Peter Young Counselling

Counselling

Counselling roomI believe that everyone can benefit from counselling. You do not need to come to counselling with a specific problem, such as depression, grief and loss, anxiety or addiction. Counselling is about self care. It is your time, and is as useful (and relaxing, and challenging) as you choose to make it.

The fundamental principle that underpins my approach to counselling is that understanding and acceptance by another is a helpful step towards better understanding and accepting ourselves.

Most of us spend our lives showing glimpses of ourselves to one another – usually the aspects of ourselves that we consider to be acceptable. We keep those other aspects of ourselves that we believe to be unacceptable hidden away – sometimes even from our own awareness.

My aim as your counsellor is to create with you a place of safety, where you experience trust and acceptance. This provides the context for a journey of discovery and self acceptance.

"I just want to talk to someone who won't judge me, and who won't give me advice..."

A friend lamented recently that talking to family and friends was sometimes unhelpful because the responses were either laced with implied (or expressed) judgements, or with well intentioned suggestions or advice. She just wanted to be heard (and to be seen).

A typical counselling session lasts between 60 to 90 minutes. We discuss what you bring to the session. If you bring nothing then we sit and discuss what comes to mind. There are no expectations - you don't need to have a topic to discuss, and sometimes the most useful discussions arise from such a starting point. My approach is based on awareness - what you are thinking now, how you are feeling, what you are aware of. One analogy used in Gestalt is that of a beach ball being tossed around by waves. We can see the surface facing upwards, but then a wave spins the ball and another surface becomes visible. We discuss what comes into awareness as the beach ball turns.

A core principle of these sessions is that of safety. We discuss what you choose to discuss, when you are ready to discuss it. Trust takes time, and you need to decide in your own time when it is safe to share aspects of yourself with another without fear of rejection or judgement.

Another core principle of my approach is that personal change occurs through the process of self-acceptance. This seems contradictory - often people come to counselling because they want to change an aspect of their life (or themself) that they feel is making them unhappy. But learning to love, accept and be comfortable with all aspects of who you are today is an important first step. Whether change then follows is secondary, although change is more likely to emerge from self-acceptance than self-criticism.

Confidentiality is a very important aspect of our sessions. What we discuss is not recorded. I take non-identifying information to my own professional supervision sessions, but my supervisor is unaware of the identity of my clients. Through my ongoing study and regular professional supervision you can be confident that you will always receive a high level of professionalism and care through your counselling appointments.

My approach to counselling is strongly influenced by my study of both Gestalt Therapy and Social Work. Below are some links if you would like to read more about Gestalt Therapy:

Gestalt Therapy: An Introduction, by Dr Gary Yontef
What is Gestalt Therapy - from the Gestalt Australia and New Zealand web site

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