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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)?

Many people assume that CBT is just another "positive thinking" fad – in fact Karen’s aim is not just to teach the client to think positively but to help teach how to think realistically. When things go seriously wrong in one’s life it would be strange to take a wholly positive view of the situation and be pleased by it - using CBT, Karen can help the client put the situation into a realistic perspective without taking away the seriousness of it.

In many instances, emotions and behaviour are determined by what we are thinking; emotional disorders can result from negative and unrealistic thinking - by altering these patterns, emotional disturbance can be reduced or eliminated.

CBT is based on the idea that our interpretation of an event is crucial; many people wrongly assume that other people or unfortunate circumstances are directly responsible for the unpleasant way they feel.

Take for example, the case of public speaking. Three speakers may give the same talk which is equally received by the audience. One speaker may notice the applause and be pleased about the way she performed. The second speaker might feel depressed because he thought that the audience was only clapping to be polite, and that actually they were bored. The third speaker might feel angry because she had put a great deal of effort into preparing the talk and she thought that the audience was not sufficiently appreciative.

Therefore, it is clear that the same event may lead to a range of emotions depending on how the event is interpreted and evaluated. Karen therefore integrates many of the CBT techniques into her daily working practices, while staying faithful to her central philosophy of working with the person as a whole rather than trying to treat the symptoms of an illness.

Karen has been using methods similar to ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) for many years. Now as a qualified practitioner she has wider experience of the powerful impact some of these techniques can have on helping people back to health and wellbeing.

Karen has great success with people with different types of ‘dis-ease’ such as depression, low self-esteem, anger and many types of phobias. One client with a form of OCD has, after more than twenty years of hoarding, begun to successfully tackle the fear of throwing anything away and is no longer sinking under a sea of “stuff”.

What is Coaching?

There are two different types of Coaching - being and doing.

“Being” coaching is often described as life coaching or spiritual coaching. This relates to working on your “inner” self. Examining and working on your values, self-beliefs, self-confidence and self-esteem.

“Doing” coaching is described as performance coaching. This relates to helping the client set up clear realistic goals, forming a plan of action and supporting them in reaching these goals.

Both of these are equally important and inter-related. A change in one leads to a change in the other and this is where Karen’s expertise comes in.

Rather than dwelling on the past and going over 'old ground' of past-relationships and familiar patterns of behaviour, Karen will concentrate on what is happening in your life right now; what thought patterns are holding you back from fulfilling your full potential; how do you feel about yourself? Where is your self-esteem? If your self-confidence increased ten fold, what is truly possible? What stops you feeling fantastic each day and waking with an insatiable appetite to do the work you love and get paid to do it?

Karen will mentor, motivate, inspire and empower you to truly create the life you have always wanted and deserve. She will help you to get in touch with your inner power - that strength that lies within, of true self-reliance and of knowing what is possible and how to achieve it by oneself. Her style of coaching is 'directive', in that she will offer opinions on a course of actions, the negative thought processes that are possibly holding you back or seemingly insurmountable barriers preventing progress. Her style is of compassionate,caring and positive encouragement to reach your full potential absolutely without judgement.

A typical 60-minute session might involve what a person would like to achieve. Once established, goals can be discussed and set, challenges to these goals can be assessed and often new perspectives can be realised, so you come to the understanding that with a willingness to change coupled with a fervent desire to succeed, anything is possible.

Explain Neurolinguistics

Imagine getting a mobile phone without any instructions. These days mobile phones have a string of features that we do not ever use because either a) we didn't understand the instructions b) we didn't read them! or c) we didn't get any instructions!! Well let's assume, for example, we didn't receive any instructions. So we have a phone and we can work out how to make a call and how to receive one, and with a bit of fiddling around we can teach ourselves how to store some numbers in the memory, but the rest of the features go unused purely because we didn't know they were there.

Now think of your brain, we were born without an instruction manual. Without an instruction manual it is quite likely that we will struggle to make something work properly and without a map its quite easy to “go wrong” . An understanding neurolinguistics equips you with an instruction manual of how the mind works and can provide you with the tools and techniques that will allow you to overcome the obstacles currently in your way and to enable you live your life to the full.

What is Counselling?

Counselling* takes place when a counsellor sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be 'sent' for counselling.

By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client's point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion. It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way.

In the counselling sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. The counsellor will encourage the expression of feelings and as a result of their training will be able to accept and reflect the client's problems without becoming burdened by them.

Acceptance and respect for the client are essentials for a counsellor and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the counsellor and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. The counsellor may help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start. The counsellor may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them.

*(as defined by BACP)