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I was recently asked to provide a personal statement about my practice as a counsellor, which included the theoretical perspective from which I work. These exercises are always good to do, as it allows reflection on my work as a therapist. I thought I would share it here...

"I am an integrative, and indeed, eclectic, counsellor, using whatever therapies I feel will help a client to overcome their probelms. I am greatly informed by Gestalt Therapy, looking very much at the connection the client has with the "here and now" and with themselves. Using the relationship between myself and the client, we can explore connections and relationships, to challenge anxieties and beliefs, to find some resolution, to answer questions, and in fact, sometimes find out what those questions are.

I also believe very firmly in the need to explore both past and future in the client's life. Understanding how a client has arrived in my consulting room, the here and now, is of paramount importance. By doing so, we can often find some of those answers a client wishes to uncover. The future plays it's part - knowing that one exists, even if it is sometimes dark or foggy, is often comforting to a client. To actually see that there can be a future, and it can a future of the client's own making is empowering for that client.

I have been greatly inspired by Irvin D Yalom, an American therapist and author, who wrote that "we must create a new therapy for each client". And this is so true - each client is a unique individual with unique thoughts, feelings and problems. To apply a fixed style of counselling or psychotherapy is perhaps to demean the uniqueness of the client. To this end, I will use whatever tools I feel appropriate and necessary in order to help my client, whether they be tools taken from Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Person-Centred or Psychodynamic theories.

The most important thing for myself as a counsellor is that I believe strongly in the tenets of Empathy, Congruence and Unconditional Positive Regard. In other words, I try to see the world through my client's eyes, I try to be honest, and I try to treat each client as the individual they are. "