It might seem like common sense to think that it would be helpful to talk about our thoughts, feelings and difficulties. Most of us really value being listened to and understood by another person who we can trust is on our side. It makes a difference to how we feel and to the way we deal with our struggles. However, such a relationship is not always easy to find, especially amongst those who already think they know us well. We need a space and time where we know we will not be judged or told what to think or feel. This is where some sort of talking therapy becomes useful.

Counselling or Psychotherapy?

People come to counselling or psychotherapy for a variety of reasons.

My intention is to listen closely to whatever you bring to our sessions. I will pay particular attention to the thoughts, feelings and memories behind what you are saying. In this way I hope to make sense of whatever is causing you suffering or distress.

Counselling tends to focus on problems that have come about recently, such as a bereavement or a relationship breakdown. We try to keep the focus tightly on the problem at hand, meeting once a week for a few months. It is worth noting that people tend to use the term ‘counselling’ for any form of psychological help.

Psychotherapy (or, in its more intensive form, sometimes called psychoanalysis) works with more complex or deep-rooted problems. These may have built up over a long period of time. Generalised feelings of anxiety or sadness or a sense of a loss of meaning or purpose may take longer to disentangle. Meetings may be once or twice weekly and there is no set ending date. This form of therapy provides an intensive exploration of the personality, our ways of behaving and relating to others, and can bring about deep-seated change.

Some people in psychotherapy choose to use a couch rather than sitting face-to-face in a chair. Whilst optional, many people find that it helps them to concentrate on their inner world without being distracted.

Beginning therapy

Feeling unsure or hesitant about seeking help? This is quite normal.

An initial consultation is an opportunity for us to meet one another, get a sense of what being in therapy is like and think about whether it might be helpful to you. There is no commitment to ongoing work at this stage. We may decide to meet for a further preliminary consultation before making a decision.

If we decide to continue we will agree a fee and regular day and time to meet. This is an important part of the therapeutic process. People find that a regular time that they know is theirs gives a sense of security and continuity while they work through issues that they find troubling or confusing. good therapy.org has some useful guidance about how you might approach your sessions.

To discuss your situation or arrange a time for an initial consultation, please click here.