A craftsman pulled a reed from the reed bed, cut holes in it, and called it a human being. Since then, it’s been wailing a tender agony of parting, never mentioning the skill that gave it life as a flute.

— Rumi

How I Work

Some years ago, I called Apple for support with my iMac.  The technician asked, “Do you mind if I assist you remotely?” and explained what this meant.  I failed see how his suggestion was possible, but agreed because I didn’t want to sound like a dinosaur.   Seconds later I accepted his on-screen request for desktop access and he said, “I can now see your desktop ~ can you see that red arrow?  That’s my arrow.”  I leaned back in my chair and gasped “Whoa! How did you do that?”  I had thought I was fairly computer-literate but this was bordering on science fiction!  And now it’s a commonly used intervention for helping customers with iMac and PC problems.  Nobody thinks it’s weird and I can’t believe I ever thought it was so mind-blowing.

Discussions about the transpersonal and consciousness can feel like that.  Talk to the uninitiated or a skeptic about a peak experience, active imagination work or the chakras and they may accuse you of gullibility, think you’re a bit crazy, or making it up.

Transpersonal

The transpersonal aspect of psychotherapy is associated with spirituality although it is not necessarily connected to religion.  In the context of transpersonal psychotherapy, the spiritual dimension may cover aspects such as searching for meaning in life, listening to the call of the heart (or the soul), valuing imagination and intuition, taking guidance from dreams, cherishing the capacity to love, listening to the instinctual nature, appreciating joy and humour, seeking a sense of connectedness, and so on.

Trans’ means beyond, so ‘transpersonal’ means ‘beyond the personal’.  Transpersonal is a term used to describe experiences and views of the world that go beyond the ordinary.  Transpersonal psychotherapy  encourages experiences that challenge our sense of who we believe ourselves to be, that leave us feeling we’ve extended our sense of who we are, sometimes perhaps even contributing to a sense of connectedness to the universe (such as you might experience after meditation or yoga breathing, for example).

Integrative

As an integrative therapist, I tailor my therapeutic approach to the client’s needs. I draw upon a number of theoretical models such as gestalt therapy, process-oriented psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, transactional analysis (TA) and Jungian therapy to name but a few.   As ideas about ways of working arise from the material presented in the session, we may use creative imagination, drawing, use a sand tray, toys, role play, bodywork, movement, and so on.  No skills are required by the client and everything is of course discussed and agreed between the two of us.

Relational

The style of therapeutic working relationship I foster provides an opportunity for a genuine and sincere meeting; this helps us remain aware of our mutual influence on (and co-creation of )the therapeutic process.  The goal of relational gestalt therapy is for the client to become aware of how they ‘organise’ themselves in the world; change occurs when we change our relationship to, or increase our supports in our environment.

     
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