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Bigger picture: CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better now.

The therapist will… help you identify and challenge any negative thinking so you can deal with situations better and behave in a more positive way.

What to expect: CBT courses are usually brief (6-12 sessions) and often involve weekly ‘homework’ such as writing exercises and/or worksheets.


Bigger picture: Developed from psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. It involves examining your emotions, relationships, and thought patterns.

The therapist will… maintain an attitude of acceptance, and will aim to form an equal and trusting client-therapist relationship.

What to expect: Expect an emphasis to be placed on free association (sharing thoughts, words, and anything else that comes to mind) interpretation and especially transference, where feelings you experienced in previous significant relationships are projected onto the therapist and worked with/through.


Bigger picture: Integrative counselling looks at the whole person, taking into account your mental, physical and emotional needs. When you understand the causes of your concerns or triggers for your behaviour, you can confidently set goals and develop new behaviours to improve your satisfaction with life.

The therapist will… use techniques and tools from different types of therapy to tailor an individual approach for you. They will also aim to build a trusting and non-judgmental relationship that helps you develop self-awareness.

What to expect: Integrative therapy requires a substantial investment of time on the part of the client. Therefore it may not suit those who want a quick, solution-focused approach to personal development.


Bigger picture: Existential therapy is a unique form of psychotherapy that looks to explore difficulties from a philosophical perspective, focusing on the human condition as a whole. Rather than delve into the past, the existential approach looks at the here and now, exploring the human condition as a whole and what it means for an individual.

The therapist will… help you confront your anxieties and negative thoughts, enabling you to make decisions about how to live life and deal with life problems in your own way.

What to expect: Existential therapy highlights our capacities and encourages us to take responsibility for our successes. Emotional and psychological difficulties are viewed as inner conflict caused by an individual's confrontation with the givens of existence.


Bigger picture: Humanistic therapy involves better understanding your world view and developing true self-acceptance. This is accomplished partially through the development of unconditional positive regard, both from others and from yourself.

The therapist will… emphasise self-development and help you to achieve your highest potential, rather than focusing on problematic behaviour.

What to expect: Humanistic therapy tends to focus more on your current day-to-day life. It encourages people to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions.

MIRROR WATER: Can you tell us more about the Venus retrograde that’s just ended? 

Alice Bell: Venus has been retrograde since July 22nd. It happens for 40 days, and it only occurs every year and a half, so it's more major when it happens. While Mercury is all about communication, Venus is all about relationships, personal style, creativity, and finances, so those areas of your life are up for inspection during a Venus retrograde. This is why you may have heard of huge celebrity breakups happening. It meant people going through relationship changes, but it doesn't necessarily have to be bad.

Lately, researching your full chart – rather than just sun – has become more popular.
Is it possible to relate more to your moon or rising signs? 

Alice Bell: The qualities associated with rising and moon signs tend to come a little bit more easily to you – moon signs embody early childhood habits, which is how you emotionally react to things without thinking, whereas the sun is the identity you're growing into over the course of your lifetime. That can sometimes feel uncomfortable because it's challenging to learn and grow and improve and work towards developing those sun sign traits more, which is why when you're younger, you might not feel as much like your sun sign. 

MIRROR WATER: What advice would you give to someone who’s learning about astrology for the first time? Is Co-Star okay to look into? Or what about magazine-style horoscopes? 

Alice Bell: I'm not a fan of Co-Star, but the app Chani is great for seeing your circular chart pulled up – like what planets are in what houses. I also love and – those are my favourites for entering in your birth information. Then also my book, because the first section of it is like, “This is what your birth chart is, these are the signs, these are the planets.”

MIRROR WATER: What do you think are any misconceptions about astrology or horoscopes? 

Alice Bell: I would say a big one is people saying: “Oh, my horoscope doesn't make sense, so astrology is not accurate.” Everyone that has the same sign is not gonna have the same week, it’s more complex than that. First off, you should be reading horoscopes for your rising sign, not your sun sign, because the way they're written is, “I'm bringing the sign I'm talking about to the first house,” so it's the rising of the chart. Then I'm seeing where the planets are in the sky this week, and if you look at the rising, that's the same as if you were to go to an astrologer. I would tell you: “These are the transits happening, and this is what to watch out for moving forward.”

Follow Alice Bell here, and shop her book Trust Your Timing here.
Meanwhile, find out what’s going on astrologically this week here.