What is Counselling and Psychotherapy? What is the difference?
Both terms describe a relationship in which a client seeks help with challenges they may be facing in their life. There is some overlap between counselling and psychotherapy, but generally, counselling addresses specific situations in which a client may need short term assistance in getting over a particular problem. For example, where there has been a bereavement. Counselling is more likely to be solution or goal focused.
Psychotherapy tends to be more focused on exploring longer term issues that may have their roots in family dysfunction growing up, or in old ways of relating to others.
Is adolescent counselling the same as adult counselling?
Even though adolescent counselling resembles adult counselling in many ways, there are however, marked differences. Counselling adolescents often depend on the clients’ age, development stage and individual challenges. Traditional talk therapies are not particular effective when working with adolescents. Instead experiential ways of working (art therapy, experiential therapy) are better suited to address the problem.
How does it help?
There are many textbooks written about how the counselling or psychotherapy process effects change for a client. Most seem to agree that it is through the relationship with a therapist, in which the client has space to explore her innermost thoughts and feelings, that change occurs. For some, speaking their concerns out loud, perhaps for the first time, allows them to understand themselves more clearly. For some people, it may be that being listened to and understood helps them to see their situation more clearly, and see their choices. For some, the issues that they have been struggling with may arise between the therapist and client and can be explored in a safe and non-threatening way. For some, expressing what is going on for them allows them to come to terms with what may have been too difficult to look at. Also, as a client’s awareness grows, so too does their ability to make different choices.
Why do people come to counselling / psychotherapy?
People seek counselling or psychotherapy because they are having difficulty of one kind or another in their lives. Something may have happened, a death or illness, perhaps, or a crisis in a relationship. Or it may be that they are feeling dissatisfied or that they lack meaning in their life. Some may be referred by a doctor, if they are suffering from depression, anxiety or panic attacks. Or perhaps an issue from the past has resurfaced for them in the present, childhood abuse perhaps.
But sometimes clients are just looking for someone to talk to who is not involved in the situation, who won’t judge or give advice.
How to choose a therapist / counsellor?
Look around, ask around. If you know anyone who has seen a therapist or counsellor, they may be able to recommend someone. Your GP may be able to recommend one. If you prefer to keep it private, check that the person is qualified and conforms to the ethical guidelines of a recognised professional body, such as IAHIP or IACP.
How do I know if it’s right for me?
Suck it and see! Each of us is unique and what works for one person, may not work for another. Ask for an initial consultation before committing to the process. Trust yourself. If the first person you meet doesn’t seem right for you, try another, therapists vary widely in their approach and in their personality. It’s not essential that you like each other, but it may help to make the process easier if you feel comfortable with them.
How long will it take?
Each session lasts between 50 mins and one hour.
The duration of the work varies hugely from client to client, and depends on a number of factors, including the issues to be addressed and pace at which the client wishes to work. It may take weeks or months, or if deep rooted, long term issues are being explored, perhaps years. Our objective at AnneLeigh is to help you move towards living life more fully and managing more effectively the challenges life inevitably provides.
Can you solve my problem? Can you fix me?
No. We facilitate you finding workable solutions to your problems where possible, by helping you explore the situation you find yourself in and looking at your options. We believe that you have within you the answers to your questions, and the knowing you need, even though you may not be able to see that just now. We can help you find these resources within yourself.
Some problems can’t be solved. However, in time you may learn to relate to them in a different way, so that they will seem less urgent, or less threatening.
When will we meet?
When we have agreed to work together, we will find a time and day that suits both therapist and client. Thereafter, appointments are weekly, at that time. Day and evening appointments are available.
Will I always see the same person?
Yes. It is a relationship between you and the therapist, so you will be seeing the same person. In rare circumstances, such as where an unexpected illness means a particular therapist will be unavailable for an extended period, you will be offered an option to meet with someone else.