me, the faster we will reach your goals.

Client Led

You are always in charge. If you wish to change subject, we will change subject, if you wish be quiet we will be quiet. I only ask that if you do decide to end counselling early, that you give three weeks notice for us to make a proper ending.

What an Active Listener is not:

Advisory

My role is not about giving advice. Humanistic counselling is about the process of getting to a place where you feel able to make choices for yourself, a place of autonomy.

Tea and sympathy

Counselling is not a chat between friends, a gossip and an opportunity to tell each other quips and anecdotes. We are hear to better support and understand you so that you can bring about the changes in your life that you have decided you wish to change.

Self-disclosure

We are here for you, and although I might occasionally tell you something about myself it will only be if it benefits your process in some way. This is never intended to be cold or aloof, but simply not to distract from our focus: You.

Directive

I will never tell you what to do. I may invite you to try something, but it will always be up to you.

 

Main Logo - Active Listener Counselling

How can counselling help?

We believe that all of us have the resources within us to help us feel better, provided the conditions are right. Counselling is where those conditions can be created.

Is it time to talk?

Active Thinking ... our blog

The Love Trap

I’ve been bad :( It’s mental health awareness week again and I realise I haven’t posted for ages :(( In fact while I'm kicking myself, I’ve also been eating too much sugar and I haven’t done enough exercise, the car needs washing and ... :(((( I can feel my head...

Who needs feelings anyway?

Someone once described emotions as lights on our dashboard. They indicate that something needs our attention under the hood. We can ignore the light, turn it off, even break it. We may be able to carry on for a while, maybe indefinitely limp along, but is it safe and are we the best us that we can be? The problem doesn’t go away unless we look at it.

And…how are you?

This time of year there are traditionally two strong messages circulating from all corners of society.

The Anxious Child

WARNING: the following post is NOT yet another reason to feel like a bad parent. No need to grit your teeth in anguish as you anticipate being shown yet another error in your ways. If your child is fed, deflead and relatively clean, had a real vegetable at some point...

Main Logo - Active Listener Counselling
Counselling is also known as psychotherapy, talking therapy or just therapy.

 

 

At Active Listener we are fundamentally humanistic in our approach to counselling which means that we believe that people have an instinctive drive to want to make themselves better and that each of us  has the resources within ourselves to do this provided that the conditions are right. Counselling is where those conditions can be created. So what is humanistic counselling?

An Active Listener’s core principles of counselling are:

Confidential

Nothing that is discussed in counselling is talked about anywhere else unless I believe that you are a danger to yourself or to others in which case I will first tell you that you or I need to contact your doctor and/or the police. I also have regular supervision to ensure I am working competently and ethically and although I will discuss our session, your details are never revealed.

Safe

For you, talking about certain topics or showing certain feelings might have been prohibited, risky or even dangerous. It is my job to show you that in your counselling space, you are safe to say and be whoever and whatever you need to be without fear of me judging, guilt-tripping or being angry.

Respectful

Leading on from safety, in counselling you are free to be you. Whatever hurt you have experienced or whatever hurt you have caused yourself or others, I am here to listen without fear or judgement and at your pace.

Empathic

I understand that everyone’s experience of the world is unique and although you may have experienced what others have experienced, I do not presume to know how you experienced it. It is my job to listen, understand and clarify as best I can how you experience your world.

Mutual

You and I are the same, we are equal human beings sharing a space and a time. However, I am the expert on counselling and you are the expert on you and we can share our expertise to work together.

Exploratory

Together, like detectives, we will explore your world looking for clues and answers that underlie your reason’s for coming to counselling. Our agenda is you, and we will explore at your pace, I will never intentionally enter any part of your world without your invitation.

Boundaried

When we first begin to work with each other we will draw up a contract that we both agree to work to. This is the framework in which we both agree to work including the location, time, frequency and number of sessions we will have together. We will establish what you hope to work towards and we agree how and when we are able to contact each other outside of sessions. Our contract can be renegotiated by either one of us at any time, but we must both agree any changes.

Congruent

I agree to be authentic with you at all times. This does not mean that I will talk about me and my life as our time together is about you, but it does mean that if I feel happy I might laugh, if you share something painful while laughing I won’t laugh too, if I feel you are upset with me I will ask you. The more congruent you can be with me, the faster we will reach your goals.

Client Led

You are always in charge. If you wish to change subject, we will change subject, if you wish be quiet we will be quiet. I only ask that if you do decide to end counselling early, that you give three weeks notice for us to make a proper ending.

What an Active Listener is not:

Advisory

My role is not about giving advice. Humanistic counselling is about the process of getting to a place where you feel able to make choices for yourself, a place of autonomy.

Tea and sympathy

Counselling is not a chat between friends, a gossip and an opportunity to tell each other quips and anecdotes. We are hear to better support and understand you so that you can bring about the changes in your life that you have decided you wish to change.

Self-disclosure

We are here for you, and although I might occasionally tell you something about myself it will only be if it benefits your process in some way. This is never intended to be cold or aloof, but simply not to distract from our focus: You.

Directive

I will never tell you what to do. I may invite you to try something, but it will always be up to you.

 

How can counselling help?

We believe that all of us have the resources within us to help us feel better, provided the conditions are right. Counselling is where those conditions can be created.

Is it time to talk?

Active Thinking ... our blog

The Love Trap

I’ve been bad :( It’s mental health awareness week again and I realise I haven’t posted for ages :(( In fact while I'm kicking myself, I’ve also been eating too much sugar and I haven’t done enough exercise, the car needs washing and ... :(((( I can feel my head...

Who needs feelings anyway?

Someone once described emotions as lights on our dashboard. They indicate that something needs our attention under the hood. We can ignore the light, turn it off, even break it. We may be able to carry on for a while, maybe indefinitely limp along, but is it safe and are we the best us that we can be? The problem doesn’t go away unless we look at it.

And…how are you?

This time of year there are traditionally two strong messages circulating from all corners of society.

The Anxious Child

WARNING: the following post is NOT yet another reason to feel like a bad parent. No need to grit your teeth in anguish as you anticipate being shown yet another error in your ways. If your child is fed, deflead and relatively clean, had a real vegetable at some point...

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