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Alison Bell & Associates Counselling Group

PHILOSOPHY OF COUNSELLING AND HELPING OTHERS

Each person whether they are a child, adolescent or adult, has essential needs to connect with others, to explore his/her sense of self, and to understand their emotional, cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal reactions. People thrive when they are understood, accepted and cared for by others, and under positive conditions they can build the required skills to understand and change their behaviour. The therapeutic relationship provides a unique opportunity in which these individual needs can be nurtured in an environment that supports the development of insight and change. I believe in supporting and challenging people to explore their lives, emotions, behaviours and relationships. The level of therapeutic challenge is equal to the level of care and compassion that is provided. People are resilient and resourceful and with increased self-awareness and skills to cope with patterns in their lives and relationships they can have a greater sense of meaning, control and contentment.

Individual factors are often intertwined with systemic, historical and relational factors and it is often important to explore the underlying issues, perceptions, expectations and fears that contribute to the presenting issues that prompt people to enter therapy. People often lose sight of what is most important to them or do not take the time to reflect on their needs or why they are behaving or reacting in the way that they are. People tend to be more comfortable focusing on others rather than on themselves, despite the fact that change and control of self is much more feasible. It is important to remember that the problem is the problem and the person is not. People have all the qualities, strengths and resources inside of them to cope and to successfully navigate personal and systemic challenges; sometimes things get in the way. Supportive counselling and psychotherapy can remove obstacles that prevent healthy adjustment and can access resources to improve coping and functioning.

What initially brings a person to therapy will not be what keeps them there. For example whether it is personal distress, feelings of discontent, fear, the prompting or insistence of a loved one, or a crisis that brings a person to therapy, it will not be what keeps them there or prompts them to work on themselves. Each person will “buy in” to the therapeutic process when the personal benefits and meaning of the process are clear and the required insight and skills to begin and enjoy change are experienced. The strength of the therapeutic relationship, collaboration and strong skills are the basis of a successful and productive therapeutic relationship.

My idea and beliefs about people, about counselling and psychotherapy, about helping and about the nature and process of change continue to evolve. I have had the privilege of learning much from my experiences, my work and the clients I have supported; and I look forward to continuing to engage in collaborative relationships that allow clients to find what they are looking for in themselves and their lives while I have the privilege to work alongside them.

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