In practice, I talk about counselling and psychotherapy in much the same way, and this is just a guide to show you that the difference between the two can be quite subtle.

With counselling, there is a focus on resolving problems in your present life, by actively talking them through. You may have reached a low point in your life, such as a bereavement, or a relationship breakdown, or stress from losing your job, for example. Perhaps you feel at a bit of a 'crossroads' in your life.

Contemporary counselling works by helping you to communicate clearly about your feelings and emotions at this time, and how you can begin to move forward from here. With this approach, there will be ways of coping and viewing your problem which we can identify together, and then work in a way which helps you to come to terms with past events and improve how you feel about things now.

Psychotherapy can be be longer-term than counselling, as it involves a broader view of you and your life experiences. We all experience painful or anxious feelings at one time or another. Many feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, anger and stress, naturally arise as part of living. Where it becomes a problem is when these feelings overwhelm you so much that it becomes harder to function in your daily life.

There may be chronic patterns of bad relationships, troublesome habits, or difficulties at work, for example, or a severe reaction to a stressful event. These patterns can be complex processes, which have to do with the mind and body connection as a whole.

In psychotherapy, we can work together, unravelling and connecting those conscious and unconscious areas. You're then able to make new choices, so that you can face life's ups and downs more easily in future.

Sometimes clients are quite happy and just want to develop themselves, without having any specific problem in mind.

I use a flexible, solution-focused approach that helps to create growth and change in a person. Every client is unique, and so has different needs; the therapist creatively uses 'what works' with that client, helping them towards new ways of thinking about and responding to possible problems. Self-development is always central to the process.