You may have one or a number of issues including general unhappiness, stress, relationship or family difficulties, problems at work or with study, bereavement, issues resulting from abuse, anger, loneliness, or medical diagnoses of mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression. Counselling and psychotherapy can help, and whatever issues you bring, I will listen as sensitively as I can and work with you to increase your understanding and awareness. Even just being listened to carefully can bring change and relief, while talking through your problems and options for change can help you find the right solution for you. Over a longer period of months or years, therapy can lead to a profound set of permanent changes which are less easy to achieve in the shorter-term.
At the beginning of your therapy we will think about what you are hoping to gain or to change in your life, how long you want to be in counselling (which can be anything from one or two sessions to being on an ongoing basis) and to review this at regular intervals. This helps us assess whether you are getting what you need and if your original goals still stand or need adjusting. This is a normal part of therapy and often a consequence of gaining a better understanding of your issues and of what might be possible for you.
The chance to talk confidentially to someone who is not involved in your situation and who you do not need to worry about can be very helpful in itself and make a difference. I will try to help you understand more about how and why your difficulties may have arisen and what you might do to make things better for yourself. For some people an important part of this is dealing with their emotions, while others prefer to focus on practical solutions or altering their behaviour or circumstances.
Being in counselling is not always easy as it may involve connecting with difficult emotions and experiences. However this can be a crucial and necessary step in helping you find a way through what you want to change and ultimately feeling better. Counselling and psychotherapy sessions often give clients food for thought between sessions and this is part of the healing process. Many clients who have found counselling and psychotherapy useful and may have made important changes in their lives as a result would tell you that while it may not have been easy, both the effort and the cost was well worth it.
Research indicates that there are two very important factors in whether someone benefits from counselling and psychotherapy – the client’s motivation to try and deal with what is going on for them, and what is known as the ‘therapeutic fit’ between the client and the therapist. This ‘fit’ is about three things: whether the client trusts the therapist and feels okay talking to them and believes they can be helpful; whether the therapist herself feels she has the right characteristics and experience to help the client; and whether the two between them feel their therapeutic work would be likely to benefit the client. This is part of the reason I have a reduced-fee initial session with each client, costing £20, as this gives us a chance to find these things out, and should the very rare occasion arise when I feel someone else might be better placed to help you, for me to point you in right direction.