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Our Methods


The Person-Centred Approach developed by Psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers is described as a non-directive approach. This moves away from the idea that the therapist is the expert in the room and allows the client to have more control over the sessions. This in turn will give space for more organic progression through the counselling process and for the client to come to natural solutions when the time is right for them to do so. Therapists worldwide use Carl Rogers’ Person Centred Approach as their roots to their theory and practice to which they can gradually grow and adapt. 


Systemic Therapy originates from family therapy but the approach can also be adapted to work with issues between close groups or work group environments that have become fractured. We all have our own unique personalities, likes and interests, however, when we need to live or work in close proximity for long periods of time with people who have different views then this begins to create cracks in the system (family / group). The Systemic Approach aims at working with those affected together to help empathise with each other, build on each other’s strengths while also respecting each other’s differences. There will be focus on goal setting, challenging self and also partnership tasks. Depending on the group and the nature of the challenges this could become a lengthy process finding what works for everyone. However, when this works it tends to have a ripple effect throughout other family members or colleagues that becomes inherently part of the group.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was originally designed to treat depression but it became clear that the approach could be used much more broadly with other issues. Primarily its focus is to work on current problems and change unhelpful thinking and behaviours into more positive ones. CBT is more specific and aims at one particular problem such as addiction, eating, dependence, tic, personality or psychotic disorders etc. This approach can be challenging and focuses on goal setting (work sheets, diaries, journals and timelines), developing adaptive coping strategies (minimising negative or self-defeating thoughts). Although sometimes seen as a very clinical approach CBT has helped to create some major breakthroughs in counselling and psychotherapy. 


Most people know the name Sigmund Freud and he is seen as one of the Godfathers when it comes to Psychology. In the early 20th century, Sigmund Freud proposed a psychodynamic theory according to which personality consists of the id (responsible for instincts and pleasure-seeking), the superego (which attempts to obey the rules of parents and society), and the ego (which mediates between them according to the demands of reality). Psychodynamic theories commonly hold that childhood experiences shape personality. Such theories are associated with psychoanalysis, a type of therapy that attempts to reveal unconscious thoughts and desires. 


In Gestalt approach each person is seen as unique and everyone perceives the world in a different way. The key aspect of Gestalt approach is: AWARENESS. To become aware of who you are at present and what is happening in the world around you and how this impacts on you. Self-awareness is the difference between what Fredrick “Fritz” Perls (et al) calls this “maturation,” the movement from ill-health (that is, child-like dependence upon, or neorotic manipulation of, the environment for necessary support) toward health (that is, self-support independent of, and interactive with, the environment in healthy ways, with awareness of distinctions and boundaries). 


The Integrative Therapy approach is the technique that will be used by the therapists at S.M.I.L.E Counselling which is a combination of various therapeutic approaches to work with clients. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no one specific approach that works for everyone so instead of limiting themselves to one approach they use a variety of methods that they feel will work specifically for each individual client. All theories are seen to hold their own merit and value so the best approach is to integrate them. Integrative counselling aims to promote healing and facilitate wholeness – ensuring that all levels of a person’s being and functioning (mental, physical and emotional health) are maximised to their full potential. Clients must be committed to self-exploration and open to identifying what factors in their life are perpetuating problems, and/or are causing current concerns.