Counselling is a term covering a whole range of ‘talking therapies’ that allow you to explore – in a safe and supportive environment – your life and any difficulties or distress you are experiencing.

Talking to a trained, professional counsellor can resolve your difficulties and find ways of coping and improving your wellbeing.

At Kernos – with Humanistic values as the overarching therapeutic principle – counselling is Integrative. This can be a combination of two or more therapies or counselling techniques, those best suited to your needs.

Why? Because we believe that no single approach works for everyone in every situation. We each think, feel and react in different ways, so our integrative approach can help devise a therapy unique to you.

Because of its flexibility, integrative counselling is appropriate for a wide range of difficulties including:

  • relationship breakdown
  • bereavement
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • abuse
  • stress
  • low self-confidence
  • difficulty in functioning

and many more.

Some examples of the counselling therapies that we use are:

Humanistic Therapies

Humanistic therapies focus on self-development, growth and responsibilities. They seek to help individuals recognise their strengths, creativity and choice in the ‘here and now’. The term “humanistic therapy” is also used to include Person-Centred, Existential and Gestalt therapies.

Person-Centred Therapy (PCT – also known as Client-Centred)

PCT is a therapy that:

  • aims to provide an environment in which you don’t feel under threat, or judged – allowing you to experience and accept yourself more as a person and so realise your full potential by finding your own solutions to your problems.
  • views everyone as capable of being loved, creative and knowledgeable.
  • recognises that achieving your full potential requires favourable conditions and that sometimes – in adverse conditions – you may not be able to develop in the best way.
  • provides you with the opportunity to have a deep and meaningful relationship based on genuine warmth, regard and acceptance
  • demonstrates that through such a relationship you can gradually begin to explore difficult feelings and experiences, and find your way forward building your self esteem and self-concept.

Existential/Phenomenological Therapy (ET)

ET enables a counsellor to help you:

  • deal with the problems of everyday living – such as relationship difficulties, anxiety issues, body and other issues.
  • acknowledge that, during your life, you may face times when your own particular struggles can feel overwhelming and you may behave in ways that seem irrational in response to these problems.
  • reflect on these issues – and by building self-knowledge and self-awareness – enable you to grow and overcome issues which may at times feel all-consuming.
  • to explore your values, assumptions and ideals and help you shape your destiny by making the life choices you want to make.

Gestalt Therapy (GT)

‘Gestalt’ – or ‘unified whole’ – therapy:

  • focuses on the entirety of your experience, including your thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • helps you become more self-aware.
  • uses experiments – such as creating patterns with objects and role-playing – to help promote awareness.
  • enables you to explore your thoughts and feelings.
  • encourages you to recognise those physical and emotional responses that may be putting up barriers to your communication with others, so exacerbating problems.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that:

  • aims to help you change how you think and behave.
  • focuses specifically on the problems and difficulties you may be facing in the present – not the past.
  • focuses on the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes you have – your cognitive processes – and how these interact with your behaviour in creating emotional problems.
  • works on the theory that it’s not events themselves that upset you, but the meanings that you attach to them. Your thoughts can prevent you seeing things that don’t fit with what you believe to be true.
  • helps you to recognise alternative explanations for such events and so enjoy the benefits of seeing them in a different light.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)

CAT is a form of therapy that:

  • tries to help you answer questions such as ‘why do I always end up feeling like this?’.
  • examines how problems and difficulties may be being worsened by your poor habitual coping mechanisms that may have been established in childhood as a way of dealing with deprivation or emotional difficulties.
  • helps you recognise these poor coping strategies and work out ways of using your strengths to bring about change.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a cognitive behavioural therapy that:

  • shows you how to notice, accept and embrace your thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • assumes that pain and suffering are a normal and unavoidable part of life and any attempt to control and avoid these experiences can lead to more long-term suffering.
  • enables you to accept what you can’t control and to commit to actions that can enrich your life.
  • aims not to eliminate unpleasant experiences but teach you how to deal with painful events.
  • teaches you the skills to recognise, understand and eventually accept these events, develop greater clarity about what values are most important to you and then commit to change.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

  • DBT – a close relative of CBT – was initially developed to help people with borderline personality disorders, who cope with distressing emotions by using self-destructive behaviours such as self-harm, substance misuse and eating disorders.
  • Coping like this may be the only way that you have learned to deal with such intense emotions.
  • DBT helps you realise why self-destructive behaviours are not the best solution and can begin to show you more effective ways of dealing with intense negative emotions.

Psychodynamic Therapy (PDT)

PDT is a therapy that:

  • emphasises the importance of the unconscious and how past experience shapes current behaviour.
  • helps explore unresolved issues by talking about important people and relationships in your life
  • enables you to increase your self-awareness and understand how the past is influencing your present problems.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

REBT looks at helping to understand:

  • that irrational beliefs and behaviours can stand in the way of achieving your goals and ambitions.
  • why such irrational attitudes – which mainly take the form of dogmatic ‘musts’, ‘shoulds’ or ‘oughts’ – are often at odds with your rational wishes, preferences and wants.
  • how to spot when you are distressing yourself with dogmatic beliefs and tries to replace such thoughts with more positive preferences.

Systemic Therapy (ST)

ST is a generic term for a family therapy that:

  • looks at understanding how families become stuck in a pattern of interaction
  • focuses on the context and network of significant relationships within which you live your life.
  • sees the family as dynamic and the people who make up the family as changing and developing.
  • explores how your family has evolved and been constructed by the people within it
  • develops possible strategies to help the family dynamic and deliver beneficial change.

Transactional Analysis (TA)

TA helps and encourages you to:

  • find out what is going wrong in your efforts at communication
  • identify opportunities to enable you to change unhelpful and repetitive patterns of behaviour that limit your potential
  • analyse previous decisions you have made – to understand how they are limiting your potential and how they are affecting your life
  • to trust your decisions – thinking and acting to improve the way you feel about yourself.