Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

What happens in therapy


counselling photo

What happens in therapy

I have been a therapist in private practice since 2009 and have come across a variety of people with different problems and troubles. Counsellors and therapists may have similar training but we all have our own particular style and that is why it is important to feel at ease with the person you choose to reveal your personal issues to.

My personal approach is collaborative – what I mean by this is I see the ‘relationship’ between me and my client as a joint effort. Kind of like holding hands and walking down the road together. I guide the client but they do all the work. Most of my sessions are light hearted and we often have a giggle when appropriate. My sessions focus on empowering the client and helping them to uncover where they are getting stuck in life.

Of course, certain ethical boundaries should always be in place such as not engaging in a romantic relationship with a client – this is a big NO-NO. Nor should a therapist have a secondary relationship with a client, for example – where the therapist and the client are school governors together.

I practise cognitive behavioural therapy mostly and this focuses on how we perceive what is happening to us as opposed to what is actually happening to us. What are we telling ourselves about what is happening in our lives – do we have many negative thoughts that make us unhappy? Do we have many wrong assumptions about life? CBT looks at the inner monologue and gets us to challenge ingrained way of thinking that may no longer works for us anymore. CBT deals mainly with current issues but does look at relevant issues from the past as well.

An example:  life event: a person loses their job.

Person A’s perception: This is awful. I will never find another job. I am ruined.

Person B’s perception: I’m not overjoyed about losing my job but this is an opportunity to find a job that possibly pays better and one that is closer to home.

Which person is more likely to feel happier? No doubt Person B will fare better despite the fact that the same event has happened to them both. What you think about life affects your emotions and this in turn influences your behaviour and the negative cycle continues.

The therapy room is a rare example of a safe place where you can completely focus on yourself and have someone listen who is non judgemental and has your best interests at heart. It’s a pretty fantastic experience, one I would definitely recommend!

Mandy X




Photo by Joe Houghton