Pluralism: there’s no one right way to do things

It’s important to choose the right counsellor for you. The relationship is the most important thing: you need to find someone who you feel you can trust and who you feel comfortable with.

There are many styles– or modes– of counselling and psychotherapy, so when you look for a therapist, it’s also helpful to find someone whose approach works for you. I call myself a pluralist counsellor, which means that I draw upon a variety of theoretical ideas and methods to best support each unique client. I have been highly influenced by the ideas of Compassion Focused Therapy, which stems from an inspirational book called The Compassionate Mind, by Paul Gilbert (which I would recommend to everyone). Compassion Focused Therapy seeks to help people become more compassionate towards themselves and others, while acknowledging that this is almost always easier said than done. It’s an approach underpinned by neuroscience and evolutionary biology, and also by Buddhist and mindfulness practices.

In my own life, I tend to be an existentialist. Fundamentally, this means that I don’t believe there is any grand purpose in life, so it is up to each of us to make the best of our time on this earth. This can be wonderful, and terrifying. Creative writing is my own way of of trying to make sense of the world, and it has been my therapy since I was a teenager. I believe very much in the therapeutic power of expressive arts, and I sometimes encourage clients to use creativity to express emotions that they may struggle to talk about.

Published by Rebecca McKinney

Edinburgh based writer of fiction, tales, travels, truths and the occasional tirade...

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