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The Real Life Counselling Approach

Person-centred, trauma-informed and systemic therapy that's catered to your needs

Real Life Counselling was founded on a holistic view of mental and emotional wellbeing that takes a wider lense than traditional Western medicine and psychiatry, which tend to locate mental health problems and conditions within individuals. As a counsellor, I don't diagnose my clients but work with them in a person-centred, trauma-informed and systemic way.

What do I mean by that? First of all, I believe that you are the expert on your own life experience and that building the right therapeutic relationship together is central to positive change and growth. My approach is to work respectfully alongside you, always considering your concerns, knowledge and choices, to find the way forward. As needed I offer relevant information and strategies from my training and clinical experience, but the process of person-centred therapy is largely about uncovering your own direction and solutions. You may become more aware of feelings and experiences you have denied or distorted in order to fit in, cope or survive. The counselling process can open you up to greater self-acceptance and empower you to be more authentically yourself in your relationships with others. It can be enjoyable and a relief to share and explore yourself in this way, but also hard work. 

Secondly, I bring a trauma-informed perspective to my work which means that I am interested in what has happened to you rather than what is ‘wrong’ with you as a person, partner or parent. This includes looking at how you were impacted by traumatic events or relationships that fell short of meeting your needs and the messages you were given - for example, if you learnt to hide your real emotions in order to avoid punishment as a child, you may find it extra challenging to deal with your own child’s raw anger or resistance to your authority. I also practice according to the five principles of trauma-informed care, which means relating to you in ways that allow you to experience safety, trust, choice, collaboration and empowerment. These principles complement the person-centred approach which honours the client’s experience and frame of reference and builds a relationship in which they can experience being genuinely accepted and empathically understood by their therapist. A level of trust is essential for counselling to be effective and this can take time to develop. 

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I also work systemically. This means I assess the unique needs and problems of individuals and relationships in the social, political and cultural context in which they arise. We will explore how significant situations, relationships and systems in your life have affected you and influenced your perceptions of yourself and others. This may include the dynamics in your immediate or extended family relationships, social and cultural values and expectations, and other systems such as school, workplaces or health care services. 


Where you are concerned about a relationship or family member, we will explore the interactions that happen and use information and strategies to improve communication, establish healthy boundaries, and reset or repair your relationship.

Let's talk by phone or email to see if the support I offer is right for you.

Contact Me for a Free Chat
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