Making the decision to approach therapy or counselling is a positive one, although you may have questions or anxiety around it. Therapy and counselling provide an opportunity to reflect on who you are, where you want to be, the way you are living and the choices you are making.
At certain points in life every one of us can feel stuck, face challenges, frustrations, a sense of dissatisfaction in the way we live our lives. Therapy and counselling offer you a private and confidential space to explore, reflect and be heard, to gain clarity, and to challenge yourself.
The therapy process can help when you want to become unstuck and gain a better understanding of your own behaviour and the issues, feelings and events that motivate them. People from any age and background can grow and change from the experience of therapy.
There is no 'wrong' time to begin.
If you are approaching therapy for the first time you may feel a little confused, daunted and perhaps anxious. To help out, below you'll find a list of frequently asked questions.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
WHAT KIND OF PROBLEM CAN I BRING TO COUNSELLING OR THERAPY?
Therapy can provide a platform to look at a variety of issues. What you may bring to therapy may be a recent, or current event, or something from your past that is affecting you in the present. Sometimes clients may not even know why they feel unsure, stuck or dissatisfied with the way they are living. Therapy and counselling can serve as a safe space to bring to light the causes of concern that often remain hidden. A large part of our work would be to explore, understand and clarify periods in life where the path doesn't seem clear.
Over many years I have worked with numerous concerns, including:
* Relationship concerns
* Work and career concerns
* Bereavement and loss
* Low self-esteem, confidence and shyness
* Adjustment issues
HOW LONG DOES THERAPY LAST?
Psychotherapy is generally open ended. However I firmly believe that you must make your own decisions about your therapy. You are free to stop therapy at the time you choose. I often encounter clients that are concerned about becoming trapped in therapy and I feel this is a very valid concern. As such, it is essential and ethical practice to regularly review our work together. An important part of my approach is to discuss how you feel your therapy is progressing, making sure out sessions are working for you.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY?
I use the term counselling to refer to brief, time-limited work, focusing on a particularly life event or difficulty. Psychotherapy work tends to be longer, and looks at your life in a broader context, including your patterns of being and personality characteristic traits.
DO YOU OFFER COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)?
Over the last ten years or so, CBT has grown in popularity and many of my clients are interested in trying this form of therapy. Through my work in the NHS I was fortunate to be trained in CBT and was able to deliver this form of therapy to many patients over a period of 7 years. CBT can be delivered as a stand alone brief therapy (often helpful in managing an episode of depression, anxiety, phobia), or combined with psychotherapy for more complex problems, over a longer period.
WILL I HAVE TO REVEAL EVERYTHING ABOUT MYSELF?
Trust is an important part of the therapeutic process. It's also a significant word to many people, especially if early relationships in our life have been untrustworthy. Learning to trust could then be a useful goal for therapy itself. As trust builds in therapy, you are likely to reveal more about yourself and then discover more. But the therapy sessions are yours and you have a right to take things at a speed with which you can cope. If things are going too fast, or too slowly, please tell me.
HOW IS THERAPY DIFFERENT FROM TALKING TO A GOOD FRIEND?
Many people find it helpful to talk to a professionally trained person, outside of their family or circle of friends. A psychological therapist has no particular personal involvement and also has experience and training in dealing with relationship and psychological issues. They are trained to listen and focus in a different way from how a friend my hear you. The therapeutic relationship allows a particular and unique depth to dialogue.
DO YOU ABIDE BY ETHICAL GUIDELINES?
Yes. I am a member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and the British Psychological Society (BPS) and I follow their ethical framework and guidelines. I also use a consultant supervisor to oversee and ensure that I am competent in work.