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Human Givens

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What has value greater than any treasure, yet people still won’t take it?
The answer is good advice. (Riddle)

Counselling & advice:

Despite the fact that the terms 'good counsel' and 'good advice' are practically synonymous, many people advertising themselves as counsellors don't give advice at all. Most commonly, the term counselling refers to a procedure where the client talks about his or her problems and the counsellor listens and asks prompting questions.

At the centre, we certainly listen sympathetically and we may well ask intelligent, questions. We may also, however, offer advice in forms people really can take on board, give information and teach various effective methods for coping with current difficulties. We avoid all pychobabble and concentrate instead on effective and useful strategies, presented in ordinary language and not requiring belief in any strange or unusual ideas.

The solution focused approach is basic to the way in which we work.

Solution focused counselling

puts the emphasis on finding solutions in the here and now. This is in contrast to psychodynamic approaches most commonly focusing on insight into the past and increasingly found to be ineffective for many conditions. This does not, however, mean that the past is ignored. But as many people know, it is not possible to change past happenings, whilst the present and the future can be changed.

Solution focused counsellors

use subtle forms of questioning and language to orient clients towards solutions, to reframe past experiences and draw on positive learnings clients already have. We also use forms of guided imagery and various kinds of useful metaphor as well as teaching relaxation techniques and other ways of reducing stress and increasing effectiveness. More formal hypnosis is compatible with this form of counselling and is sometimes used. Simple tasks to develop and practise new skills may be set between sessions. Clients typically find the approach optimistic, painless and life enhancing.

The Human Givens framework

informs and underpins all our work. This is not an ideology, but rather a holistic synthesis of best ideas and practice currently available in the counselling and therapy fields . It integrates the findings of much modern brain science, evolutionary psychology etc. as well as traditional 'psychologies' from around the world to make an approach which both appeals to common sense and yet is scientifically well informed and highly effective. It is supported by The European Therapy Studies Institute.

Is this an alternative therapy?

Every year, thousands of health and education service professionals have training in the basics of this approach. It is increasingly recognized as a highly effective approach to brief therapeutic encounters. It can be called a complementary rather than an alternative therapy but also provides organizing ideas for many mainstream treatments.

In counselling sessions at the centre,

the counsellor will want to get a clear idea of how your problem works for you and you are free to give as much information as you feel is relevant to the concern under discussion. All information is confidential; your privacy will be respected and sensitive areas will not be probed unnecessarily.

What concerns is this form of counselling appropriate for?

This approach has very wide application. The following are some of the concerns for which it is highly effective

a) common life challenges: adjusting to changed life circumstance, self confidence and self esteem, stress management, motivation, achievement, skills mastery, addressing new learning, relationship problems, family difficulties etc.

b) addictions and habit change: ranging from common compulsions and ‘bad habits’ through, smoking to alcohol and drug abuse etc.

c) psychological difficulties: anxiety, depression, sexual difficulties, sleep problems, anger management, OCD, panic attacks, trauma, PTSD etc.

d) physical concerns & mind/body challenges: pain management and control, managing changed abilities, injuries; preparation for operations etc.

e) miscellaneous concerns: financial difficulties; life management; some problems of childhood and adolescence; problems of performance in sport, music, drama etc.; exam preparation; career/vocation development; personal potential development


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