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
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.