Alan Crawford Counselling

Counselling, Psychotherapy & Meditation

My Approach

My Philosophy

I practice Counselling from a Person-Centred foundation, underpinned by an interpersonal and existential frame of reference, and by the influence of my Zen Buddhist meditation practice with an emphasis on relational depth and therapeutic presence.

I am most inspired by the work of Carl Rogers, Rollo May, Irvin Yalom and James Bugental.

My humanistic, Person-Centred foundation has imbued in me a deep respect and trust in the autonomy, uniqueness, and inner resources of each individual. This approach is at the heart of all I do. My aim is to help each person achieve his or her goals and to realise their full potential – to become the person he or she wants to be.

I truly believe that we each possess within ourselves everything that we need to live full, fulfilling and satisfying lives… and that, beyond whatever difficulties we may be experiencing right now, there is an underlying state of wholeness (or health), that is potentially available to all of us.

Sometimes we just need a gentle, caring companion and guide to help us to see our own potential and find our way.

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I am often moved by the courage and resilience of the human spirit, and our ability to overcome adversity. I work from a perspective which recognises that everyone has the potential to heal, grow and flourish, given the right conditions for growth.

I aim to offer you these conditions in our therapeutic relationship – non-judgemental, unconditional acceptance and compassionate caring, empathic understanding and genuineness. This relationship allows you a safe space for exploration and healing.

It is the relationship that heals” (Irvin Yalom)

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I do not believe it is beneficial to hide behind a professional facade. Instead, I hope to be able to meet you at relational depth, that is, to form a meaningful connection with you and an authentic encounter between two human beings that support your growth and healing.

Therapy at its best invites “a profound contact” in which we are “both fully real” with each other (Mick Cooper). I therefore strive to be fully present and fully human with my clients.

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Therapeutic Presence

Inspired by my Zen Buddhist meditation practice and by the work of James Bugental and Shari Gellar, I strive to be fully present and ‘in the moment’ with my clients as much as I can. “A therapists’ presence provides an invitation to the client to feel met, understood, and safe which allows movement towards natural wholeness”. (Shari Gellar)

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Existential Frame of Reference

Inspired by the work of Irvin Yalom, my approach to counselling is underpinned byan existential frame of reference. It is Yalom’s “…primary clinical assumption…that basic anxiety emerges from a person’s endeavours, conscious and unconscious, to cope with the harsh facts of life, the ‘givens’ of existence.”

As such, I strive to practice therapy in a way that is aware of and sensitive to the existential dilemmas that lurk beneath our everyday concerns. How do we come to terms with death and impermanence? How do we find a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives? How do we come to terms with the responsibility of our freedom to make our own choices and with the limits imposed by life on our choices and what we can and cannot control?

I believe exploring such issues in the context of therapy can be illuminating and empowering.