What is Counselling & Psychotherapy?

What is Counselling & Psychotherapy?

Counselling and Psychotherapy

Counselling and psychotherapy are general names for talking therapies. Counselling involves each person having a safe and supportive environment where they can explore their issues. Sometimes it is difficult to talk to family or friends and a counselling environment can offer a non judgemental arena where clients can not only explore but also look at their issues from a new perspective. It is difficult to pin point the differences between counselling and psychotherapy but as general rule psychotherapy is a more in-depth form of counselling over a longer period of time involving looking at and exploring your childhood as a means to gaining an understanding on difficulties you may be facing today. With both counselling and psychotherapy the relationship with me, your counsellor, is one of the most important factors for successful therapy. I can help you gain a greater understanding of yourself and those around you.

What to Expect from Counselling

A phone call or e-mail is our first point of contact; from there an initial consultation session will be arranged. Counselling takes place in designated counselling rooms, which offer a safe and confidential environment. At the first session a preliminary assessment will be carried out, this is mainly an information gathering session where I would look to find out relevant information on your general background and history that will help with your therapy. Not all clients are comfortable disclosing personal details at this point, and that is ok, my clients only need to reveal what they feel they are ready to do. At the first session contracts are discussed, this is my contract to my clients and vice versa. Each session is 50 minutes long, and I work in groups of six sessions at a time, where on the sixth session we would carry out a review together and discuss progress made so far. I like to work collaboratively with my clients and as such I offer feedback forms for every session, to ensure my clients are getting the most effective therapy.

Forms of Counselling I Offer.

I am trained as an integrative therapist, which means I am not only trained in one form of counselling, I essentially have a bigger toolbox to help my clients overcome their difficulties. I can use each of the different forms individually, all together or in whatever way suits my client the most. The main forms of counselling and psychotherapy I offer are:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Psychodynamic Therapy, Attachment Therapy
  • Humanistic, Person Centred Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is the most heavily researched of all the theories and there is a multitude of evidence for the effectiveness of CBT. The main theory of this treatment is the concept that our thoughts our feelings and our behaviours are all linked. Remember Roger Bannister and the ‘four minute mile’? Previous to Bannister breaking the record by running a mile in under four minutes it was generally thought impossible to do so. However, once He had achieved this record many others quickly went on to run a mile in under four minutes. Now, people didn’t suddenly get physically more able, they just simply had the knowledge that it could be done, and this in turn had an effect on their behaviour. It is this connection that CBT is based on. This type of therapy aims to work with the thoughts that are connected with the behaviour/feelings that you want to change, and therefore improve the way you feel. Based on research the government produced ‘NICE’ guidelines recommend CBT as an effective therapy choice.

Psychodynamic Therapy, Attachment Therapy

The roots of psychodynamic therapy lie in the idea that the way we feel and behave now are as a result of our past experiences. This type of therapy helps the client understand how our past has an effect on our present. The type of psychodynamic therapy that I work with is ‘Attachment Therapy’. This type of therapy examines the relationships we have had in our past and how these have affected our thoughts, behaviours and the relationships we are able to make now. This therapy explores our attachment styles from the past, with relevance to our current attachment styles. Are you ‘clingy’ in relationships with a fear of rejection? Do you avoid getting too close to people? Do you find you have a lot of relationships? Research shows that our past experiences in relationships will have an effect on our adult relationships.

Humanistic, Person Centred Counselling

This type of therapy is a supportive environment where clients are given the opportunity to share their concerns where they feel totally safe to do so. This therapy works on the understanding that people have the ability to grow and heal of they are given the right conditions. The therapist will be non judgemental, empathic and supportive, and therapy direction will be led by the client. Person Centred Counselling underpins all the therapy I offer.