Therapy explained


Therapy Explained  

There are over 300 different types of counselling and psychotherapy currently being practised in the UK but one of the most important factors in terms of successful therapy is a good therapeutic relationship between client and therapist.

At the London Counselling Collective we offer a range of approaches and will work with you to find the most appropriate therapist and therapeutic approach for your needs.

Some of the therapeutic approaches we offer are outlined below.

Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy

Integrative therapists are trained to draw on a range of skills, ideas and theories from the key psychological models in order to meet the individual needs of the client and the specific issues they bring to the therapy room.

The integrative approach is rooted in the belief that every person is different and that counselling needs to reflect this. It also acknowledges that different problems call for a different integration of approaches. For example, while someone with a clear focus in mind for counselling might benefit from a more structured approach, someone else, who is less sure of the origins of their difficulties, may want to work in a more explorative way. In addition, the same person might at one point want to work in either of these ways.

The integrative counsellor will often combine short term solution-focussed strategies with longer term psychodynamic work – supporting the client to cope with their immediate problems while taking the long view in relation to working towards a better future by way of understanding the impact of the past.

Person Centred Counselling

Person-Centred counselling is based on the principle that the counsellor provides three Core Conditions in the therapy room, that are, in themselves, therapeutic.

These Core Conditions are 
–  Unconditional Positive Regard, that is, a warm, positive, receptive, non-judgemental attitude towards the client 
–  Empathic Understanding, that is, the ability to imagine oneself in the other person’s position and to view the world from their perspective
–  Congruence, or quite simply, honesty and openness. 

The relationship between the client and the counsellor is central and the counsellor uses the relationship with the client as a means of healing and change.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

This is a more directive style of counselling, working with an understanding of how people’s beliefs about themselves and the world shape the way they interpret their experiences. The objective is to challenge self-limiting beliefs and behaviours by offering new perspectives and work towards replacing negative ways of thinking with more balanced and often more positive ones.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

This is a psychological therapy which blends features of Cognitive Therapy with Mindfulness approaches. Rather than correcting cognitive distortions, MBCT works with accepting thoughts and feelings without judgement. Recognising that our thoughts are our interpretation of events, not “reality”, we can relate to them more lightly and respond to them more creatively without getting drawn in to automatic and unhelpful reactions, such as rumination (circular thinking), anxiety and depression.

Existential Psychotherapy

This is an approach with a philosophical basis that operates from the belief that inner conflict arises from an individual’s confrontation with the givens of existence. These givens include:  the inevitability of death, freedom and the responsibilities that come with it, our existential isolation and questions around the meaninglessness of existence.

These four givens are seen as predictable tensions and paradoxes of the four dimensions of human existence, the physical, social, personal and spiritual realms.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

The psychodynamic approach gives greater emphasis to the impact of our childhood experience than some of the other approaches. This means that therapy will not just concentrate on the present problem and the way forward but will also focus on the importance of past experiences and past relationships as a way of making sense of present concerns.

The other key difference is a belief in the significance of unconscious processes – that is, psychological processes that lie outside our awareness but motivate and effect our feelings and behaviour. Psychodynamic practitioners also work with transference – that is, the way in which clients may relate to the therapist in a way that is connected to the relationships they have with significant others outside the therapy room.

Transactional Analysis

This approach emphasises people’s personal responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and behaviour. It believes people can change, if they actively decide to replace their usual patterns of behaviour with new ones.

The counsellor offers ‘permission’ for new messages about yourself and the world, ‘protection’ when the changing of behaviours and thoughts feels risky, and ‘potency’ to make the changes you choose.


London Counselling Collective seek to be aware of the particular needs of those from minority ethnic or religious backgrounds;  those with disabilities,  illness or age-related disadvantages,  and those whose gender or sexuality makes them feel vulnerable or marginalised – always respecting the gifts inherent in those self-same attributes.