I use a synthesis of 'Rogerian ' and 'Jungian' approaches, working therapeutically through the relationship. My primary focus is upon us creating a safe and strong enough container to allow you to do whatever inner work you need. I have recently added Advanced Integrative Therapy (AIT) as a trauma repair modality to my toolkit. There are many ways in which we might do the work..here are some....
The Two Carls
Carl Rogers was the originator of the Person-Centered Approach, which encompasses more than therapy and has, in recent years, become very popular in humanistic circles. His fundamental model suggested that as a bare minimum, and perhaps all that was needed, for people to heal themselves, was a radically genuine and respectful way of relating. Authenticity and a relationship of unconditional positive regard have emerged since then as the 'sine qua non' of therapeutic relating. Indeed these days psychotherapists of all traditions accept that the quality of the relationship is primary in successful therapeutic outcomes. I was trained as a ‘Rogerian’ and have worked with this ethos for all of my professional life.
Carl Jung was a disciple of Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. He disagreed with Freud, particularly over the nature and function of dreams and struck out on his own. After many years his experiences with his own psyche and investigations into others led him to develop what is now often referred to as depth psychology. Without Jung we would not have the modern notions of introvert and extrovert or such terms as synchronicity, collective unconscious or archetypal energy. He is seen by many as the modern shaman and provided a bridge between scientific psychology and religion. Jung prioritised the honoring of the clients experience. I have studied his writings, those of many of the post-Jungians and received much of my own therapy from a leading Jungian analyst.
When I work with clients, whether we call it counselling or psychotherapy, the focus is on healing the psyche through the relationship. The emphasis is on working together to find out what the client needs to live a more fulfilling and growthful life.
One way of describing it is that there are four levels which are available for us to address.
Firstly the working alliance - this is what most people call coaching. At this level we are problem solving, thinking creatively about life strategies, connecting up aspects of the clients life and planning steps to achieve their goals. For some clients this is all they require and often such work is quite time limited.
Secondly we can move into something most people would think of as counselling. This involves a deeper level of honesty and trust often delving into areas that cause some discomfort. Typically clients find themselves reframing their issues and developing quite new perspectives on their lives. Often we discover a greater sense of personal responsibility and power - sometimes called owning of projections.
Thirdly is classic psychotherapy which involves a deeper healing of wounded parts of the person. This can require a longer-term commitment and includes inner child work, re-parenting, dealing with attachment styles and so on. This often operates through a degree of transference within the therapeutic relationship and can lead to more significant shifts in aspects of the clients personal life.
Fourthly we have the area of the transpersonal or soul healing. This does not assume any spiritual belief or religious faith on the part of the client but acknowledges the functioning beyond the limits of emotional or psychological relief. This area can involve working at such depths of intimacy that we enter what feel like altered states. This is the realm of the collective unconscious and working with archetypal symbols.
There is no neat or tidy moving from one of these to another nor is there any plan to go deeper than where the client is comfortable. Each client senses and defines the depth and direction that is right for them. I accompany them on their journey, using my skills and experience to facilitate the work. Some people will not want to go beyond level one or two - others may plunge directly into level four and then decide to work at level three for the rest of their therapy. Many clients are working on several levels at once, more or less explicitly, whereas others move from one to another level from minute to minute. I believe that the clients pace and depth must always be respected and regard the client as having a, sometimes sub-conscious, way of finding what is most healing for them.
So how do we do all this work?
There are thousands of specific techniques that we might use to facilitate the work.
Most of the time we are talking but significant numbers of clients work with silence.
We might laugh or cry, get angry or fearful; be filled with joy and love.
I pay attention to what is happening in the room on the edge of our awareness.
You may draw or move around, sing or write journals, share dreams or play.
Clients sometimes role-play, design rituals, plan challenges and celebrate themselves.
I am experienced at entering into others worlds and appreciating their wonder whilst asking difficult questions about the shadows.
I do not have a magic wand to make things better nor do I offer psychological prescriptions.
I seek at all times to remain transparent and if there are thoughts or feelings being prompted in me as a result of the clients story or way of relating I will seek as respectful and sensitive a way as possible to share them.
‘If you are Love‘s lover and seek Love
Cut Modesty‘s throat with a knife’
From The Divan of Shems of Tabriz by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi