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Relational Needs

As a Counsellor I believe that building a strong relationship is the key to making progress and I follow the Erskine model of relational needs some of which are that a client needs to feel secure, to be accepted, to be valued and to be able to share something in common with the therapist, so they know the counsellor understands their pain. It is also important to me that clients know that they are in control over what happens within the counselling room, clients will never be asked to undertake any therapy they feel uncomfortable with. I encourage clients to lead where possible and have ultimate control over how we work, and from there we can learn from one another.


​“ is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried" Carl Rogers

Attachment theory suggests that our infancy and even pre birth experiences have an impact on our emotional development. Culturally, we see a strong, secure relationship as the ideal for positive emotional growth. A relationship where we are accepted as we are and our identity is valued and cherished. A relationship where our caregiver is available for us when needed, enabling us to build resilience and trust in others. If we have experienced this from our carers, we believe we are worthy of receiving the same from other life relationships. Where we experience different caregiving relationships we have an expectation that other relationships will follow the same patterns. Often we continue in this way until we become aware of the patterns. Counselling is a means to help us explore those past relationships, see where ruptures occurred and identify where old patterns are repeated in our adult relationships. It can be liberating to learn that the issues we face are not our fault but we can deal with them differently.

Transactional Analysis (TA)

In its simplest terms TA shows that we have three parts (ego states) within us; the Parent, the Adult and the Child. In our relationships or communications with other people we respond in one of the three ego states. If someone tells us off then we may remember the way a caregiver reprimanded us and respond as we did when we were a child, setting off a pattern of communication which becomes our default and may lead to ruptures in relationships. 
We may have a life partner who does something we consider wrong, and we hear our past caregiver in our behaviours as we rebuke them. Again, this may lead to arguments, or it may stop communication, leading to gradual breakdowns in relationships. This is the parent ego state.
TA works in that together we start to notice these behaviours within ourselves, enabling us to stop, think about what might be happening and how we usually act, so that we can make a change and respond in our adult ego state.  
While this sounds very easy it takes exploration and trust in our relationship to be able to identify those learned behaviours that we repeat automatically. 


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