Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy
2. Is therapy for me?
3. Am I the right therapist for you?
4. How does therapy work?
5. How long does therapy take?
6. What happens in the initial session?
7. Why have weekly sessions?
8. Is what we talk about confidential?
9. What happens if I need to cancel a session?
10. How do I book a telephone conversation or an initial session with you?
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
There is no agreed upon answer regarding the difference and often the terms are used interchangeably. I refer to both as therapy. Both counselling and psychotherapy are known as talking therapies and help people to explore their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a safe environment. With my training and experience I am able to provide both short-term and long-term/open-ended therapy.
The term counselling is often used for short-term (usually lasting around 12-24 sessions) work, focussing on specific and present issues such as grief, life changes and stress.
The term psychotherapy tends to refer to long-term/open-ended (from a number of months to years) work, which is helpful if you would like to take the time to reflect on your life experiences more deeply. If you feel that you have a number of issues to work on or your difficulties have come up in your life over many years, open-ended therapy could be a suitable option for you.
Is therapy for me?
People come to therapy from different backgrounds and for many different reasons. Whether you are clear or not on the issues you want to work on, therapy can be a very useful way of exploring difficulties in a safe environment with the support of a professional trained to listen and to respond insightfully and without judgement. If you would like to develop better self-awareness and confidence, resilience to manage your emotions and situations better, relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve your relationships, then therapy could be helpful for you.
Am I the right therapist for you?
From my experience I believe that within a supportive and caring relationship people can heal and grow. My aim is to help you explore your difficulties and how to best be yourself. I pay close attention to the quality of our relationship and offer a warm, sensitive and honest way of being within professional boundaries.
As the quality of the relationship between client and therapist is key to successful therapy, it is important you find someone you feel you can connect with and feel able to open up to, although this often develops over time. The best way to find out if I am the right therapist for you is to meet me in person.
If you are thinking of working with me, please get in touch. I am happy to answer any questions you have and I offer a free 15 minute telephone conversation to help you decide if you would like to meet me for an initial session. You can email me to request a call or to set-up a session and I will respond to you within 24 hours to arrange the date and time. Coming to an initial session can help us both decide if we would like to work together, but there is no obligation for you to continue.
How does therapy work?
Having therapy offers you the opportunity to set aside regular time to focus on yourself away from the everyday distractions of life so that you can reflect and develop new insights on your thoughts and emotions that you might otherwise struggle to gain without this time. Whilst therapy cannot change the past, it can help you to make sense of how your experiences have influenced you. Through exploring your challenges you can gain more self-awareness and self-acceptance, which may help you to feel more empowered to make more informed decisions about your life.
Having a non-judgmental, safe and confidential space to work through what is troubling you with someone trained to listen and respond in a skilled and empathic way can be incredibly healing and liberating. While the process can be challenging at times, with commitment and the support of your therapist the rewards can be life changing.
How long does therapy take?
The length of time you need will depend on your individual circumstances, for example:
- •The issues that you would like to explore
•What you would like to get out of therapy
•How much time you can commit to working on your issues
Long-term work can help people to look at more deep-rooted issues and engrained patterns so they can make lasting changes to their lives.
The length of time is something we would discuss in our first session and review regularly as we go on, to ensure it is meeting your needs. You can stay in therapy for as long as you find it useful and of course you can stop at any time you wish.
What happens in the initial session?
The first session gives us an opportunity to meet and explore why you are coming to therapy, what you would like to gain from it and how we might work together. I may also gather relevant background information that might be useful for me to know.
You can also ask me any questions you feel might help you to get a feel of how I work and what the therapy process might involve. I will also go through my policy on confidentiality and cancellations. If we decide that we would like to work together, we would then enter into a therapy agreement and arrange a start date and regular time.
Coming to an initial session can help us both decide if we would like to work together, but there is no obligation for you to continue after the first session.
Why have weekly sessions?
Sessions last for 50 minutes and occur weekly on the same day, time and place. Having regular weekly sessions helps to ensure that you are prioritising your emotional well-being and growth. It also allows a trusting relationship between client and therapist to develop which will support you in opening up and learning more about yourself. During our work together I will regularly check with you on how you feel we are doing together, to ensure you are getting the most out of sessions.
Sometimes coming to therapy may feel like hard work and you may experience discomfort, this is not unusual when dealing with painful feelings and can sometimes be a sign that internal change is occurring. Attending regular sessions helps to ensure that you are supported and are able to work through painful experiences safely.
Is what we talk about confidential?
Everything we discuss will remain confidential, however I have a legal obligation to share information if, for example, you intend to harm yourself or others. Where possible I will attempt to inform you about this first.
I am a member of the UKCP and work according to their ethical principles, which includes having regular supervision with a senior accredited therapist. This means that I will discuss some of what we talk about in our sessions, however what we discuss is kept confidential and I will not disclose your name or anything which could identify you.
What happens if I need to cancel a session?
I require a minimum of 48 hours' notice to cancel a session. If you cannot attend your regular session I will try to offer you an alternative date/time during the same week. However, when this is not possible the full fee will be payable.