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What is a Humanistic Counsellor?

Some people visiting my site will be familiar with the term humanistic counsellor. So, what is a humanistic counsellor, and, significantly, how can they help you?

The humanistic counsellor’s approach assumes people possess a natural capacity and capability for taking responsibility for their personal choices, self-development, and growth.

A qualified humanistic integrative counsellor will draw upon different humanistic counselling models (for example, Person Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis), giving them a wide range of potential ways of working with and understanding their client’s unique life experiences and situations.

In the therapy room, you should experience your counsellor as non-judgemental, warm, genuine and empathic. Following ethical guidelines they should offer a confidential space and create an environment in which you feel safe, held and able to trust, enabling you to talk openly and honestly about yourself.

So why might you need the help of a humanistic counsellor?

From when we are very young, we learn and create our way of coping with life. We may develop unhelpful behaviours to survive the challenges we face as we learn what works and what doesn’t work for us. Individuals will build their mechanisms to manage life’s ups and downs. Sometimes, this can mean we create unhelpful thinking, feeling and behaving patterns. For example, we may develop severe anxiety, low self-esteem, shame, anger, negative thinking or depression. We may create self-destructive behaviours, self-harm, have suicidal thoughts or become addicted.

As we grow, we may get stuck with unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours and feel unable to move forward. We may think we cannot change and may have lost sight of who we are and what we want from our lives.

A humanistic integrative counsellor will work holistically alongside you. This means they will help you explore all areas of your life, values, and beliefs. They’ll help you gain awareness and understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and physical body sensations that you are experiencing now. They’ll encourage you to fully recognising how specific thoughts, feelings and behaviours have affected you. They’ll help you see how you interact with other people and how your early experiences of the world define you. They’ll help you understand how some of your behavioural patterns may be hindering your well-being and help you as you develop new strategies to enhance your life.

Through this joint exploration, you'll better understand yourself. You’ll see that it is possible to feel empowered and build belief in your ability to take control of your life. You’ll know it’s possible to draw on your strengths and define your passions to build, grow, and reach your goals.

It’s not an easy task, and based on your own unique situation, your therapy can be short or long-term. The important thing is that the humanistic counsellor is there to help and be with you, however long your journey may be.


Nic @ Simplyou Counselling is a humanistic integrative Counsellor in Thatcham, West Berkshire. Contact her at nicola@simplyoucounselling.co.uk if you would like to find out more.



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