My practice model is first and foremost ‘Client-centred’ and I am ‘eclectic‘ in my use of a wide variety of therapies and approaches. That said, it is absolutely necessary to understand that the individual is intrinsically different from anyone else. With that premise, it seems logical to me that an ‘eclectic’ approach to counselling will have better outcomes in the long run, than subscribing to one or a limited range of therapeutic approaches . Simply put, one size DOESN’T fit all! As therapists we can utilise specific tools and approaches from many psychological therapies with the view that we are more likely to facilitate change in more clients, particularly when we are not limiting our range of knowledge and expertise in the use of one approach exclusively. Alternatively, if we were to limit our therapeutic approach to one therapy like ‘Cognitive Behavioual therapy’, it may be extremely difficult for maximum growth and change. This is largely because not everyone is suited to this type of therapy and/or others due to the individual differences. It is my experience that each approach is only part of the answer for some of the clients, some of the time. Therefore, the use of many therapies widens our ability to support more clients for specific needs and doesn’t limit their potential for true psychological and emotional healing.
Furthermore, in order to gain a deep understanding of these differences (physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and social), it is paramount that as a therapist to really try to understand the unique circumstances in each individuals world and the circumstances they find themselves.
To ensure a deep of understanding of my clients, it is equally important and necessary for me to view the person ‘holistically’. An holistic approach to therapy is one that looks at how the individual operates within the ‘three-fold’ dimensions of the human being and their functioning. The three-fold dimensions are the;
Body – Our physical health and social functioning
Soul – Mind (Brain) – Psychological and emotional functioning
Spirit – the intangible essence of who we really are – Spiritual awareness and connection
Therefore, my practice model is ‘client-centred’, I am also ‘eclectic’ in my approach to counselling, and at the baseline I am truly ‘holistic’ in how I view the multifaceted and complex nature of all of my clients, for optimum psychological and emotional healing.
Carl Rogers who was a well known psychologist in the 1970’s, stated in his writings that “….deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another”(Carl Rogers). The author, is also well known for his stance on what he considered the greatest skills a therapist must posses. These essential skills the author is well known for are ‘Genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard.’
“Similarly, I agree wholeheartedly about the necessity of gaining a deep understanding of the client and possessing genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard. At the same time my contention is, after many years in the industry, that these personal qualities of the therapist/helper, genuineness, empathy and unconditional regard, need to be inherent in the therapist, because they cannot be taught!”
Last, within this modus operandi, I strongly believe that part of how we gain this critical information from our clients, it is necessary for us to ‘ take a look back into the past, to make sense of the current situation and the reason for the presenting issues that bring us to counselling, to successfully navigate towards the future.’