I use an analytical (or “insight-based”) approach to help clients understand themselves better as a way to equip them to deal with their issues. This might mean helping them uncover deep-seated conflicts and self-defeating patterns of thought, feeling, or behaviour. These patterns may have begun in the past and continued, affecting mood, ability to function, or relationships. Our work might involve looking at how the past can continue to have an effect in the present. It also involves carefully exploring what is happening in the present, to bring to light aspects of your situation, your feelings or behaviour that you may have been unaware of, so that you are able to make different, better choices.
This approach can be especially helpful for people who want to know “why” they feel, act, or react the way they do. This kind of work can be beneficial for long-standing or recurring difficulties or for those problems that affect many areas of a person’s life.
When time, finances, the nature of the problem, or the person’s personal preference don’t call for open-ended work, I also do cognitive and behavioural shorter-term work with specific objectives to overcome a particular difficulty. This kind of work focuses on a problem that is troubling the client, examining the thinking and behaviours that reinforce it, and helping the client replace them with more positive and adaptive ways of perceiving and acting.