My Counselling Approach
Please take into account that “Psychological Counseling” can mean different things in different countries. In Switzerland, the quality standards are set by SGfB, the Swiss Association for Counselling, of which I am a member. Refer to their website for further informations.
I’ve learned the basis of my “craft” at the GFK-Institute. “GFK” is the abbreviation for the integration of the following three approaches:
Gesprächspsychotherapie: Person-centered counseling according to Carl Rogers based on acceptance, empathy and congruence.
Focusing according to Eugene Gendlin. Mindfulness and body awareness as a resource.
Körpertherapie: Body psychotherapy according to Wilhelm Reich. Involvement of the body on different levels.
Core values of my counseling are empathic listening, acceptance and presence in the moment. These stem from the person-centered approach. In this approach, the relationship between the counsellor and the person seeking counseling is central. In this approach, the counsellor has an accompanying role rather than an expert role.
Focusing complements this approach. It is all about giving space to the knowledge that is already present in the body, to create a connection to the inner experience. This can be a very brief moment of pause – how does it feel right now? But it can also be a longer session. Similar to a meditation, we can take time to deepen existing perceptions and thus find new insights.
For me the body is a natural part of a person and I therefore include it in my counseling. This can be through perception exercises, through certain movements, through physical expression or through touch. We discuss together what feels right at the moment. This is especially important to me because each person has a different approach to the body and I want to be respectful of that.
In addition to my training, I have studied various other approaches, whether in self-awareness or through intellectual exploration. Elements of these also are part of my work. However, I do not claim to have learned the respective approaches or methods in depth:
- feminist, anti-discrimination and pleasure-oriented approaches (Sara Ahmed, Silvia Federici, bell hooks, Mai-Anh Boger, adrienne maree brown, …)
- the work around gender and therapy by Alex Iantaffi
- Deliberate Practice and Feedback Informed Therapy (Scott Miller and Tony Rousmaniere) as methods to improve m counseling skills. In this context, I also learn a lot from the podcast Very Bad Therapy.
- Focusing-oriented Art Therapy according to Laury Rappaport
- Nonviolent communication according to Marshall Rosenberg