Humanistic Counselling

As a humanistic counsellor, Matthew Sweet will encourage you to move forward in life, by taking ownership of your thoughts, feelings and actions. Find out more about how humanistic counselling can work for you here.

Matthew Sweet from Sweet Mental Health, Mental Health Support in Exeter and online

Humanistic integrative counselling

It takes courage to ask for help before starting a counselling journey. Before you do start private therapy you may notice you’ve had limited time and space to be yourself? Or you might have had hardships in life which mean few listen and even fewer get your true sense of self? There are many approaches under humanistic approach counselling which could help you more than engaging with just one modality type.

Humanistic integrative counselling will look at who you are and how experiences in life have affected the relationship with the self, others and professional pathways. You may even be a midway or late-life stage and have had the realisation that you are unhappy and would like support to change what happens next using humanistic integrative psychotherapy.


I’m a keen advocate for existentialism which explores meaning from a philosophical perspective. It works upon the complexities in your life through the human condition rather than just addressing specific problems. It’s not a techniques-based approach which, I find helpful because using techniques can sometimes hamper human interactions at a deep level.

I use interpretation and inquiry (hermeneutics and maieutics) to help you explore different perspectives; always being open, direct and respectful. To encourage exploration I follow what you disclose around moods, attitudes, feelings and intuition with gentle, but sometimes challenging dialogue.

Together we look at the possibility of change. You may wish to keep life the same or want to do things differently from now on – therapy is a good place to discuss either. We explore being in the here and now and how you feel connected with yourself. But if this is too difficult, we can break it down to understand who you’d like to be instead.

By working through your strengths you can increase your confidence to become more tolerant of anxiety when facing doubts, fears or challenging situations. But it’s always a balance. On one side we look at your strengths, talents and abilities, on the other, we must also explore the darkness within.

Existential therapy is helpful to look at questions in life to do with freedom, responsibility, purpose values and beliefs while reminding you there are limits to the human condition. This will help you find new paths, deeper passion and yearning to engage with authentic change, and you’ll regain meaning in life.

Sweet Mental Health - female on seat illustration
Matthew Sweet from Sweet Mental Health, Mental Health Support in Exeter and online

Person Centred Therapy

The umbrella term of humanistic integrative counselling incorporates ways to help you achieve your full potential also known as self-actualisation.  It helps you explore daily routines and how it feels to be you in your particular context. The therapy focuses on self-development and autonomy helping you recognise your strengths, creativity and choices in the here and now.

It is important to find a trusting and ethically sound space to open up in to witness what it means to be you. We look at all parts of your life that will incorporate understanding more to do with the whole connection you have to life. I believe this type of therapy to be helpful to focus on your self-worth and value as an individual which, can help you accept who you are and reconnect with yourself.

This is where person-centred counselling comes into a bespoke counselling session. For a good therapeutic relationship to feel beneficial there has to some core conditions. Where you the client are able to feel safe enough to be vulnerable and for the professional in the room to hold who and how you are in an empathic and congruent way. There are many ways this can present in a session. For me, a person will also show signs of connection in the body and verbal self. And, it is helpful to acknowledge how difficult this can be if you have not had space in life to be your most authentic self.

Gestalt Therapy

Further work from the Gestalt experience and type of therapy helps to meet the self with others who may have controlled or supported you. It is a relational form of humanistic integrative therapy which enables open dialogue to explore what happened, or happens in certain situations. An example would be romantic, professional and family relationships. We would take those difficulties you are experiencing and build confidence to openly express how you feel. This is a hard but cathartic part of counselling.

Humanistic integrative psychotherapy can help you with many things including if you’re feeling lost, have low self-esteem or would like to improve your wellbeing. If you’re living with specific conditions (e.g. anxiety, panic disorders, addiction, depression, OCD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) or have relationship issues you may also benefit. I find that it is a type of counselling which will take more sessions as your life has a rich and varied narrative to it.

Sweet Mental Health - person in a cape illustration

If you would like further support and advice, about my Humanistic Counselling service, contact me here, or book an introductory call. This could be a really good time to begin a private counselling experience.

Bespoke Counselling Package

50-minute Integrative Counselling sessions (weekly or fortnightly).
Online, telephone or face to face appointments in Gandy Street, Exeter.
Only £49 per session

“Through the mindfulness practice with Matt, complemented with Yoga the transformation I feel in me is just outstanding. Having readjusted my approach to me and my life as a whole, I can honestly confess to loving the ‘new’ me. Being calmer, patient, receptive and therefore realising that I achieve so much more from my day to day living is possibly the most valuable tool we can give ourself”

Kerry Godley-McAvoy, Event & Account Management, Team Army Sports Foundation

“You will not find a more professional individual than this man. Incredible listener and responder. Thoroughly trained with an immense calmness and inviting warm personality. You will meet humanity personified head on! You will feel elated when you receive help and a listening ear. Recommend thoroughly.”

Rasvinder Virdee, Torquay Photo Centre

“Matthew is kind, non judgemental and holds a level of wisdom and observance not often seen in the field of therapy. He will give you the tools you need to change your life, you just need to take the leap of faith.”

Jack Howard, Weston Super Mare