ABOUT COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

Counselling and psychotherapy both aim to provide a supportive space in which you are able to talk in confidence about yourself and come to a better understanding of your actions and reactions.

Different people come with different requirements, but the underlying purpose is to enable you to find more satisfying and fulfilling ways of living your life.


Counselling or Psychotherapy?

Many people feel confused about the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy. In my view the two overlap considerably.

However, counselling tends to be for a shorter length of time and to deal more with specific here-and-now issues such as bereavement, relationship difficulties, post traumatic stress, etc

Psychotherapy tends to be a longer term commitment, dealing with ongoing life or existential issues to do with our way of being in the world, recurrent patterns of behaviour and difficulties in relating.

Obviously these two descriptions are general and both categories of issues are likely to arise in either counselling or psychotherapy.


Issues that might be addressed in counselling or psychotherapy include:

* Issues of confidence and self-esteem
* Relationship difficulties
* Difficulties with repeating or habitual behavioural patterns
* Bereavement
* Depression, anxiety or other mood difficulties
* Post Traumatic Stress Issues
* Crisis Support
* Anger Management
* Stress Management
* Issues of racial, ethnic and gender prejudice and conflict
* Dealing with the effects of sexual, physical or psychological abuse
* Looking at deeper issues of self-change,
* Existential issues: isolation, approaching old age, impending death

If you wish to discuss further whether counselling or psychotherapy are relevant to the issues you feel concerned about please contact me on 01903 814489 or by email.


Brief counselling

Brief counselling generally implies 6 to 10 sessions and aims to deal with immediate, here-and-now issues often resulting from crisis.

Since the introduction of counselling services in GP surgeries throughout the country, and with many companies and organisations now offering this kind of service to their employees, brief therapy has come into its own as a valid, important and effective way to address many counselling concerns.

Whilst some people may want and need a more long term situation to deal with deeper issues, a brief period of counselling can be a useful way of dealing with the more immediate concerns, and is a good introduction for those who have no experience of counselling.


Couples counselling

In working with a couple I help them look at their relationship honestly and openly and consider the effect of the various attitudes, interests, needs and prejudices which each person brings.

The focus is on how they co-create what happens between them, and their individual responsibility for this. My aim is to encourage the ability to influence, nourish, maintain and strengthen the relationship instead of damaging, weakening or abusing it.

Sometimes it is the case that what is required for a couple is a careful and sensitive facilitation of the ending of a relationship, giving time to the expression of feelings, regrets, appreciations and unfinished concerns.

However, often couples discover in the course of counselling a renewed basis and commitment for their relationship, and new resources in themselves to carry it forward.


What is Gestalt?

(This is for those of you who would like a more detailed explanation of what Gestalt psychotherapy is. It is not at all necessary for you to know this in order to successfully engage in counselling or psychotherapy.)

Gestalt offers an exciting and experiential approach to counselling and psychotherapy. The approach is relevant to a variety of settings: private practice, student and GP Surgery counselling services, family therapy, couples therapy, groups and organisational consultancy.

In gestalt practice we invite the client to stay in touch with their awareness of their moment to moment experience as they explore their personal concerns. It is in our increasing awareness of ourselves and our experience that we can find insight and thereby access to more varied choices.

Usually when we feel stuck and dull in our lives it is because we feel choiceless and helpless. With increased self-awareness we can move towards reclaiming responsibility for ourselves and our actions. We begin to see increased and different choices, and gain courage to make them.

The word “Gestalt” in German means whole. Gestalt Therapy is a process of integration, bringing together disparate and often warring parts of ourselves. An example of this would be when we might say that "part of myself feels guilty, but I think I did the right thing". There is internal disagreement and therefore some disintegration. It is in our ability to hold both of these elements together, to understand the motivation of both, without feeling that one must be right and the other wrong, that we can find a useful way forward.

Gestalt therapy developed in the USA as a radical departure from psychoanalysis, emphasizing the crucial link between events and their context. It continues to offer stimulating and creative approaches to personal, professional and organizational problems and dilemmas.