The difference between counselling and psychotherapy.
Both counselling and psychotherapy provide a secure space for a client to talk through whatever is troubling them with a trained and caring listener. I view counselling as being useful for focussing on a client's immediate, or specific, concerns, and is usually short-term, whereas psychotherapy often addresses complex issues which can require more long-term, in-depth therapy. There are a number of different psychotherapeutic approaches, including: Art, Cognitive Behavioural (CBT), Gestalt, Person-Centred, and Psychodynamic Therapy, amongst others. My own approach is Humanistic and Integrative, drawing on relational and developmental psychotherapeutic theories (see below).
How psychotherapy/counselling can help.
Our life experiences can sometimes make us feel depressed, anxious or grief stricken. They can make us think that we are 'bad' and unworthy of love. And they can often encourage us to believe that we are 'stuck' in our lives and that there is no possibility of change. By talking about feelings, thoughts and behaviours with a psychotherapist or counsellor in a safe therapeutic relationship, we can take the first step to understand how we can change, and to begin to live peacefully with ourselves and with others. Being able to trust our therapist is fundamental to this healing process.
What is involved.
Psychotherapy and Counselling requires commitment from both the client and the therapist/counsellor. This commitment is often seen as 'contracting'.
My clients usually commit to engaging with the therapeutic process and our relationship. This involves regularly and punctually attending sessions; respecting mutual decisions made within the relationship (including decisions about boundaries); and bringing to my attention anything that is unclear, causing you problems, or making you unhappy.
I commit to working with you ethically and professionally and to respecting your expressed needs and choices. I also respect mutual decisions made within the relationship (including decisions about boundaries). I am clear about confidentiality issues and keep your records secure and anonymous.
How long it takes.
Some counselling and therapies are time-limited. This means that a decision is made to work for a set period of time e.g. 6 weeks, or 20 weeks. Open-ended therapy is not time restricted and usually continues until the client and therapist/counsellor decide that it is time to end. My clients and I usually decide together whether time-limited or open-ended therapy/counselling is appropriate at our initial consultation.
Finding out more.
You can find out more about counselling and psychotherapy by clicking on the following links:
Humanistic Integrative Psychotherapy
Integrative Psychotherapy is far from the 'pick and mix', or 'anything goes' approach to psychotherapy it is sometimes viewed as. My Humanistic Integrative Approach is grounded in relational and developmental psychotherapeutic theories which believe in human potential and the capacity to grow and change in positive ways.
It is my belief that humans are in a constant state of searching for meaning and structure in our lives through meaningful relationships with others, and ourselves. Neuroscientific research indicates that babies are independent social beings pre-activated to relate and bond with others from birth, and that the nature of their experiences of relationships with others influences how they relate to others as adults.
The early relationship between the child and the caregiver lies at the heart of healthy physical, cognitive and emotional psychological development. Other relational experiences as we mature can continue to either enhance or undermine our psychological health. If the latter then we become psychologically ill equipped to deal with the trauma, stress, loss, or relational difficulties that are part of being human. and we can become, amongst other things, anxious, excessively angry, depressed, phobic, self-doubting, or suicidal.
At such times we often turn to therapy to help us feel 'better' or to 'change'. For me, 'change' not about 'cure', or being 'fixed', but helping you find a balance within yourself; change "occurs when [you] become what [you are], not when [you try] to become what [you are] not" (Beisser, 1970).
My integrative approach is about helping you to integrate all of your different parts. As your Humanistic Integrative therapist I will support you as we explore your feelings, thoughts and behaviours with which you are unhappy, as well as your physical and spiritual health, so you can begin to resolve them, and feel in charge of your life. This work may be demanding, and sometimes painful, but you will always find me compassionate, confidential and committed.