Pluralistic psychotherapy is a collaborative and integrative model of psychological therapy that starts from the assumption that it is unlikely that there is a “one size fits all” psychotherapeutic or counselling approach that is suitable for all clients and the varied issues and difficulties that they want to resolve. In contrast with other psychotherapeutic and counselling approaches that try to “squeeze” the client to fit in their models, pluralistic psychotherapy argues that psychotherapists should be able to use a wide range of different psychotherapy and counselling methods and techniques in order to best serve the needs of their clients. Pluralistic psychotherapy is a highly personalised and individualised form of therapy that places high importance on shared decision making and collaboration, which in practice means that clients are assisted by the therapist to identify the approaches and methods that most suit their therapeutic goals and their personalities. Within this collaborative climate, clients’ become empowered, motivated and highly engaged, which enhances the success of psychotherapy.
As a pluralistic psychotherapist, I start from the assumption and belief that you are the expert of your life (even if at times you do not feel that way…). My role is to assist you to understand more yourself and your experiences (positive and negative), motivate you to move forward when you feel stuck and to offer practical suggestions that will help you resolve your difficulties, whatever these may be, in your everyday life.
Assessing the nature and origins of your difficulties will be an important task in the beginning stages of our work, and for this purpose, we will use a variety of psychological tests that will give us a more detailed and impartial view of your problems. However, in doing so, I will never diagnose you or label you with a "disorder’”, as labels have a way of intimidating and disempowering people. I firmly believe that, whatever your circumstances and the problems that you suffer, you still have the ability for choice and autonomy to define your experience in whatever way is meaningful to you, and most importantly to take co-responsibility for your healing.
Important elements of my pluralistic approach are dialogue, collaboration, shared decision making and feedback on your goals, tasks and methods of therapy. In practice, this means that together we will identify what you want from therapy (your goals), co-create a tailor-made therapy plan, and decide the methods and techniques that will be most appropriate for resolving your difficulties.
My training in counselling and psychotherapy has been pluralistic, which means that I will be able to draw from many highly effective methods and techniques from a wide range of psychotherapies such as: person-centred/experiential counselling and psychotherapy; emotion-focused therapy; somatic psychotherapy; cognitive-behavioural therapy; contemplative psychotherapy (mindfulness); acceptance and commitment therapy; compassion-focused therapy; dialectical behaviour therapy and philosophical counselling. Being able to effectively and coherently select from such a breadth of approaches and methods means that I will be flexible to adapt to your unique needs and able to offer highly creative solutions. I believe that what is unique about my approach is that I am able to create a new form of therapy for every client I work with, allowing me to engage fully with the complexity of your problems and the uniqueness of your aspirations.
Although methods and techniques are important, they can only be effective within the right relationship and environment. That is why I will provide the conditions that foster an empathic, accepting, authentic and trusting relationship between the two of us. A relationship in which you will feel safe to open up and process the painful aspects of your experience and where you will be supported to heal, grow and achieve your full potential.
Working within a pluralistic framework, I will be able to help you to:
- Recover and heal from anxiety, stress and trauma
- Find happiness, enjoyment and meaning after having been affected by low mood and depression
- Recover from loss and bereavement and start to build a new life
- Repair damaged relationships
- Become more able to form intimate and authentic relationships with others, while maintaining a sense of independence and self-reliance
- Identify the sources of anger and work to manage it
- Learn to understand and regulate your emotions
- Become more confident and assertive, and better able to prioritise your health and happiness
- Achieve a sense of control over your life
- Live with presence and authenticity
- Relate compassionately and respectful with yourself, others and the more-than-human world
- Cultivate creativity, intuition and connection
- Come to terms with adversity and heal traumas and wounds arising from the past
- Foster a sense of openness and flexibility
I am able to help with a range of issues but in particular I have specialised and have extensive experience with: anxiety, panic attacks and stress, depression and low mood, bereavement and loss, relationship difficulties, intimacy and sexuality issues, anger, low self-esteem and confidence, personality disorders and dissociation, and men's issues.
If you think that pluralistic psychotherapy might be the right approach for you to work through your difficulties and to grow, please get in touch so we can arrange our initial meeting either on Skype or locally in Edinburgh.
I look forward to helping you.