Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?

Both are talking therapies but generally, counselling is concerned with a specific contemporary issue such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, redundancy etc. Psychotherapy tends to look at longer standing issues and patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour. It is broader in scope and sometimes longer in duration as issues may stem from past events such as experiences in childhood. Counselling works towards helping the person overcome the obstacles that prevent their development and personal growth, psychotherapy aims to help the person re-organise their internal world and their personality. Two different scopes, but each with its own validity, usefulness, recognition and field of work and both share common characteristics.

What is the difference between psychiatry and psychotherapy?

Psychiatry is traditionally the diagnosis and treatment of illness and frequently involves drug therapy combined with talking therapy. Psychiatrists are professionals who have been to medical school and undertaken specialist training in psychiatry, developing the skills for the diagnosis of and treatment of mental disorders. They are able to prescribe medicine to help regulate symptoms related to mental illness as well as sometimes make use of psychological interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for treatment. Psychiatrists often work in institutional settings such as psychiatric wards and as consultants in the health service or private practice.

Is psychotherapy the same as psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is the same as psychotherapy in as much as they are both types of talking therapy. Psychoanalysis, as created by Freud, predates psychotherapeutic systems such as Humanistic, Integrative, Existential, Behavioural and Cognitive and focuses on the principle that much distress has been caused by events in early life of which we are no longer aware.

What kind of psychotherapy do you practice?

As a qualified psychotherapist and counsellor, I provide caring, professional and confidential counselling and psychotherapy in a professional, safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment. I am trained in a variety of counselling and psychotherapeutic methods, including:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • Person-Centred Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Relationship/Couples Therapy

I do not make any assumptions and you will not be judged, I believe that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect and compassion.  I work on the basis that:

  • everyone has the capacity to think and feel
  • people make decisions (mostly unconsciously) as they go through life that affect how they think, feel and behave
  • you can change those decisions that are no longer useful to you and change the way you think, feel and behave for the better
  • you do not have to let the past dictate your future; whatever has happened in the past, you can determine how your life is and will be from now on.

When we first meet I will carry out a full assessment, listen and take the time to understand your situation to ensure that you get the type and level of support that’s right for you. People seek support for many different reasons and everyone is unique.

Prior to becoming a psychotherapist I have a background in human resources, coaching and management in large organisations, so I have a good understanding of the pressures of working in these environments.

I strongly believe that one size does not fit all, so I will draw on whatever methods are appropriate to your individual situation, personality, issues, wants and needs.

What happens in a session?

I will listen to you without judgment and help you to explore your thinking, feelings, beliefs and behaviour around an issue, so that you feel safe and supported to experiment and make any changes you feel would be helpful at a pace that is right for you.

At the outset you may or may not have a clear idea of what specific changes you want to make; to begin with you may simply want to talk about how you are feeling, what’s happening for you right now and feel listened to and accepted – and that’s OK.

It will probably just feel like a conversation from your point of view, but in starting counselling, CBT or psychotherapy, you are embarking on a journey of discovery and change.

Along the way you may gain new and useful insights, discover new ways of thinking or feeling about your life experiences or relationships, experiment with new behaviours or learn new strategies to help you cope better with the challenges you face.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions you may need will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • the issues you are experiencing
  • how severe and long-standing these issues are
  • what you want to get from the process, and
  • the pace you are comfortable to work at – it is important to go at a pace that’s right for you. Sessions are usually scheduled weekly and are 50 minutes for individuals and 60 minutes for couples.

Most people find it helpful to book a regular appointment (i.e. so you would attend on the same time and day every week), that way your appointment slot is guaranteed.

I appreciate that sometimes people need more flexibility to book appointments at different times from week to week as their family or work commitments may vary. I will be as flexible as I can, however the degree of flexibility will depend on what’s available in my diary at any given time so please ask about this when we speak if it is something you are likely to need to do.

Either approach works, so long as you are committed to attending regularly – the important thing is to find a way that suits you and enables you to attend counselling on a regular weekly basis.

How much do you charge?

Please contact me to discuss. Payment can be made by bank transfer, cash or cheque.

What happens next?

To find out how I can help, please telephone me on 01604 901201 or 07778 969934 or email me for an informal discussion.