What is Counselling - Psychotherapy?
Counselling usually refers to a brief series of appointments centred around behaviour and thought patterns. It helps people identify problems and crises and encourages them to take positive steps to resolve these issues.
Psychotherapy focuses on working with clients for a longer-term, enabling the client to gain a deeper insight into emotional problems and difficulties; looking at understanding the foundation of the problem can help to address the deeper issues and adjust appropriately. Counselling and Psychotherapy are often considered to be interchangeable therapies that can overlap in a number of ways.
Counselling / psychotherapy takes place when a counsellor/psychotherapist (therapist) sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be 'sent' for counselling / psychotherapy. By listening attentively and patiently, the therapist can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client's point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling / psychotherapy is a way of enabling choice or change. Importantly, it does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action.
In the counselling / psychotherapy sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling / psychotherapy offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. The therapist will encourage the expression of feelings and, as a result of their training, will be able to accept and reflect the client's problems without becoming burdened by them and without judging.
Acceptance and respect for the client are essentials for a therapist and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the therapist and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. The therapist may help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome. The therapist may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them.
Who comes for psychotherapy/counselling?
Psychotherapy/counselling can be useful for adults, couples, families, groups, individuals and young people.
Referral can be self-referral, or via your GP, or sometimes from work in relation to business support and management support.
What can be helped with counselling / psychotherapy?
Among the areas that can benefit from working with a counsellor/psychotherapist are:
· Abuse (emotional, physical and sexual)
· Ageing issues
· Anger problems
· Bereavement and loss
· Crises· decision-making
· Divorce and separation
· Eating disorders
· Family worries
· Health issues
· Life exploration and midlife crisis
· Loss of confidence
· Post-traumatic stress
· Psychosexual problems
· Relationship problems
· Self-esteem issues
· Sexual identity
· Sleep problems
· Spiritual journey
· Transitions in life
· Work-related issues
Ways of working
Counsellors and psychotherapists may work with clients face to face, one on one, in groups or in some circumstances online or by phone. As well as telling your story and exploring issues through talking and listening, there are many different mediums in which to work and express oneself; within the therapy room the following options may be explored:
- Art therapy
- Poetry / Creative writing / Journal and diary work
- Bodywork / Body mapping
- Creative visualization / Guided visualization
- Voice work / Breath and sound work
- Family sculpting / Sand tray work
- Time-line diagrams
- Internal Family Systems Therapy (click here for more information)
Code of ethics and practice
Therapists are professionally accredited, academically qualified and abide by the codes and ethics of their professional bodies, including confidentiality. They have regular supervision and where appropriate have been fully checked by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, ACT and Mindfulness Therapist
Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist
Psychotherapist and Counsellor