Counselling and psychotherapy are terms that have been used to describe unique one to one therapy where people can explore feelings and thoughts that are causing them distress and confusion. The therapeutic relationship that develops between the therapist and client, supports people to gradually find their own clarity and direction, however dark things seem at the beginning.
In therapy : -
Counsellors and psychotherapists are trained to listen, to encourage clients to look at their problems and themselves in new ways, and to support them as they travel along their own very personal journey of discovery. The skills of the trained therapist enable people to take as little or as much time as they need, to fully understand themselves and others, and to discover insight into the difficulties that have been troubling them.
Counselling can be short term and solution focused, helping clients with very specific issues. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for example, involves looking at the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour to reveal unhelpful patterns of thinking. This may necessitate the client completing tasks in between sessions which are then reviewed with the therapist. This approach can be very successful with anxiety, panic, phobias, stress and depression.
Counselling using the Humanistic approach gives clients space to work through feelings in the here and now that are causing emotional turmoil. This model is often used with bereavement and loss issues, encouraging clients to express and work with deep and difficult emotions. The humanistic counsellor helps to support clients to rebuild their lives and to find new paths to self fulfilment.
Psychotherapy is a longer process providing space for deeper exploration and reflection. This is where the psychodynamic model is helpful inviting clients to look at the relationship between things that happened in their past with the problems they have in the present. Sometimes in order to make sense of the NOW we need to examine our history. This can reveal insights into why we think and behave the way we do.
Exploring what is held within your unconscious will give you a new view of yourself and what shaped you as a person. This will help you to let go of those old self defeating patterns of thinking and behaviours that may be causing you repeated problems and enable you to make different choices in the future.
My training enables me to use one or all of these approaches depending on the needs and wishes of the client.
Both counselling and psychotherapy can be challenging, difficult and painful at times but how deep the exploration goes, and in what direction, is very much led by the client.
In my practice I always work professionally and ethically, abiding by the ethical principles laid down by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.
To read more about counselling and psychotherapy on the BACP website click bacp