COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY

Often the terms ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ are used to refer to the same process but ‘psychotherapy’ is generally used when referring to much longer term therapy, often resulting from very deep seated issues. The term ‘therapist’ is used whether referring to counselling or psychotherapy.

Counselling and psychotherapy is essentially about a relationship, usually between a client and a therapist, but often between a couple and sometimes a group and a therapist. There’s no magic involved. If the relationship is right then clients feel able to talk in confidence about whatever’s causing difficulties, knowing that the therapist will listen carefully, not make judgements and offer time and space to explore feelings and thoughts. Trusting in the therapist to ‘hold’ the pain, confusion, sadness or other feelings is key. Clients feel in time that through talking in a safe place they feel accepted and gain insight into new ways of thinking and feeling so their pain or confusion diminishes and they find hope for the future.

Counselling is about change – once clients feel ready, it is an opportunity to try out new ways of responding to the world, and especially to other people, and to gain confidence in their future.

Sometimes, because clients are thinking about painful episodes from their past, often after having ‘buried’ them for a long time, clients can feel worse initially, but this normally subsides after a short time.

Who’s suitable?

Almost everybody. We can work with children and young people up to adults of any age. We have experience of working with a number of issues including bullying, self esteem, abuse, relationships, bereavement, anger, depression, eating disorders, redundancy, ‘the big picture’.

Does it always work?

Therapy doesn’t work for everybody. It’s hard to talk about painful episodes and difficulties. It must be the right time to start this; it’s sometimes not easy to keep going.

How long will it take?

There’s no set length of time, it depends on so many factors. Sometimes one or two sessions are all it takes. For other clients more time is needed and this can vary from 4-6 sessions to many more. This will be reviewed regularly.

The first session

This will focus on the reason for therapy and on establishing an initial relationship. It’s an opportunity for both to ask questions to help decide whether both the client and therapist feel comfortable working together. If this is agreed then a ‘contract’ is discussed, covering such things as payment, times, frequency, cancellations. These details are usually itemised in a written agreement.

Sessions

Sessions last 50 minutes and are usually weekly although can be less frequent.

Ending

Each session of counselling is a choice you make. Any appointment is a commitment. However, you are free to end counselling at any time.

Further information

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
UK Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP)
It’s Good to Talk

Practitioners

Judy Evans

Mandy Squires

Helen Tennant