Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
Sometimes the two terms are used to mean the same thing and they do have similarities. Both are talking therapies dealing with emotional issues but psychochotherapy is usually more in-depth and deals with the underlying issues with a greater emphasis on developing insight in order to bring about change. With 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. Training to become a psychotherapist therefore takes longer than for counselling. The governing body for psychotherapists is the UKCP.
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. Sometimes when clients start to talk about feelings and disturbing events in their past they experience unsettled and sometimes disturbing feelings but this soon passes and does not always happen.
Psychotherapy may be challenging at times but ultimately should only be beneficial.
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 a 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.
What is having psychotherapy like?
I think it is a bit like clearing out your attic! You may know something is troubling you, just like you know there is something in the attic that needs clearing out. You examine it more closely and may find that you no longer need it or that you want to rearrange it and keep it. While you are doing that you may notice other things in the attic, maybe other things that are troubling you so you start to look more closely at them. So I think therapy is a bit like clearing an attic, you take various things out, examine them, either discard them or fold and pack them neatly and put them back.
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.
Where to find me
Location Ealing W5
Central Chambers W5 2NR
My address is 33 Central Chambers, 1-10 The Broadway, Ealing, W5 2NR
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