Counselling and Psychotherapy with Clare McFarlane in Salford, Greater Manchester
Anyone considering a therapeutic journey will have questions to ask; about counselling and psychotherapy, About me and, of course, the Practicalities. If you don't find the information that you want here, try the Links page for articles about Gestalt therapy (which is my core approach). Perhaps you'd like to know about the differences between counselling and psychotherapy? Do go to the FAQ page. For now, I'm using the words interchangeably. You can if you want to find out more.
What can you expect from counselling and psychotherapy with me?
Gestalt psychotherapy takes an inclusive approach. Thoughts, feelings, sensations, behaviours and, where appropriate, spirituality would all have a place within our work together. We would also attend to the context of your specific current situation; this could include your history, culture and issues related to diversity and difference. As you can imagine, all these “elements” combine in a truly unique way for each individual and, accordingly, what presents as tricky for one person isn't problematic for another. So there is no “formula” that fits all. Rather, each therapy is co-created between the both of us and evolves accordingly.
Support to change; support with change.
Because the decision to enter into therapy is such a personal and important one, I offer an initial, face-to-face session to prospective clients. I don't charge for this session, and it's an opportunity for you to ask any questions that stand out for you. We'll also check if what you want matches what I am able to offer.
Sometimes, people ask how long it will take for change to occur. Due to the number of variables, it's not possible to give an accurate answer to this question. For instance, we could agree to meet for a set number of weekly sessions (e.g. 6 – 12), or agree an open-ended contract (which can include regular reviews of how things are going). If, by the end of the initial session, you still feel unsure about what would work for you, we might meet for a further “assessment” session (for which there would be a charge) or agree to review our work at Session 4 and decide where to go from there. If I feel that I am not the best person to help, I will, of course, let you know.
For example, an entirely fictitious client — Adam — is having trouble saying “No” to others both at home and at work. His partner, Zak, tells Adam that he ought to “stick up for himself” more and is fed-up with “always coming second” in Adam's life. Adam may come to our initial session in a state of distress, wanting help. However, I'd want to check what would feel like support to Adam in this situation. For instance, he might have lots of people offering him advice and suggestions, and may need space to decide if he wants to change. Indeed, would Adam feel able to tell me if he didn't want to work with me? Or would he feel unable to do this, as with others in his life?
I'd be paying attention to the process that Adam was describing, my responses to him and how things seemed between us. Where appropriate, I'd share my thoughts and offer feed-back to Adam, also checking out what felt helpful and how he was finding the balance of support and challenge. Autonomy, choice and relationship sit at the heart of this approach so I'd see it as important to support Adam to say “No” to working with me if this was right for him. This, in itself may be a change, and support change for Adam.
Find out more
I hope to have given you a flavour of the way that I work. Do if you want to find out more. Alternatively, you may find some of the answers you are looking for on the FAQ and Practicalities pages. For counsellors and psychotherapists interested in clinical supervision in Salford, Greater Manchester, please go to the Supervision page.