Diagnosis vs. Person

As a therapist I see my role as someone who is there to listen to you as a person with a unique history and own story to tell. I believe everything we go through in life can potentially have an impact on who we are and how we choose to live our life. There are so many different aspects and experience that make us who we are. When we receive some sort of mental health diagnosis, it is often reflective of a particular part, or parts of us. It’s not always the case that our symptoms are taken within the broader context of our lives, history and experiences.

You are fundamentally the sum of your experiences. You are more than just a diagnosis.

You as a Person

When you come into the therapy room I am firstly interested in getting to know you. I want to listen carefully to your story with a view to understanding why you have decided to come for therapy with me and why now. During the early stages of our work together I will be interested in exploring with you what it may be you are wanting to change in your life. We will also look at how you might life to be after therapy has ended.

If there is a particular problem that has brought you to therapy, an early goal would be for us to find strategies to be able to deal effectively with that problem. For example, if you experience social anxiety in large groups we will look for strategies that enable you to be more confident in certain situations.

Following this stage, I will be interested in how you are in your life. What are your motivations, desires, how are you in your life and how do you lead your life. How do you think, feel and behave in your life, why do you make certain decisions and why not others. I will continuously be noticing the way you lead your life through what you are telling me. I will notice how you are, how we are together and I will be noticing patterns as we go along. Together our aim is to work towards establishing what patterns are no longer fulfilling and what patterns are ones you would like to change.

All the time the focus is on you. Your story, your experience and how you are in the world.

A Diagnosis?

My role as a therapist is not to diagnose in the medical sense of the word, I do not see issues in the therapy room that need resolving or ‘fixing’. What I do do, is to listen to your story, I look out for the context to your experiences and formulate a treatment plan which will work for you.

When we work together I will see a person who may have learned particular coping strategies for dealing with their own trauma or adversity. In that way, the patterns that you have learned have been essential survival techniques, so well done you!

At some point however, you may feel previous learned behaviours are no longer applicable to how you now want to be. I am here to support you in updating ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that are more in line with how you want to be now. This is the sort of fixing we can do together. I do not need a diagnosis or a label for this. It may often be a useful guide or can serve to tell me more about issues you may be facing though. Together we may be sitting in the unknown and we will explore what is right for you, nobody else.

Having a diagnosis can also be something that many find comfort in having. To understand there is an identifiable pattern of symptoms they may be experiencing and to know there are solutions can be useful. Whether you have a mental health diagnosis or not, our work together will be focused on what works for you.

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about how we can work together feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation initial meeting.