Skillful Counselling

My training and therapy practice over many years and skillful counselling  has been inspired by giants such as Milton Erickson, Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell.
skillful counselling

How does Feeling Better Skillful Counselling work?

Feeling Better’s Skillful Counselling stands on the shoulders of giants.  So, I have learnt that skillful counselling cannot take months or years and has to be more than a safe place to talk. Skillful counselling must be more than counselling techniques? 

The Two propositions of my Skillful Counselling:

First, that the majority of emotional problems are a coping strategy and response to a life that is not working. And not only does this not help but actually makes the work life balance worse.

Second, what is needed therefore is to change those emotional patterns and coping strategies. And then a virtuous cycle will replace the vicious cycle, and this leads to a life that works.


These two propositions are the heart of the human givens approach. Learn more of the thinking on which they are based:

Six Skillful Counselling principles

One: Cultivate an expectancy of success

By focusing on the expectation of a good outcome, the client’s own healing capacity is activated.

Two: Understand the emotion being expressed

Human beings are emotional creatures and the emotions expressed by each client must be understood and harnessed. High emotions or arousal hides the message the emotions are trying to communicate.

Three: Clear unhelpful habits and patterns from the past

We are creatures of habit whereby emotions are easily triggered unconsciously. This can impact on our capacity to have a balanced and satisfying life and if this is the case, then these triggering has to be cleared or modified.

Four: Resolve Trauma quickly

Trauma is often present and good therapy must have the means to de-traumatise.

Five: Developing a more empowering narrative of your life

How we understand and recall our life story can define us. But this need not be permanent and unchanging. Narrative reframing is an approach to constructing a different and more empowering life story.

Six: Find your hidden resources and then strengthen them

Problem solving means taking effective action to get our essential needs met. Rehearsal and visualisations that enhance our capacity to take the right action can be essential to facilitate change.


These principles of skillful counselling are not diagnosis and treatment as understood by most mental health practitioners. No medical model is implied by these skillful counselling principles – that mental distress is an illness and should be approached as one.

Detailed diagnosis is the pretense and conceit of the psychiatric profession and many modern counsellors also. They assume that mental illness is no different from physical illness. And that there is no place for skillful counselling.

For how can diagnoses serve any purpose other than to confuse and to misdirect when there are no chemical or biological markers for any mental illness? Mental distress diagnosis is no more than descriptions of behaviours? There are no specific and clearly differentiable treatments for a diagnosis once it is made – at least none that I know?

View these YouTube videos if you doubt this:
Dr Thomas Szasz on Psychiatry
What’s Wrong with Psychiatry? A Psychiatrist Explains…
Psychiatry: An Industry Of Death 1/10
Psychiatrists on Psychiatry

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