Mike Swift
Counselling

Mike Swift Counselling Waves_edited.jpg

On this page you'll find a few of my thoughts about counselling. I hope it's interesting and helps you to get more of a feel for me and what I offer. 

1) I love counselling! In so many areas of our life we're not 'allowed' to be truly honest and thus never truly ourselves. Counselling is one exception. It's an opportunity to be our full selves, to express any thoughts and feelings we may have - no matter how weird or abnormal they may feel - and still be fully accepted.

2) It's all about the relationship. Although there are various schools of 1-2-1 talking therapy: CBT, Person-Centred, Integrative, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Gestalt, to name some of the main ones (I am an integrative counsellor), the evidence says that no one or the other is more effective. The most important factor in all successful therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. Therefore, at the heart of my practice is my aim to foster a unique relationship with each of my clients in which I strive to be fully myself and hope that my clients feel they too can bring all of themselves into the encounter.

3) Counselling can help us feel our feelings (and this is a good thing). It's a very natural thing for humans to push away, or bury painful feelings - no one wants to feel bad. But it can take a lot of energy to carry around unexpressed feelings and the weight exerted can pull us down, resulting in anxiety, depression and other symptoms. The opportunity to feel fully what we're carrying, with an empathic witness, in a safe environment, can lighten the load and ease symptoms.

4) The way you talk to yourself matters. Counselling can be a place to foster self-compassion by looking at the ways you might put  yourself down, where this might have originated and the ways that you can challenge your inner-critic so that you can be kinder to yourself. Thoughts that repeatedly start 'I should' or 'I must' are good examples of the way we might impose excessive or punitive expectations on ourselves.

5) You are the expert. While I aim to bring a sense of curiosity and openness to each session I will never profess to be the expert in your life. I see my role as a companion, or co-investigator in your experience. However, I will offer thoughts and suggestions when it might be helpful, but always lightly. 

Drop me a line if I sound like someone you could work with - I look forward to hearing from you.

About Counselling