Counselling and psychotherapy
Counselling and psychotherapy are often referred to as 'talking therapies'. Both involve the exploration and expression of difficult feelings and experiences, some of which may have been buried for years, in a confidential and supportive environment. The work can be challenging and at times painful which is why it is important to choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and safe. Counselling is generally shorter term and involves working on agreed goals while psychotherapy involves deeper exploration and is usually longer term.
The NHS provides a limited range of psychological therapies through your local IAPT service. This support usually takes the form of 6-8 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and can be accessed via a referral by your GP. However, if you find that this support doesn't quite meet your needs or your difficulties return, you may benefit from seeking counselling or therapy from a private therapist like myself.
There are many counselling approaches and it can be confusing understanding the differences between them or knowing which would suit you best. I use an integrative approach which combines a number of counselling theories and models. The benefit of using this approach is that it pays attention to many aspects of a person's life that play a part in their present difficulties. These include early relationships and attachment patterns, family ways of doing things, beliefs and assumptions developed from experiences, losses and traumas, patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, self-protective adaptations and the effects of the wider sociocultural environment.
By adapting the therapy to your particular needs and by jointly exploring what has brought you to counselling I can help you become more aware of the different aspects of your difficulties and their particular meanings for you. Encouraging you to consider alternative perspectives and actively experiment with different ways of thinking and responding may all help you find a way forward through your challenges.