Why choose a Soul Centred Psychotherapist? This question is a common and understandable one. After all, the Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Scheme offers up to 10 rebated sessions with selected professionals… it seems like an obvious choice. However, there are some important things to consider about the style of therapy you’re seeking … how deeply you want to know yourself … whether you’d like to see a skilled therapist who can authentically attend, hear and respond … perhaps in a way that some part of you deeply longs for.
Here are 5 great reasons to choose a Soul Centred Psychotherapist.
- Soul Centred Psychotherapists are invested in your wellbeing.
We often have clients who exclaim “it’s such a relief to feel that you’re really listening, that you actually care”! In Soul Centred Psychotherapy we are taught that the relationship between therapist and client is paramount, that healing and growth occur through the relationship. Soul Centred Psychotherapists are sincerely invested in the wellbeing of the individual sitting across from them. There is a recognition that to be truly seen, heard and attuned to is an experience that many people have missed out on throughout their lives. Therapy is a place where this can be offered and there is enormous therapeutic value in the development of a caring therapeutic relationship.
- Longer sessions
To allow the space and quality of attunement required for a person’s story to fully come into the room, a standard Soul Centred Psychotherapy session runs for 90 mins, in contrast to the usual 50 mins of a standard psychologist. This provides the time to speak about issues in depth, to feel supported in the process, and to explore those issues using the wide range of strategies a Soul Centred Psychotherapist can offer.
- A truly client centred approach
Herein lies another difference, Soul Centred Psychotherapists are trained over a 3 – 4 year period to work in a truly client centred way. To do this, we have many methods which gently uncover and process trauma, develop and deepen meaningful connection to experience, and help people have a creative response to their inner world. Instead of expecting people to adapt to just one way of working, we have many tools to offer the individual as they work their way through the issues they bring. The range of tools offered by a Soul Centred Psychotherapist includes modalities which are gaining recognition in the more mainstream psychological world as research builds to support their effectiveness. This range includes techniques which incorporate the understandings and methodologies of mindfulness, EMDR, tapping, art therapy, energy psychology, and hypnotherapy. Soul Centred Psychotherapists are committed to regular participation in professional development to further their skills; this is an essential part of the requirements for our membership to both the Association of Soul Centred Psychotherapists (ASCP) and Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).
The Mental Health Scheme is a once size fits all approach. In essentially the same small number of ways, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT (which is used by most psychologists) works with the thoughts (cognitions) and behaviours that a person brings to the therapy room ie. by helping a person identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts and to learn practical self-help strategies. This approach and its limitations are described in a recent Psychology Today article, Where is the Evidence for Evidence Based Therapies?. In Soul Centred Psychotherapy, we recognise the place of cognition and behaviour in a person’s overall experience, but we also highly value many other aspects of experience… including emotion, imagery, and meaning. Accordingly, we offer many right brain, body based methods to access these subtler, more unconscious aspects. The Soul Centred Psychotherapeutic honouring of the unconscious wisdom, the innate inner guidance system, and the feeling function gives an orientation that is perhaps the clearest point of difference from the place of CBT.
- A deep and rich philosophical orientation vs. “fixing”
Soul Centred Psychotherapy is a Jungian based psychotherapeutic modality where there is a focus on relationship, mindfulness, meaning, honouring, enchantment and the sacred. We hold to the understanding that our responses to life situations, both positive and negative, are the stuff of soul … bringing colour, life and passion to our journey. In Soul Centred Psychotherapy, we allow time to develop relationship with whatever is happening, to attend fully to inner experience, and to work respectfully and systematically for change.
The techniques we use support the processing of painful memories and past traumatic experiences. This ensures that the process is not overwhelming, and that change and healing occur appropriately for each person. Our focus isn’t about ‘fixing’ something that’s ‘broken’, but rather about attending with mindfulness to the rich language of Soul as is presents itself in everyday life.
A Soul Centred Psychotherapist will questions such as “how was that for you?”, “what does this mean to you?”, “if such and such were to happen in your life, what might that give you a sense of?” and “what do you notice as you tell me this?”. With this kind of attention, the meaning and embodied experience of a client’s story can become more available to them.
For a Soul Centred Psychotherapist, being fully present in a therapy session involves being open to whatever is happening. This is very different from the more traditional therapy situation where there is an arbitrary separation between the therapist and client, and the therapist is the ‘expert’.
Soul Centred Psychotherapy recognises that it is primarily the human relationship and the relational field between the two people within which the work occurs.
This recent article describes the way that choosing the Mental Health Care Plan can lead to 3 year exclusions when applying for income protection or life insurance.
“It’s called insurance discrimination and mental health advocacy organisations Beyondblue and Mental Health Australia have been campaigning together against it since 2002.
Dr Stephen Carbone is beyondblue’s Policy, Research and Evaluation Leader. He says that according to Beyondblue’s previous research, nearly half of people who had existing mental health conditions …[had] experienced some form of difficulty accessing insurance.”
The result of these policies is that people with mental health conditions are shamed and stigmatised even further within a culture which, unfortunately, still struggles to recognise the validity of mental health issues. Most GP’s do not advise their patients of this little known consequence of accessing the Mental Health Care Plan.
The decision about who to work with as a therapist is a very personal one. Not all therapists suit all clients. It’s worth considering the style of therapy you’re seeking and doing some research. Soul Centred Psychotherapists are willing to give you some time for a phone conversation about the way they work and what you can expect in undertaking sessions with them … follow your curiosity.
The object of therapeutic treatment is to return imagination to the things that have become only physical”