Counselling and Psychotherapy are 'talking therapies' - processes that involve exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts and events, often from childhood / personal history, in a structured and supportive way and with someone who is trained to do it safely.
Exploring feelings and their meanings - what they remind you of and where they originated - can help in deciding whether certain core beliefs, once held about you and the world, are no longer appropriate and can thus be replaced with alternative, healthier options.
Therapy aims for insight into difficulties and distresses, a greater understanding for motivation and change and the discovery of more appropriate ways for coping and ways forward.
Therapy can be seen as a process of self-discovery.
What do Therapists do?
- Offer an opportunity to think and talk about yourself and your concerns in a way that you often can't do with family and friends.
- Offer a place and time that is just for you to talk about those things that bother you.
- Listen to the way you feel and how this affects you and others.
- Accept the way you are without judging you.
- Help you to make the changes that you would like to happen.
- Work hard to create a good therapeutic relationship with you so that you can work well together.
- Understand that it is not always easy to talk about problems and to express feelings.
- Work with you towards improving your well being.
What can therapy help with?
Therapy has helped many people deal with emotional and mental distress, which can be experienced in many ways including:
- Anxiety or an inability to cope or concentrate.
- Inability to deal with stress or recover from stressful situations.
- Lack of confidence or excessive shyness.
- Feelings of depression, sadness, grief or emptiness.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Difficulty making or sustaining relationships, or repeatedly becoming involved in unsatisfying or destructive relationships.
- Sexual problems.
- Difficulties in coming to terms with losses such as bereavement, divorce or loss of employment.
- Eating disorders.
- Self harm.
- Obsessive behaviour.
- Panic attacks and phobia.
- Identity issues.
What you talk about in your therapy sessions is confidential. However there are certain circumstances when the therapist may need to talk to another professional - if there appears to be a serious risk of harm to you or to others. This is usually done with the client's permission and these circumstances are explained in advance - at the beginning of the therapy contract.
Therapy can be just a few sessions or it can last over several weeks and months. This depends on the individual situation.
Sessions last fifty minutes and are usually at the same time each week.