If you’re a member of the public looking for a psychotherapist you’re entitled to know what stands behind the HTA ‘brand’, what sets us apart.
As HTA members we:
- respect and treat the client as a whole person, not as a symptom or diagnosis;
- engage the client’s innate tendency for personal growth in the therapeutic process;
- recognise the client’s healing process as in essence a sacred task worthy of deep respect.
In order to undertake this therapeutic work, HTA members have undertaken rigorous training of a very specific nature, that:
- engages them in a process that not only instills key practical skills but also
- is personally transformative in nature, releasing their healing capacities, and which
- develops their ability to form the high quality client-therapist relationships that underpin their effectiveness as professional practitioners.
By the time we enter adolescence, the person we believe ourselves to be is usually based on ideas we have created unconsciously that allow us to meet the expectations placed on us by our family, culture and society. This is all a necessary part of negotiating the early part of life, providing us with a sense of security and direction. But it involves adopting beliefs that conform with the expectations of others, often at the expense of our own unexplored potential. In short, we learn to live in a way that is not our own choosing, and the consequences of this are many and varied throughout adulthood. For example, we may develop deep seated, unjustified beliefs about ourselves, unquestioned and self-defeating assumptions about various aspects of our lives, including our self image, relationships, employment and financial security, poorly adapted ways of relating to others, such as authority figures, colleagues, friends and partners. Overall, this may leave us feeling out of place in one or more aspects of our lives and perhaps unable to respond flexibly to change or new challenges that confront us. We may also be aware, at a deeper level, of feeling inauthentic in some undefinable way.
Often in our everyday lives it is difficult to recognise the stories we have unconsciously created about ourselves. Transpersonal Counselling and Art Therapy utilise approaches that safely bypass defence mechanisms to shine a light on some of the most deeply hidden aspects of the psyche. Here, we may access the memories, perceptions and beliefs that form our personal mythology, discovering elements that were once valid but now get in the way of living a conscious and fulfilling life.
It is possible to unravel these myths by employing talk-therapy techniques, and while HTA members utilise methods that support this process they also have access to a range of holistic practices that can tap into, explore and express the mental and emotional undercurrents that hide beneath the surface of our daily lives. In essence, images arising from the subconscious are given energy, context and meaning either through contemplation or in a creative artistic form. For example, these practices include drawing, painting, sculpting, sandplay, role play, ritual, dreamwork, guided visualisation and meditation, to name a few.