Frequently Asked Questions
How does Counselling differ from Psychotherapy?
Sometimes the two terms are used to mean the same thing but in general counselling focuses more on specific problems. In psychotherapy you are more likely to consider aspects of your past, especially your early life, to see how this has affected you in the present and the changes you make are likely to be more fundamental.
What is meant by an Integrative Approach?
There are many different approaches to therapy and they all have degrees of success. The Integrative approach looks at the common factors of positive outcomes in these different approaches and research has shown that the most important factor in ensuring successful therapy is the relationship between client and therapist. The client needs to feel they can trust the therapist, that they will not be judged, that they will be respected and heard and this underpins my Integrative approach. In addition the Integrative approach acknowledges that we are embodied beings, and our emotions, thoughts, feelings and physical state are all connected. If we are suppressing our emotions we may find ourselves getting tummy aches or headaches. To have a sense of well being we need integration between between all aspects of ourselves.
Are there any side-effects of psychotherapy?
Research tends to show that people who address their mental health needs also become physically stronger.
Do you think what happens in our childhood is important?
I do believe early experiences are important, especially when it comes to our emotions and how we feel about ourselves. Research in neuroscience has shown how our earliest interactions influence how we are able to regulate our emotions and our ways of being in the world and with others. Our sense of self, who we are develops from our earliest relationships with our first caregivers, this does not mean this cannot be changed but sometimes we get stuck in patterns of relating that helped us when we were young but now hinder us. Therapy can help us through this.
What can I expect from my first visit?
Your first visit will give you a chance to get a sense of whether you feel you would like us to work together. It is important that you feel comfortable and safe. It will also give us an opportunity to discuss the kinds of changes you are looking for in your life.
How often will I have to come for sessions?
Most people come for sessions once a week and the sessions last for 50 minutes. The number of times you come will be up to you but I would recommend an absolute minimum of six. It can take time to get used to the experience of counselling or psychotherapy and it can take a while for genuine change to occur.
I have heard that sometimes counselling and therapy can be upsetting, is this true?
Often during sessions people will remember painful or difficult experiences and feelings and for a time they may feel upset after sessions but this can be an important part of the process of change and rarely lasts for long.
Why should someone see a counsellor if they have friends and family around?
It is always good to talk to family and friends but sometimes we hold back from saying what we really feel because we worry about what they may think or worry that we may upset or alarm them. Because they will have known you for a while, family and friends may have certain expectations about what you should and should not do. The experience of talking with a counsellor in a private and confidential space can be very freeing and comforting.
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