Approach to Counselling
There is no one perfect or ideal approach to counselling or psychotherapy.
There is however an evidence-based (empirically supported) approach, which by definition means an approach that has been tested and proven to be effective based on certain circumstances. At New Beginning Counselling Services, all individual, couple and marriage counselling services is based on an evidence-based approach with adherence to professional and ethical standards of practice.
Although various modalities exist to interpret "problems in living" (Szasz, 1965) or issues, an eclectic client-centered (Rogers, 1959) approach that is flexible in nature and adaptive in practice is used with a client's positive regard at the forefront.
There are tools, techniques, skill and methods that define particular modalities of approaches. Each draws upon a certain theoretical framework. In some cases, effectiveness, is thus based on several factors that can include: client needs, readiness for change, the practitioners skill set, depth of knowledge and aspects of best fit. Each approach can be deemed to have benefits, drawbacks and challenges. There are limitations and exclusions as well as expertise in delivery.
Although there are differing methods used to challenge an individual's thoughts, feelings, beliefs and maladaptive behaviours, when the approach used in the delivery of services is based on empirical theories, success can be achieved to a larger or lesser degree, depending on the goals established. In other words, there are different ways to guide conversation in 'talk therapy,' but placing the client first is key to effectiveness, in the approaches that I use, in my experience. In this view, practical and realistic approaches are adopted to empower clients that have been proven to work. I do not use a "cookie cutter" approach nor do I pigeon hole clients into pretty little boxes.
In this context, focus can be solution focused, problem based, results oriented or process driven. Nonetheless, clients are provided with reading material, hand-outs and work-sheets, each of which is based on psycho-education to empower clients with knowledge, understanding and know-how to address and work through issues, practically and realistically. In other words, I assign homework! But, don't worry--you won't be graded!
It is in my experience and belief that how clients benefit is proportional to their level of motivation, ability for genuine authenticity, courage and readiness for change.
In a warm, friendly and private environment, clients will be able feel free to express themselves, without judgment or embarrassment while feeling accepted--using a method of talk therapy/counselling that best fits with the client, from a sociological social psychology perspective.
The following approaches are used, but neither are mutually exclusive in their adaption, in this practice. The focus of a session approach depends on in part: the client goals, issues presented, allotted time to explore issues of concern and other factors. A list below identifies the specific approaches that I adopt in my practice; however it is with flexibility and practicality. In this sense, I adopt an eclectic approach that aims to empower my clients and work with them-- where they are at.
Dialectal Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT)
Solution - Focused Approach (SF)
Strength - Based Approach