Counselling and Psychotherapy in Clifton, Bristol Dominique Gaveaux, MA

Counselling and Psychotherapy — the integrative approach

The integrative approach combines humanistic values with psychodynamic principles. I use relevant parts of each approach at different stages in the therapeutic journey, depending on the individual development of the client.

Counselling or psychotherapy?

Counselling is usually short-term and focuses on specific issues, while psychotherapy is long-term, open-ended, and examines in depth your past history in relation to your present and makes you aware of the unconscious forces that drive repetitive patterns of behaviour.

Disturbing feelings and thoughts are sometimes ‘stuck’ and stored up. They prevent us from functioning in more satisfying ways in our life and relationships. Sometimes we try hard to push away what is uncomfortable to talk about, to feel and to face.

Unspoken thoughts and feelings are kept hidden even from ourselves. And then, when a traumatic event, or constellation of events, occurs − leaving home, separation, breakdown of a relationship, loss, illness, death, change of environment, redundancy, retirement − the whole edifice of our life may crumble.

Previously repressed thoughts and feelings may return with a vengeance, but disguised in various forms — feeling low and miserable for no apparent reason and that life has no meaning, unexplained body pain, nightmares, ill-being, panic attacks, disturbed sleep, repetitive destructive patterns in relating to people …

When you go through a crisis, you have a sense that life should be more than what you are experiencing.

Counselling and Psychotherapy help us understand relationships. Human beings do not live in a vacuum: we need to relate to others. We are shaped by early ways of relating to people and by how we have experienced past events.

If you want to make sense of what is happening to you and of the relationships you form with others, counselling and psychotherapy can help you.

Counselling and psychotherapy can help you to express your needs and to find your core values. Personal growth and development follow, helping you to reach your potential, in relation to where you are in your life journey.

Counselling and psychotherapy can be daunting — it is not always easy to talk to someone you don‘t know, to trust the unknown process that you are going through, and even simply to be with your feelings. This is why maintaining commitment and continuity within a structured framework is a fundamental part of therapy.

Counselling and psychotherapy is also rewarding, a place where you can celebrate your achievements and progress.

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