At Off the Record, we believe that there is no "one size fits all" approach to counselling and that each client is an individual with unique experiences and needs. We have counsellors who are fully trained and have experience in a variety of approaches, including the following:
A number of our counsellors also have additional training that include such areas as working with children and young people, attachment, substance abuse, and bereavement.
The psychodynamic approach to counselling traces its heritage back to the psychoanalytical theories of Freud, Jung and Adler. It works with an individual, looking back into their childhood to explore the dynamics of his or her relationships with primary carers and other significant figures in their past. It is thought that these relationships lead to the development of unconscious memories, thoughts and feelings that can adversely affect how individuals function in the present both psychologically and physically. In seeking to bring these unconscious experiences into the conscious, it is thought that we can resolve conflicting and troubling feelings in our present lives and improve our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Carl Rogers is regarded as the founder of the person centred approach to counselling. He believed that we all have an innate ability to discover and develop our own inner resources and that we can use these to grow into physically and psychologically healthy human beings.
Person centred counselling, therefore, aims to help individuals to free themselves from the constraints and obstacles that prevent them from fulfilling their potential or, as a person centred counsellor might say, to “self actualise” .
CBT is based on the concept, described by Aaron T Beck, that problems arise in life through unhelpful and deeply ingrained beliefs. These influence the way we interpret what we hear see and feel and lead us to behave in ways that undermine how we are perceived by others and by ourselves. We trap ourselves with thought patterns that keep us returning to bad situations, leading to depression or anxiety which undermine our relationships and our physical health.
Through revealing and exploring unhelpful beliefs, CBT counselling seeks to lead to changes in the way we behave when confronted by troubling situations.
Humanistic counselling includes existential and phenomenological approaches. The existential perspective recognises that a level of anxiety is a natural property of existence and seeks to find ways to normalize this existential anxiety while exploring the fears that disrupt our lives and our ability to live within relationships.
The phenomenological perspective seeks to encourage exploration and description of our experiences, perceptions and relationships, rather than to interpret. In contrasting experiences and describing patterns we can create meaning and thus reduce anxiety and depression that might otherwise result. The central aim is to allow the client to become fully authentic and able to define themselves, rather than to accept definitions imposed by others.
Integrative counselling embraces psychoanalytical, humanistic and cognitive psychological theories of counselling to provide an approach that respects the individuality of the client. It takes as its core principle the idea that no one counselling theory provides all of the answers to create a coherent and holistic approach that explores the client's relationships with self and environment, and the meaning of their experiences.
In common with the person centred and other humanistic approaches it emphasises the quality of the relationship between counsellor and client and encourages exploration of the client's subjective experience within the safe and supportive space provided by that relationship.
Trinity Street Surgery
1 Trinity Street
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01603 626 650