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FAQ: Psychotherapy and Counselling
Find out more about psychotherapy and how it can help you
Psychotherapy is a talking therapy that facilitates understanding into not just your thoughts, feelings and emotions but the underlying cause of how you act, think and feel in the world. As a Psychotherapist I aim to do this, first and foremost, by building a therapeutic relationship, helping us to establish a safe, non judgemental, confidential space in which to discuss your issues.
We then discuss your current emotional well being and how this impacts on the way you interact and live in the world. Attention is then turned to your past, seeing the emotional impact that these experiences have had on your well-being. Essentially, we are shining a light on your underlying unconscious thoughts and feelings in order to bring them into your conscious mind. Thus, psychotherapy facilitates awareness of, and reflection on, your thoughts, feelings and actions that would usually be hidden from our conscious mind, yet impact heavily on your life.
How Psychotherapy Helps
No matter how big or small you feel your issues are they have a significant impact on your internal well being and the way in which you perceive and interact with the world. By bringing your unconscious thoughts into awareness, it allows us to evaluate how these ways of thinking are helping or hindering your life. We can then discuss ways in which you can change your relationship to the world so as to behave, think and feel emotionally congruent. Helping you to move forward with confidence whilst allowing you to live a happier, more insightful and authentic life.
Therefore the aim of psychotherapy is to help you to:
- Discuss your conscious thoughts and feelings.
- Uncover your unconscious thoughts to see how they are impacting on your life.
- Evaluating how well these ways of being are helping you.
- Understand, and have more insight into, our thoughts and feelings.
- Discuss new ways of being.
- Making decisions which are in your best interest.
- Relieving pressure.
- Making you more insightful, reflective and self assured.
What to Expect From Psychotherapy
The therapeutic relationship is the cornerstone of psychotherapy. By entering a non judgemental, confidential and secure environment, allows a trusting relationship to develop. This relationship enables open and upfront discussion on your past, present and how you can adapt to deal with the future in a more resourceful way.
The Psychotherapy Session
Psychotherapy sessions last for one therapeutic hour (50 minutes). You can choose between ‘open ended’ (until you decide to end) or ‘time limited’ therapy (6,12, or 24 sessions). It is agreed throughout the profession that clients get the most benefit meeting with the same therapist once a week, in order to gain a sense of consistency within the client’s mental life and to bolster their self-reflective capacity.
Who Comes For Psychotherapy?
Client’s come from all walks of life, from different ages, genders and with varied pasts. What they have in common is that they recognise that something is not right or holding them back in regards to their happiness, well being and from reaching their full potential. They are actively seeking to change by looking inwards in order to understand their own unique way of being in the world, so as to learn new ways of relating to situations, others and themselves. Many of my clients come with long standing issues or in short term crisis at the mercy of their automatic thoughts, feelings and emotions’. Many feel stuck in their lives and unable to change the way they negotiate the world.
Is Psychotherapy Right For Me?
It’s hard to maintain your life and happiness with unresolved issues present in the background, shadowing your daily activities. Whether this is the first time you have had psychotherapy or have undertaken it before, it can be daunting thinking about seeing a therapist.
Fears may come to mind such as:
- How can I talk for all that time? Especially to a stranger.
- What will the psychotherapist think of me?
- Are my problems deserving enough of his attention?
- How will therapy help? And can he really help me?
- Can I trust someone I don’t know?
These are all valid concerns that many of my clients have expressed when coming to see me.
What will I talk about?
The therapeutic space is yours to use as you wish. Typically it is a reciprocal dialogue concerning your story; looking at who you are and how you have arrived at this point in your life.
There is no pressure to talk about anything in particular and we go at a pace that suits you. It’s a journey we undertake together with the aim of changing how you view and act within the world at this present time, and what you would like to change in order to be more grounded and happier in yourself.
Judgement is a topic prevalent throughout our culture. Not just the judgement of others but the judgements we place upon ourselves. Psychotherapy is different to a normal social interaction. My job then is not to judge but instead to discuss ways in which we can help change the way you feel about the issues present in your life. Your issues are just as important as anyone else’s, or even more so within the therapeutic space we share, as they are the issues affecting your life.
In regards to trust, I must stress how important the BACP code of ethics are to the profession of psychotherapy and counselling. If you feel the need please take a look but essentially the only time I, or any psychotherapist for that matter, would break confidentiality is in an event in which it was thought you would hurt yourself or hurt someone else. It is for the protection of yourself and others that this clause is within the code of ethics and I would have to think long and hard before I broke confidentiality and disclosed to another.
What Does the Therapist Do?
It is a common misconception that a psychotherapist will be giving advice, telling the client what to do in order to relieve their emotional turmoil.
As everyone’s life story is different, the way one person relates to a situation may be vastly different to the way you or another acts. A psychotherapist is more like a facilitator; not telling you what to do but taking a view on your issues or goals in order to bring unconscious thoughts and hidden emotions to the conscious mind; in order to interpret, conceptualise and formulate new ways of understanding your own process. This will aid you, in relating to and dealing with, future experiences in a way that allows you to recognise and deal with negative emotions more effectively (such as stress or anxiety).
Seeing a psychotherapist is the first step to confronting unresolved issues that may have been weighing you down for years. Psychotherapy will lead to a stronger, reflective more resourceful you whilst promoting lasting change.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me
Please also see my page on the counselling directory