AGC emphasises places the client first. We affirm that your own individual, personal and subjective experience is of primary importance. In this practice, clients are the experts, whose insights about themselves and their experiences are the most important. Clients at AGC will notice three things in particular:
Strengths and Solutions Focussed
While acknowledging that our problems are important, when you come to Liminality we will not only listen to and validate your concerns, but you will also be asked to focus on what things are going well, and to explore what gifts you have that you might use to get to the place you need to go. At AGC, you will not be pathologised, and we will try and steer away from labels and diagnoses. We believe you are a lot more than the problems that bring you counselling. We will encourage you to focus on wellness, to develop your strengths, to build your resilience and to focus on your hopes and dreams for the future. In other words, will encourage you to identify what is going well, to do more of it, and to build on that founIdation. We believe you already have the strengths, the skills and resources to get where you need to be.
It follows, then, that at AGC we are solutions focussed. Together we will look at what barriers and obstacles are preventing you getting to where you want to be, and then we will plan practical and achievable goals to work towards. When you have realised some practical goals then, if you wish, we look at some of the more deeper core problematic issues in your life.
At AGC, we affirm that all of us are, by definition, interpretive beings. We all have daily experiences of events that we seek to make meaningful. The stories we have about our lives are created through linking certain events together in a particular sequence across a time period, and finding a way of explaining or making sense of them. This is what we call a ‘story’. We all give meanings to our experiences constantly as we live our lives. A narrative is like a thread that weaves the events together, forming a story. We all have many stories about our lives and relationships, occurring simultaneously. For example, we have stories about ourselves, our abilities, our struggles, our competencies, our actions, our desires, our relationships, our work, our interests, our conquests, our achievements, our failures. The way we have developed these stories is determined by how we have linked certain events together. In counselling, we will sometimes ‘re-author’ or ‘re-story’ the narrative events that make up our lives on the premise that with a different story we can begin to appreciate a different meaning, purpose, and direction for our lives.
Growth as the Goal
In the world of medicine the focus has often been on disease, disability, diagnosis, and treatment. Only in recent times has this science started to emphasise disease prevention and health promotion.
The world of psychology has, similarly, been focussed upon, understanding, and treating mental conditions and diseases. This includes a constellation of unhelpful thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that most of us have to deal with at some time or another. At Liminality we employ an appropriate suite of psychotherapeutic interventions to address most psychological problems to help you get through these tough times and get you back on an even keel again. It is often the reason people come to counselling in first place: to get some help with a problem.
It is important to address disabling and disturbing problems in our lives and sometimes this involves psychotherapeutic assessment and intervention. Here at Liminality, however, we also strongly encourage our clients to move away from a problem saturated way of being. We believe that investing in counselling is also an opportunity to go beyond just getting back to "normal" (which is just a setting on a washing machine anyway!) and to begin to focus on investing in a life experience that promotes vitality, growth, courage, hope, purpose, meaning and direction. This is known as Positive Psychology. You can read more about Positive Psychology here.