He jests at scars who never felt a wound.
Psychotherapy is aptly dubbed the ‘talking cure’. At regular meetings,
as the client talks and the therapist listens, the two work together to
unpack the different layers of meaning in what the client brings.
When people are heard with respect, they are enabled to hear
themselves with increased clarity. When they experience safety in a relationship, feelings which have long been crammed down, can unfold. As a therapist I aim to respond empathically to conscious and unconscious communication, to support the client in recognising lost parts of the self, towards mourning what cannot be regained and integrating what can.
In sessions I enable the client’s own capacity for meaning-making. We reflect together on the process between us - how is it for example that the client appears friendly but feels very angry? How is it that he or she smiles politely whilst feeling desperately sad? I attend to these details of communication and respond with a combination of support and challenge; I aim to enable the client to describe, understand and ultimately to change long held patterns of relating.
The approach in which I am trained combines a psychoanalytic understanding (originating with Freud) with attachment theory (originating with John Bowlby). This means that I take into account the unconscious parts of the self which become apparent in unexpected feelings or the repeating patterns we cannot seem to stop through conscious effort. Another key focus of the work is attachment relationships – the need we have throughout the life cycle for responsive, reliable relationships to provide a secure base. When this kind of relationship is lacking during our early years, we struggle to find it in adult life. Therapy helps us face that struggle and can bring us through it.