“Naming the emotion begins the process of regulating it and reflecting on it. What we name we can tame" (Sue Johnson)

My Counselling Approach

Through my years of supporting clients I have come to offer an integrated approach to counselling which draws on current neuroscience, is relational and attachment theory based, emotion focused, and somatic in nature.  What this means is that the counselling I offer includes a strong emphasis on compassionately embracing the present moment through exploring embodied experiences and emotions. 

When we get curious about our inner landscape we become empowered through increased self-knowledge and awareness that can guide us towards balance and personal transformation.  Along with traditional talk therapy, counselling may include collaborative exploration through expressive activities such as: mindfulness practices, guided visualizations, movement, process art, music and sound, story and poetry, Reiki, work with dreams, and nature therapy. 

Here is some information about the main
theories which inform my practice

EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED (COUPLES) THERAPY

Founded by Sue Johnson, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a client-centred experiential approach to counselling and prioritizes exploring the emotional experience as it arises in the present moment.  EFT is relational based and draws on attachment theory and current neurobiological research.  

Counsellors using EFT remain attentive to emotional reactions and perceptions, and support clients in articulating and clarifying underlying needs and insight.  EFT has been shown to be very effective supporting both individuals and couples in therapy, and has become the leading approach for couples counselling successfully increasing relationship satisfaction.

Who looks outside

dreams;

who looks inside

awakes

(Carl Jung)

May there be kindness in your gaze as you
look within’
(John O’ Donohue)

  MINDFULNESS AND SELF-COMPASSION

Mindfulness practices are inherently self-regulating, and have proved to be a source of relief for clients experiencing a variety of presenting concerns, in particular for those experiencing anxiety.  "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” (Jon Kabat-Zinn).  Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) is an evidence based approach to counselling which incorporates mindfulness and self-compassion as a means of embracing a life with more flexibility and choice in how we respond to our experiences.  Attention is on learning to be with our thoughts and emotions in the moment, learning to surf them and use them as tools for growth without getting caught up in them. 

At times when we pause and become aware of our inner world we realize that underlying the concerns that brought us to counselling there is a deep pain of feeling not good enough, a voice full of judgements, shoulds, self-blame and shame.  Embracing mindfulness practices along with self-compassion is the antidote that can sooth these voices and create space for gentle loving kindness.  When we feel better about ourselves we are able to see our situation more clearly and make healthier choices in times of struggle.

SOMATIC APPROACH

A somatic approach to counselling integrates the physical experience into the healing process, and includes paying attention to the client’s mind, body, spirit, and emotions.  It draws on current neurobiology around the brain and the central nervous system, and has proven to be useful for a variety of client concerns, most notably with the release of symptoms associated with trauma.

During a session clients are encouraged to explore body sensations and the mind-body connection as they reflect upon the concerns that brought them to counselling.  Through entering the embodied present moment, and using the natural rhythms of the body clients can access wisdom that is beyond the reach of their conscious mind, and gain a deeper understanding into how to move towards healing and well-being.  This is a collaborative process respecting the unique needs and desires of each client.  

NARRATIVE THERAPY

The Narrative approach places the client as the expert on their life, and is a deeply collaborative exploration of the stories clients have about how identified concerns show up and impact their lives and relationships.  The hope is to foster curiosity and inspire clients to create space for new meanings and possibilities as they explore the influence the 'identified problem' has in their life.  Client's are encouraged to view their concerns as external and separate from them, which empowers them to challenge dominant stories, and allows clients to gain access to skills which reduce the impact the presenting concern has on their life.

Taken from: Rising Strong, by Brene Brown

Phone: 250-218-3783

Email: Sarahhoffmancounselling@gmail.com

Office Address: 2426 Rosewall Crescent, Courtenay, BC V9N 8R9

Counselling in the Comox Valley