Danielle Bottone is a counsellor in Dartford, who also works online

What attracted you to become a therapist?

I have always had an interest in psychology; how our brains work and how that impacts our behaviour. This has been a fascinating area for me which later turned into a passion after graduating from university. It wasn’t until I experienced therapy myself, that I saw the huge benefits of having a regular processing space and how potentially life-changing this can be. My own therapeutic experiences and passion for psychology led me to pursue a career in counselling and train to become a therapist.

Where did you train?

Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Academy in Bromley.

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise? 

I specialise in integrative therapy which means I ‘integrate’ different approaches to tailor my work to my client’s needs. I chose integrative therapy because I believe it provides a varied approach for clients to explore their world and acknowledges the fact that all clients are different – meaning their therapy can be tailored. Integrating modalities means clients have the freedom to explore their world in different ways, using techniques which focus on both the past and the present.

How does integrative therapy help with symptoms of anxiety?

Integrative therapy is particularly useful when working with clients who are struggling with anxiety. I find the freedom in the approach helpful for supporting clients to look at all aspects of their anxiety, from different perspectives, whilst being contained empathically.

Integrative therapy allows clients to unpick and process their difficulties, which can increase understanding of how anxiety presents in their life. Together, we get to explore what this has been like for them in the past, and what it is like now, to determine patterns and trends which might support the client to see what needs to be focused on to move forward.

In addition to processing how the anxiety is experienced, integrative therapy allows me to use methods such as psycho-education and cognitive behavioural techniques to support clients build on their strengths, and acquire tools to encourage their progress.

What sort of people do you usually see?

I see both adults and young people for counselling. Common areas of difficulty I work with are depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, cultural issues and trauma related issues.

What do you like about being a therapist?

It is a privilege to be able to sit with a client and support them to navigate some of the most sensitive and challenging parts of their life. I am inspired by my clients and their courage to take responsibility of their own healing and growth. I love being able to see their progress and sit with them through the process as they develop and grow in who they are. The relationships developed between therapist and client are so important, and I enjoy being a part of my client’s journey.

What is less pleasant?

Being exposed to difficult information repeatedly can be challenging. As a therapist, you are frequently presented with grief and distress, and the reality of suffering in the world can be a difficult notion to comprehend and accept.

How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?

I have been a member of welldoing.org for just over a year now. I have found the additional features for therapists and prospective clients useful such as the variety of articles available. I like the tailored approach used when matching clients to therapists and feel this is a unique feature.

Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?

I have a number of books in my therapy room which I often use with clients and make reference to. I suggest Calm Harm and Headspace to clients often – these are useful apps for mindfulness and grounding techniques.

What you do for your own mental health?

I love music and find listening to it very therapeutic. There isn’t a day that I don’t listen to music, so this is very important to me. I also take time out each day to have moments to myself and practise mindfulness. This helps me to stay grounded and in the present moment. I often practise mindfulness before I see my clients.

You are a therapist in Dartford. What can you share with us about seeing clients in that area? 

I work very close to the Dartford toll – this means I have a variety of clients from both sides of the river. Some of my clients live locally, whilst others work in the local area.

What’s your consultation room like?

My therapy room is bright, intimate, modern and simply decorated. I love scented candles, so the room always smells nice (or so my clients say!).

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

That therapy is for everybody! There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health, and often this can prevent people from accessing support. Therapy isn’t for life, doesn’t have to be rigid and can be tailored to the client’s needs – amazing things happen when you find the right therapist and begin to do the work.

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

I uncovered emotional legacies which ran through my family and explored how they showed up in my own life. Whilst doing this, I learned to accept my authentic self and increase my internal validation. I took away from therapy that I cannot control everything in life, and that is ok – sitting with uncertainty is an important skill to have.

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Contact Danielle here

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