People come to counselling and psychotherapy for a variety of reasons, and to achieve many different things. Generally speaking, counselling involves shorter term work and can be more focused in terms of problem solving, understanding and dealing with difficult events, and supporting changes in thinking, feeling and behaving. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, tends to be a longer term process that can focus on identifying emotional issues and understanding some of the background to problems and difficulties.
People tend to identify their reasons for coming to counselling and psychotherapy in one or more of the following ways:
When people broadly understand that they want some sort of change, but do not necessarily know what the issues are, or indeed what to do about them. For example, someone might be experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, anger – have a vague sense of how and why these feelings have emerged, but are unable to make connections in a way that brings relief or provides meaning. For a couple, one or both partners might have noticed an increased lack of understanding, an inability to discuss problems, or be experiencing feelings of persistent anger, ‘neediness’ or isolation in the relationship.
When people know what it is they want to change or have a firm sense of how they would like their lives to be different. For example, overcoming an addiction, dealing with a fear or a phobia, reducing stress and anxiety, or building confidence. For a couple, one or both partners might have a clear idea of what is putting a relationship under strain: lack of love, affection, intimacy, sexual differences and difficulties, affairs and betrayal, or specific negative behaviours and patterns of relating.
When people can identify internal distress, such as sadness, anger, depression or anxiety, and have a general need to ‘feel better’. The type of holding environment I offer can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with the pain of loss, separation, divorce and endings.
Growth and Discovery
When people have a sense of wanting ‘more for themselves’. People might not necessarily be experiencing distress, but come to therapy for reasons of self-development. For example, someone might want to increase awareness of how they operate in the world in order to make more informed decisions about future direction and goals. One or both partners in a couple might feel content in the relationship, but may want to seek help in developing ‘maintenance strategies’ or explore ways of increasing intimacy in a safe, supportive, non-judgemental space.
Qualified as both a counsellor and a psychotherapist, I work with a variety of issues with people from all backgrounds on a short, medium or long term basis, depending on need. I work with individuals, couples and I also run a therapy group.