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What is therapy?


All counselling and psychotherapy starts from a core set of basic principles and processes.  A clear set of boundaries fundamentally creates a sense of safety and security.

These core conditions predominantly come from the person-centred theory of Carl Rogers. He claims that these conditions are sufficient alone for a therapeutic process to occur. Being Client-centred enables the client to feel accepted and genuinely understood in order to develop self-empowerment and work towards self-actualisation. 

From this core basis each therapist works from chosen theoretical models, either integratively, eclectically or purallistically. Through their own therapy the therapist develops a strong self-awareness and then puts aside their own values and principles (frame of reference) so as to stay on the client's journey without judgement or direction.


Therapy with a Counselling Psychologist works on many levels, seeing the client through different theories, in which the therapists years of training enables them to observe and work with.  

A Counselling Psychologist may have additional tools they can draw on to help the client but there is not a prescribed method. What may work for one may not work for another. It is for the therapist to draw on their knowledge and experience to understand the clients needs and what may help the client best.


Timing is also important as a client has to be at the right point and stage to be able to utilise particulars tools and interventions. So what may not work early on may later work when the client feels ready to embrace it.  

What is therapy?

Psychology Patient





                  THERAPY AS A WHOLE                    
Psychology Session
- Information gathering
- Getting to know each other
- Understanding where the client is in   
  themselves at this time
- Establishing a relationship
Psychology Patient
- Therapeutic work
- Engaged in an issue
- Accessing the pain and the resources
- Creating some shift
Happy Woman
- Preparing to go it alone
- Building on new skills.
- Consolidating change's made. 
                 EACH SESSION               


  • Formal; therapeutic contract

  • Technical; theoretical orientation

  • Interpersonal; Therapeutic bond

  • Intrapersonal; Self-relatedness

  • Clinical aspect; in-session impact

  • Temporal aspect; sequential flow

                        Orlinsky et al. (1994)



Unconditional positive regard


(Rogers, 1989)


  • Assessment of clients presenting issues and case formulation.

  • Build a therapeutic alliance

  • Therapeutic work

  • Ending (this may in itself bring about the main core therapeutic work)


Underpinning all therapy is a strict code of ethics set by a governing body in which the therapst is accredited to. Ethical practice includes strict rules around confidentiality and boundary setting, particularly regarding dual relationships. This enables the client to feel contained and secure enough to explore their internal world fully in order to create change.


Generic Model of therapy
Ethical practice
Therapy with Spectrum

Therapy with Spectrum

Clients regularly look to therapy expecting the therapist to have a magic wand and to tell them how they can fix their problem quickly. It is important that clients don't come with this expectation. 

I believe everybody has the resources within themselves to find their own solutions.  The therapists role is to help facilitate the client to access these resources. This may mean helping them unravel all the chaos currently blocking their view to these parts, restructuring maladaptive thinking, helping to resolve internal conflicts, relieving past trauma that has been held in the body for years, building a positive relationship between mind and body, or just expressing and reaching a catharsis of built up emotions.

There is no defined way in which this change occurs  but research shows that a large percentage of change occurs through the therapeutic relationship itself.  Sometimes a new awareness of personal thoughts and habits can have an immediate effect but a lot of the time the mere process of engaging in therapy is what enables the change through a subjective and subconscious process that occurs over time. It will only be effective if you allow yourself to fully engage and trust in the process of therapy.    


  • 50 minutes a week in the peace and security of a qualified, experienced and caring therapist.

  • Fundamental building of a strong therapeutic relationship.

  • Empathy, unconditional positive regard, congruence and non-judgemental

  • Safe place for client to explore their inner world

  • Secure place for emotional expression and catharsis

  • Supportive place to help clients find their own solutions to the conflicts and problems they are facing. 

  • Application of a variety of different theoretical tools in response to the clients need to meet all the complexities of being human

  • Creation of long-term and positive change.

  • Brief or long term process depending on need.

"The only person with a magic wand is you"

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