What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy are terms often used interchangeably to describe a range of talking therapies which can be confusing. However the most straightforward way of thinking about it is that counselling tends to focus on a single and immediate issue in your life whereas psychotherapy will focus on issues that are deep-rooted and can be linked to our past. Counselling is likely to involve a short-term fixed period of work e.g. 6 to 12 weeks, psychotherapy is usually longer term.
How do I know if counselling is for me?
It’s natural to be a little unsure initially as to whether counselling is for you. After all it can be a pretty personal issue you want to explore in the first place and the prospect of sharing this with a stranger can be somewhat daunting. It is for this reason that I suggest an initial consultation or ‘chemistry’ meeting. This allows you to speak a little about why you are considering counselling and gives you the opportunity to ask me any questions you need to about the process. If it feels right for you we would then set a mutually convenient day and time, typically on a weekly basis, on which to meet.
How does counselling work?
In my opinion there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to counselling and psychotherapy. Depending on what works best for you I may use different approaches to support your thinking. For example if you want to explore meaning and purpose in life I may draw on some existential or philosophical themes, or if you are looking for resources to manage stress and negative thinking we may explore some more CBT based techniques. This may also evolve and change during the time we work together. Whilst the nature of the counselling may vary there are however some common practices; sessions are typically weekly unless agreed otherwise and are of 50 minutes duration. All sessions are treated as confidential.
How long would I need to see a counsellor for?
There is no fixed term for counselling. It very much depends on your needs. Some people may decide to commit to 6 or 12 sessions for example, others carry on for several years if they continue to find it of value.
What if I need to cancel my session?
I operate a 48 hour cancellation policy. This means that if you advise me up to two working days in advance that you will not be able to attend a session you will not be charged. If however you cancel within those 2 days you will be liable for the full cost of the session. Subject to my availability it may be possible to reschedule a cancelled session but this must take place within the same week of the cancelled session.
What about if I need to speak with someone urgently?
Should you need to speak with someone urgently about an emotional issue then such organisations as the Samaritans offer 24 hour support and are available on 08457 90 90 90. Alternatively your local GP may be able to help.