Therapy takes place when a Counsellor/ Psychotherapist meets a client in a confidential
setting to explore, understand and hopefully resolve the difficulties the client
is having. He or she may be experiencing emotional distress or perhaps a general
dissatisfaction with life, or maybe a loss of a sense of direction and purpose.
There is a good deal of overlap between these 'talking therapies' and the skills
used are very similar. Both can help to deal with personal difficulties in new and
different ways. Counselling tends to be fairly short term with the focus on specific
current life problems whilst Psychotherapy tends to deal with more long standing
personal issues or recurring themes. However it is rarely possible to make a clear
cut distinction and my first priority is always to make sure the help I can offer
will be appropriate for the individual concerned. For this reason the first session
is always an informal introductory one with no obligation on either side. If at this
stage I believe therapy is not likely to be beneficial, I will endeavour to suggest
other more suitable referral options.
In the sessions the client is gently encouraged to explore their various concerns,
hopefully talking about them freely and openly in a way that may not feel possible
with family or friends. The therapist aims to provide an impartial and non-judgemental
atmosphere in which this exploration can take place. Frequently new understanding
and different perspectives emerge from this process as a result of therapist and
client working collaboratively on the material being discussed.
In some cases unexpressed or 'bottled-up' feelings such as anger, hurt, sadness,
disappointment and worry can feel very intense and difficult to contain. An opportunity
to express them in a safe place can help reduce the pain caused by them often leading
to a greater sense of clarity and a positive way forward easier to see.
In other situations positive change may emerge from thinking differently about a
situation or deciding to make behavioural changes.
Although therapy is largely about finding one’s own way through life’s difficulties,
I tend to work very actively in the sessions ensuring clients feel relaxed and at
ease in talking about themselves. If appropriate I play an active role in offering
observations and making suggestions so that the experience is hopefully one of teamwork.