Frequently Asked Questions
What is therapy?
Therapy provides a safe, confidential space in which you can explore whatever it is that's troubling you. It is different from talking to a friend or colleague because it is a contractual agreement that sets out times, dates, costs and number of sessions etc and therapists work within an ethical framework which guides and informs how they practice. The sessions are protected by rules around confidentiality meaning you can feel safe talking about anything without worrying about people around you finding out (see section on confidentiality and it's limits). Therapy also differs from talking to a friend because we don't give advice or come up with solutions. Therapy assumes that the client is the best person to decide what's best for them but it does provide the space and support to uncover what this might be.
What is the difference between psychotherapy & counselling?
I use the term therapy to describe both counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling is usually shorter term and is often more solution focused. Psychotherapy is longer term and looks in depth at the underlying patterns in your current life relationships. What you choose depends on your specific needs and what you would like to achieve from the work.
Who is psychotherapy or counselling for?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it.
How should I choose which therapist to see?
It is important you choose a therapist who you feel comfortable with and who understands you. The therapeutic relationship is the relationship between the client and therapist. This relationship is kept safe and confidential by means of professional boundaries, and it provides you with a warm, compassionate and respectful space to explore your most difficult issues. Therapy can sometimes be challenging as we encounter our own blind spots, so it is important to feel understood and supported by your therapist.
How does psychotherapy & counselling work?
Research indicates that counselling and psychotherapy is effective for depression, anxiety and stress-related ailments by focusing on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. It involves self-reflection, self-examination and the use of the relationship between therapist and client as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient’s life. Inner contradictions and emotional blind-spots are gently revealed and resolved. Psychotherapy sets in motion psychological processes that lead to ongoing change even after therapy has ended (Shedler, American Psychologist Journal, Feb 2010).