Approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy

 Working as an integrative and transpersonal therapist, I draw on a range of approaches to suit your individual needs.  Building a trusting relationship, so that you feel safe to explore whatever you wish, is an important part of the work. My approach is collaborative and non-judgemental. It is holistic, based in a belief that body, feelings, mind and imagination or spirit are interconnected, and that symptoms are messages, calling attention to what needs healing.

What happens in counselling sessions?

How we work together will depend on your needs at any one time. I offer talking, use of art materials, working with the body and movement; images, dreams and metaphors and using the therapeutic relationship to help explore other relationships. Just as every person is different, so your therapeutic journey will be unique to you.

Simply being heard and understood on a deep level can help bring about changes, so we may just talk.

You may like to use art materials such as sand tray, painting, clay or writing, to express things that can be difficult to put into words, or to find imaginative solutions to problems, using the right side of the brain. You do not have to be good at art to use these.

Sometimes memories and emotions are stored in the body, causing tension or dis-ease. Bringing compassionate awareness to the body, can help bring calm and release symptoms of trauma.

Movement and story enactment offers a means of accessing your inner wisdom and experimenting with different ways of being in the world. Since completing ‘Psyche and Soma’ with the Sesame Institute, I include these possibilities, if you choose to work in this way.

Paying attention to image and metaphor, dreams and visualisations can be a soulful way of exploring what you know on a deeper level.

Paying attention to what happens between us in the room can offer a means to explore other relationships and repair or re-negotiate familiar patterns of relating.

To contact Catherine click here

Training and Experience

My first training was in Psychosynthesis. The purpose behind the approach is developing self awareness, growth, recovering a sense of wholeness in order to make choices based on who you are rather than who you think you should be. Psychosynthesis combines eastern and western approaches to psychotherapy and includes exploring issues in the past and present as well as future possibilities.  Since then I have attended training in the therapeutic use of the arts, drama and movement and somatic awareness, and integrate these ways of working, according to what seems most useful to you at the time, drawing on Jungian  and psychodynamic approaches, theories from Gestalt, Attachment Theory, Neuroscience, and Object Relations.

If you would like to find out more about theoretical approaches click here

How can therapy help?

Therapy can provide a safe place to explore things that may be difficult outside. It can help you develop a better understanding of yourself, your emotions and relationships, your sense of purpose in the world – leaving you freer to make choices. You may be looking for support through a time of difficulty, wish to explore issues from your past which are causing you suffering, or find ways to do things differently. Therapy can also offer a space to experiment and take risks.

Issues you may like to explore in therapy:

Conflicts and dilemmas are part of life. Therapy offers an opportunity to explore values and behaviours that may be at odds with each other, roles you play and parts of yourself that may be in conflict or hidden. It can help you explore what needs resolving, integrate experiences and insights, and find more satisfying ways of living.

Chance events can call all we have known into question and you may want to explore strategies to cope. You may have found strategies to help you survive or get your needs met which are no longer helpful. Counselling and psychotherapy offers the chance to explore and renegotiate these as well as find compassion for yourself and the way you coped. We can look at emotions, thoughts and behaviours which limit, as well as those which help.

Therapy also offers an opportunity to look deeply to your inner world, find answers that lie inside yourself and explore what might be seeking to make itself known.

Qualifications include:

  • Dip. Psychosynthesis Psychotherapeutic Counselling, Institute of Psychosynthesis
  • Cert. Counselling Skills with Children using the Arts, Institute for Therapy in Arts and Education
  • Cert. Couples Counselling using the Arts, Time2relate
  • Sesame Practitioner: ‘Psyche and Soma’ a therapy  training  using movement, story enactment and play
  • I  have completed two years of study in child development and Integrative Child Psychotherapy at Terapia                 


Other experience includes working as a primary and secondary school teacher, teacher trainer and consultant for foreign languages in primary schools. I have been a tutor for school refusers, cared-for children and teacher of English as a foreign language. I provide training in emotional literacy to teachers and have delivered training workshops on the body and trauma to other therapists. I bring to the work a love of the arts, particularly contemporary dance and belief in the healing power of creativity and nature.

Find out more about counselling for adults
Find out more about counselling for children and young people
Contact me by email or telephone 07742 214720
Catherine Bishop, Counselling and Psychotherapy
in Brighton and Hove, East SussexSesame KeySesame Practitioner