existential-integrative therapymy approach, and therapy online
The science and art of life and therapy
We live in an age of science; ask the world a question and someone, somewhere has studied the answer. Therapy is no exception. Research shows that by far the most effective part of therapy is the quality of the relationship between you and your therapist. This is why it’s so important to find someone you click and fit well with.
Like many therapists my approach is an integrative one – a blend of therapies that can be applied to your unique situation. Human development theories and neuroscience can show the many ways our previous experiences shape how we feel and think in the here-and-now.
At times in therapy it may be helpful to explore the past. Gradually becoming more aware of our difficult feelings and unhelpful patterns can help us work through things like relationship issues, identity issues, perfectionism, negative thoughts, self-criticism and more.
While our pasts are important though, we also have so much to negotiate in the present and future. And science can’t be the expert on your unique story and how to live.
Covid has highlighted just how uncertain life can be, how easy it is to lose the things that make life feel like life. Existential therapy sees how living with this uncertainty is what makes us human, but can also affect our emotions and mental health.
We are born, live for an unforeseeable period of time, and then die. In between we get to choose how to live. There are hundreds of decisions to make and many ways we build our lives and a sense of safety/security: in relationships, careers/finances, health, identity etc. But underneath we may sense it’s never totally safe – relationships can end, jobs can be lost, illnesses diagnosed.
Life has always been this way. But at times our feelings can snowball into a wide range of anxieties, problems and ways of coping.
Existential therapy shows how all kinds of mental health issues, even ones that seem complex or totally unconnected, are linked to how we try and cope with these fragile, uncertain parts of life. Or how, if these ways of coping don’t work, we may fall into low-mood, low-motivation, depression, or struggling to see a future.
The flip-side to life’s uncertainty though, is our freedom. The fact life isn’t totally certain or fixed is what gives us so many options and possibilities. Existential therapy is about finding the balance between managing the anxious, difficult parts of life, and embracing the freedom to enjoy living again.
For more information, or if you have any questions at all about how I work, please contact me…
Getting the most from online therapy
Video calling has grown massively in recent times, and nowhere has that been more helpful than therapy. People may choose online therapy for any number of reasons: illness or injury keeping you at home, lack of access to the right therapist for you, anxiety at meeting in person, or simply the convenience and greater options to choose from when not confined by geography.
Below are a few tips to make sure you get the most from your therapy online:
- Finding privacy – this is probably the most important thing for therapy online. Knowing that you have a quiet room to yourself, where you can’t be overheard or interrupted, is paramount.
- Time – sessions run for 50 minutes, but setting some time aside for yourself afterwards, can be a huge help too.
- Comfort and space – the more comfortable the better here, somewhere you can relax, with good lighting so that you can see your therapist and your therapist can see you.
- The technical bits – therapy online works infinitely better when using a laptop or tablet that can be set up so that you’re hands-free. Holding the small screen of your phone up for an hour is more of a gym session than a therapy one(!) and greatly detracts from the experience of therapy. Equally, ensuring a stable wifi signal, using an ethernet cable if need be, and fully charged batteries all help too.