Talking to someone who gives you their total attention and empathy can help you see yourself and your situation more clearly. It can release you from being alone with difficult or confusing thoughts and feelings. Seeing them in a new light can clarify them and help you see a way through, and may enable you to work out what—and how—you want to change.
It may also help you come to terms and cope more effectively with those things you cannot change.
In counselling, the process of talking through sensitive or painful issues can help restore a sense of order in our minds. This can significantly reduce anxiety levels. Having things clarified by a skilled listener can in itself bring relief and a fresh understanding. Hearing the therapist's perspective can also make us think about ourselves and our situation differently.
In psychotherapy, a more sustained process of addressing underpinning patterns of behaviours, feelings and thoughts is appropriate. This may include an active exploration of relationship patterns that are being played out between the client and the therapist.
In the safety of the therapeutic relationship we therefore have a rare chance to understand ourselves better in relationship. Such work can give a person important choices in how to be and behave differently. It may lead to more satisfactory and constructive ways of relating to others, and with themselves.
As a psychotherapist I have training & experience in the following areas:
- Anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Relationship difficulties
- Trauma, sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Different forms and experience of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Depression and bipolar disorder
- Alcohol, drugs & other addictions
- Personality disorders, including, for example, emotional stability disorder
The website How Can Counselling Help me? shows how counselling helps address different issues.
How long does counselling or psychotherapy go on for?
In my experience about 75% of the clients I work with complete between 5 and 15 sessions, on average. This can be regarded as short to medium term therapy.
About 25% of the people I work with will have upwards of 20 sessions, sometimes working for over a year or more, which can be regarded as long-term therapy.
In addition to regular feedback in each session, periodic reviews take place every 5-6 sessions to assess progress. This allows the course of therapy to be checked and discussed openly so that both the client and counsellor know where the therapy is going and what the goals are in the process.