We acknowledge the importance of supporting the psychosocial wellbeing and mental wellness of our clients through all of our services, with counselling services being central to more targeted approaches.
We provide psychotherapy and counselling services for clients which is holistic and personalised and work with clients around diverse goals to support their holistic mental wellbeing.
Importantly, a significant percentage of clients with disabilities experience mental health challenges as a result of their disability, or for some, challenging life situations may be a goal of counselling services. For those with communication difficulties such as aphasia, the rates of depression and anxiety can be significant both as a result of communication difficulties and the challenges that they bring.
Our Therapy Approach
Our therapy approaches are tailored to the individual but are trauma-informed and include approaches such as internal family systems therapy and narrative therapy.
Trauma-informed is not a specific modality, but rather it aims to approach individuals with the awareness that trauma exists across a broad spectrum of people who will present in vastly different ways. Some people may not even have awareness that they have experienced trauma, but will still demonstrate symptoms as a result of it. Trauma-informed practice is grounded in neuroscience which demonstrates that when we talk about traumatic incidents the experiential parts of our brains light up rather than our language centres when we talk about neutral experiences. This means we are re-experiencing the event within our body as if it is happening in the present and can be re-traumatizing and unhelpful in treatment and everyday life. When there is a history of trauma, it can be helpful to utilize a Three-Phased Trauma approach, which first grounds individuals with self-soothing practices before beginning to process these events, as this provides internal safety by helping us to navigate the protective mechanisms of fight-flight-freeze-fawn.
The Internal Family Systems
The Internal Family Systems approach is an evidence-based practice that helps to organise our inner world by externalising the range of ‘parts’ we all have inside of us and their protective functions. This is not to suggest it is only a modality for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder; instead, consider if you have ever said something like “one part of me really wants to eat this piece of cake, but another part knows I need lunch first”, we are all made up of multitudes. The clinician works to identify the different parts that create internal conflicts, including protective parts and wounded parts, and helps the client to draw from a Self who is able to listen too, heal, and resolve conflicts between the parts, providing clarity and the ability to move forward.
Narrative Therapy is a non-pathologizing modality that seeks to centre individuals as the experts in their lives. It seeks to separate individuals from the challenges and difficulties in their lives by assuming that individuals come with a variety of strengths, competencies, and values that can help them. Its core principles are curiosity and a not-knowing stance in which the practitioner asks questions, rather than taking on the “expert” role.
Both of these modalities move away from a diagnostic approach in which the clinician holds the power, in both diagnosis and treatment and facilitates a walking alongside you instead. The clinician might have some interesting knowledge, tools, and tricks along the way, but ultimately the goal is to empower you to see that all of the wisdom lives inside you.
These approaches differ from other modalities such as ABA, as they empower individuals to use their own strengths to find solutions that work within their needs, preferences, and skill sets, as opposed to models that impose “shoulds “, behaviours, and neuronormative standards. The goals of these treatments are to centre the client and to build their awareness of the internal resources they already have or self-identify skills they think would benefit their lives. The clinician is just the container for safety in the self-exploration.
Please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss counselling services.