Psychotherapy and counselling are terms which describe the work between a therapist and client. Therapists use their training and knowledge to help clients find solutions to their difficulties. Sessions are generally face-to-face, in a private, secure location, and last 50-55 minutes.
I am trained in both Counselling and Psychotherapy; there is no official difference, although counselling is often used to refer to shorter term work, based on specific issues, whereas psychotherapy is often used for longer term work, incorporating complex issues, often from earlier life experiences.
I work with people who are finding life difficult in some way; it can often be a real relief to talk to someone who really listens to you, particularly when they are not involved in your life in any other way. It is because of this, that the relationship you build with your therapist is unique.
Therapy is different from talking to friends, family, work colleagues or your doctor. Therapists do not solve problems for you, or tell you what you should do, but work with your own abilities, knowledge, hopes and experience, and support you come to the best solution for you personally.
People come to therapy for many reasons; sometimes an event, such as a bereavement, can make life harder to cope with. Sometimes the reasons for feeling troubled are not so obvious. Therapy provides a safe, private space in which to explore what is going on in your life, and gives you a chance to work through feelings and emotions, to find a way through.
The time that therapy takes depends on you. Sometimes, a few focused sessions can make a real difference, but in other circumstances a longer course of therapy may be required. I discuss the most appropriate number of sessions with you at the beginning, although this may be changed by mutual agreement as therapy progresses.
During therapy you will be listened to with respect and without judgement; your sessions will be tailored to your preferred way of working, and could include creative strategies as well as the more traditional talking therapy.
There are many reasons for coming to therapy as there are people! Some of the themes that occur regularly are shown below, however, if what you are experiencing is not covered, that doesn't mean I can't help.
Loss can cover many areas. From bereavement, to the loss of jobs or relationships or loss of identity through a change in circumstances, such as 'empty nest' or retirement or a move to another country.
From earliest childhood we form ideas about ourselves based on many influences; sometimes these ideas are helpful, but at other times they can stop us from fulfilling our potential or cause us to feel hopeless or worthless.
Relationships are part of all our lives at some level; how we relate to others, and how they relate to us, can bring challenges.
Trauma can occur at any time of life and affects everyone differently; some trauma is brief, other traumas occur over a long period of time. Sometimes trauma is blocked, only to surface later in life.
The complexities of life can sometimes cause us to find unhealthy ways of coping; substance abuse, overworking, obsessive behaviours, emotional crutches, etc. These strategies may make us feel out of control, and unable to cope.
Life itself is uncertain, and when uncertainties become hard to deal with, we can be left with feelings of anxiety and panic.
Depression can occur as a reaction to a traumatic happening (such as a bereavement), or may not have an obvious trigger; anyone can suffer from depression, and therapy can help discover and explore the causes, and help to navigate through it.
Children and teenagers are learning how to navigate their way through life, and they can sometimes find this hard. It is important to find a therapist who is qualified and experienced in working with young people; as a qualified and experienced UK school teacher, as well as a member of the Children and Young People section of the BACP, I am able to offer this service.
There a numerous other reasons why you might seek therapy; please contact me if you would like to discuss your individual needs.