As a counsellor, psychotherapist and creative therapist I work from a holistic perspective. I tailor sessions to what is most appropriate for each individual; drawing from my skills in mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy, family systems therapy and creative therapies, in addition to my professional training in counselling and psychotherapy (Gestalt Therapy). Some people prefer to talk, others like to get creative – it is up to you. When working with my clients, I ensure they feel safe, listened to, respected and validated; thus creating the best possible environment for them to speak openly and honestly about how they feel and who they are. My interest is in learning what is important to my client; and in working collaboratively to explore these issues.
Mindfulness is both an aspect of the way I counsel as a psychotherapist and is also a technique I offer to clients as a way of transforming stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
Examples of mindfulness techniques I use with my clients include:
The use of Art Therapy taps into feelings, memories and experiences on a pre-verbal level. It can be a very enlightening and empowering experience; and is a way of expressing and communicating that goes beyond words. Anyone can do Art Therapy – you do not need to be ‘good’ at art – it is about accessing and expressing emotions and beliefs in a form other than words and thoughts.
I have found art therapy to be extremely affective in working with:
There are a number of different ways I use art therapy, depending on the interests of my clients and the nature of their concerns. Some clients, using fabric and wool, have created their own guardian angel as part of coming to terms with a major loss in their life. Other clients have drawn their painful feelings – expressing on paper what was initially too difficult to put into words. I also use art therapy as a way of getting my clients to explore who they are and what is important to them. One way I do this is through asking them to draw various aspects of themselves using abstract shapes, colours and lines, which we can then discuss. Often clients discover the answers they’ve been looking for right there in the work they produce.
Another Expressive therapy I use with my clients is Sand Tray. This involves using a tray full of sand and a large number of miniature figurines that essentially represent life and the world. Clients are invited to use these symbols to represent their inner world, or whatever it is that is troubling them.
All of these creative activities are both therapeutic in and of themselves, as well as being the catalyst for a different perspective and a new sense of awareness.
Some of the reasons people choose to have counselling with me are because they are experiencing difficulties such as stress or anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, unresolved issues from the past, how they relate to others, feeling overwhelmed or lost, disordered eating, self harm, or an identity crisis.
Counselling with me can support you by putting things into perspective; exploring your options; developing strategies for dealing with your concerns; increasing your self awareness; learning how to deal with strong feelings; exploring and resolving unhelpful habits or patterns of behaviour; discovering what is behind some of your habitual ways of coping that no longer work for you – and choosing something new; developing self compassion and acceptance; and exploring your true self.
If you have further questions about how I work, or would like to make an appointment, please contact me, Toni Jackson.