Counselling and psychotherapy are both ‘talking therapies’ or ‘conversations’ with another, that attempt to help us to make sense of our lives. Their aim is to clarify those aspects of a person’s life that cause distress or confusion, or lead us to feel blocked, stuck or unfulfilled. Making sense of these difficulties enables us to make choices about those things we may wish to change and to come to terms with, or better manage, the things we cannot alter.
People come to therapy for all sorts of reasons. A significant event, such as a bereavement or relationship breakdown, may be the trigger. Or there could be a wish to identify and alter unhelpful patterns of behaviour. Sometimes there may be a general feeling of unhappiness or anxiety and a wish to understand and change these feelings.
People sometimes ask about the difference between counselling and psychotherapy. While there may often be little meaningful difference, counselling is the term generally given to a briefer form of therapy which addresses one or more specific issues. Psychotherapy is usually more in-depth, longer in duration and is a means of resolving more complex issues and gaining greater self-knowledge.
As a therapist, my role is not to diagnose or advise, but to offer you a safe, authentic and accepting therapeutic relationship, helping you to explore your feelings, understand yourself better and to find your own answers.
As an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (www.bacp.co.uk), I adhere to their Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and have regular supervision, a requirement for all practising counsellors, and undertake continuing professional development. I also have full professional liability insurance.