My Approach

As a counsellor, offering integrative counselling and couples counselling in Leeds and Morley, I draw from a range of therapeutic traditions to develop an approach which is right for you as an individual or couple, but the following ideas are central to my work:
  • Each client should be listened to, treated with respect and valued as a unique person who is an equal partner in the therapeutic process, rather than as a subject for treatment or a collection of symptoms
  • We are shaped  by our past experience, which influences our life in the present and may inhibit future possibilities
  • We develop habitual ways of relating to others and of defending ourselves from pain
  • These ways of relating and defending ourselves are not always helpful, and may be repeated across diverse areas of our lives
  • We are fully aware of some of these patterns and defences, partially aware of others, and some are totally obscured from our awareness
Initially I will help us to develop a shared understanding of your difficulties and their impact on your life.  I will ask you about your life history and coping strategies, before working with you to agree a shared understanding of the nature and possible duration of of our work together; essentially whether we shall be concerned with short term counselling which is solution-focused in nature, or more in-depth psychotherapeutic counselling.

You may have clear and specific objectives, but this is not essential, particularly in longer term work. We will consider thoughts, feelings and behaviours as appropriate, since each may be of importance in how you have to come to be as you currently are, and how you might want to be in future. Particularly in longer term work, we will work together to reach a shared understanding of how past experiences affect you and your current relationships. As our work progresses, we will consider what you need in order to develop new ways of living which are more satisying.

Whatever the issue which brings you to counselling or psychotherapy, in my experience all therapeutic work is, at some level, concerned with relationships:
  • Your relationship with yourself - how you feel about yourself and your body-how well you understand, and how you experience, or manage, your feelings
  • Your relationship to life - how you find a sense of personal meaning-the things in your life which are important to you
  • Your relationship to others and the significance of those relationships to you
  • Your relationship with a significant other which is of concern to you
  • The loss of someone or something which has been important to you
Significant  relationships, particularly from early childhood, set a template for how you relate to other people in your life. It is likely that important relationships, both past and present, will be reflected in your relationship with me, giving us important insights which can be used to help you  to work through current difficulties.  Developing a trusting relationship with a therapist is key to achieving positive therapeutic outcomes.  At times it might be sufficient to experience being in a therapeutic relationship in which you feel safe, accepted and understood, perhaps for the first time. At others, it is important that there is a shared understanding of, and commitment to, working together, despite any difficulties which might arise within the work. Essentially, I regard the relationship between client and counsellor as the major vehicle for facilitating insight, healing and desired change.

In couples counselling it is essential that both members of the couple agree about the issue to be addressed and the focus of the work.  This may mean that a substantial amount of time is spent on working to develop this agreement. Essentially couples work is concerned with supporting you to communicate more effectively and to interrupt unhelpful relational patterns, so that you are able to work together to develop more satisfactory ways of relating.

Generally I have a conversational style of working, but sometimes, particularly when working with young people, I wil introduce creative techniques withing my work; perhaps working through the medium of paint or clay or using small objects and figures as stimuli.

In Rewind work I will use specific techniques with those who have experienced trauma or phobic responses in order to help them to  heal from emotional pain and to reduce distressing symptoms.
Carol Lightowler BA (Hons)-Graduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling-Reg  MBACP(Accredited)- Integrative Counsellor -  Mobile 07931967109 -  Counselling in  Leeds  -  Couples Counselling - Counselling in Morley - Rewind Therapy - Counselling For Young People