What is Counselling and Psychotherapy?
Counselling and Psychotherapy provide an opportunity for you to work towards living in a more satisfying way with respect to your own unique qualities and
circumstances. You may wish to resolve problems, make difficult decisions or come to terms with changes in your life. You may seek to understand why you behave in certain ways that repeatedly leave you feeling dissatisfied, and seek to learn to behave differently. You may feel that you are always putting yourself down and want to develop your sense of self- esteem and confidence.
In psychotherapy, clients can and do address past experiences and traumas more directly, in order to achieve deeper healing and resolution of current symptoms. Generally psychotherapy involves a greater commitment in both time and emotion.
What will we do as Counsellors and Therapists?
We will listen and seek to understand the problem or concern you present from your point of view. We will accept you with respect and will not be critical or judgmental. We will encourage and help you to make clear what you want to achieve in positive, realistic and measurable terms. We will discuss with you how you can bring this about and make agreements with you about the role that you want us to take in helping you. We may offer you different ways to think about yourself and your life and we may mirror back to you behaviours that you engage in that are self-destructive or negative. We will not give you advice or tell you what to do. We cannot solve your problems or make you well, only you can do that, but we will be committed to working with you to help you to achieve your own goals for as long as we remain in a contracted helping relationship.
Who comes to Counselling and Therapy?
Anyone going through a time of personal difficulty, being worried, depressed or anxious and not understanding why. We all go through crises in our life; often we manage to resolve them or adjust healthily to them, but sometimes we find this impossible and we are left feeling helpless and unable to cope, while there's come with clear goals or simply wanting to solve specific problems or to understand themselves and their relationship better. Yet others come with long established concerns such as personality disorders, eating disorders, physical symptoms (e.g. migraine), obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc. If we think you can be helped by another form of assistance (e.g. a support group, financial advice, your GP) then we will tell you.
What will I have to talk about?
Whatever you choose that seems to you relevant. These may be things that are happening now or things from your past or childhood. It will be important that you are as open and honest as you can be; and that you are open to, and willing to express, the internal resistance's that you feel when talking about yourself and your relationships, for these might hold the key to resolving your difficulties.
How many sessions will I need?
This will be discussed and agreed between us. Generally once a week is desirable as this gives time for reflection on the work between sessions without too long a break in our working relationship.
Sessions normally last for one hour, but longer sessions may be desirable if you are travelling long distances. Times and frequency are a matter of agreement between us. The number of sessions will depend on the nature and complexity of the problem or concern. Sometimes one or two sessions is sufficient or work may continue over several weeks, months or even years.
Who else will know?
What is shared in counselling and psychotherapy is strictly confidential. Even the fact that you attend is kept confidential. However there is an exception; We have a professional obligation to have our work supervised to ensure that we are working ethically, competently and in your best interest. Our supervisor is also bound by a code of confidentiality. Your full consent would be necessary for your therapist to use any material in relation to your history. If you give us any information that seems to indicate and immediate threat to your life or health, or anybody else's then we reserve the right to take appropriate action.
Can my partner come too?
Yes, if yours is a problem that relates to both of you. But we would not work with you both as separate clients without an agreement to share whatever was talked about.
Choosing a Counsellor?
Personal recommendation from someone you respect is helpful but not always possible. In any event it is always wise to check a counsellor or therapist's training, experience, qualifications, and supervision arrangements. In addition you can also check they belong to a recognised Professional Association with a code of ethics and practice. A good counsellor will welcome and encourage you to ask relevant questions and to seek information. Finally the best judge of whether a counsellor/therapist is right for you is yourself. Do you like their manner towards you and could you be completely open to them about intimate issues? Do you feel respected and safe with this person? Are they open and clear about the business side of the arrangement? Trust and listen to your intuition.
Currently anyone can set up as a counsellor or psychotherapist in this country, but most reputable practitioners study and train to become accredited or certified by a recognised Professional Association.
What will it all cost?
Counselling and Psychotherapy starts from £35 per person per session.