WHAT ARE COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The terms Counselling and Psychotherapy are often used interchangeably.
People tend to seek counselling when looking for space and support to work through one or two specific areas of difficulty, for example, in a relationship with a partner, a parent or a child, or to make an important life decision.
Psychotherapy is a broader process of personal exploration that allows you to safely access deeper levels of self-awareness than is possible alone. This facilitates deep healing of chronic or acute traumas (recent or from the past), supports development of healthy relationships and enables personal growth where it is needed.
Many people come for counselling initially and then either stay, or return later, to explore further. There is no need to decide in advance what is right for you, and you remain in control of what you bring for discussion and how long the process lasts overall.
Some examples of concerns people bring:
Work related concerns
Living with physical conditions
Anxiety (Social, generalised, obsessive-compulsive)
Depression (mild to severe)
Questions of identity
Experiences of prejudice
Spiritual or transcendental experience
Anything can be discussed in psychotherapy. The practice of speaking, observing and reflecting on one's life in a place of safety, without judgement or fear of repercussion, allows defences to be overcome and a clearer sense of oneself as a whole can begin to emerge, along with a feeling of being deeply known.
Work moves at a pace and in a direction dictated by the client. What is needed from the therapeutic relationship may take time to emerge or change over time.
BENEFITS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
Psychotherapy strengthens self awareness and agency, and helps people improve their relationships with others.
People often come for psychotherapy because they are experiencing psychological distress, commonly depression, anxiety and related symptoms. However, anyone who is interested in personal development and a more self- aware outlook can benefit and it is not necessary to have a specific difficulty to address through the work.
People often find the therapeutic relationship useful at times when they wish to navigate movement and change with enhanced awareness - such as making life-changing decisions, actively engaging in creative practices, improving and sustaining complex family networks, helping teams collaborate effectively through a change process, or trying to balance reason and intuition in entrepreneurial ventures.
OUTCOMES AND ENDINGS
Both therapist and client tend to recognise when things feel ready to come to an end. By this stage the client will generally feel more empowered in their lives, confident in their capacity to respond to difficult situations, better able to articulate their needs in relation to others and to meet others' needs in turn.
People often have a sense of healing from traumatic experiences, and of being more at peace with painful relationships or circumstances. There may be clarity around important decisions and about priorities for life moving forward, alongside an ability to cope with a degree of ongoing uncertainty. Usually, at this stage, the client feels confidence around meeting the challenges to come without therapeutic support and the relationship can be let go.
If you have questions about whether psychotherapy might be beneficial for you, feel free to get in touch for more information.