You may have one or a number of issues including general unhappiness, stress, relationship or family difficulties, problems at work or with study, bereavement, anger, loneliness, issues resulting from trauma or abuse, or 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 for the better.
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 attending on an ongoing basis) and to review this at regular intervals. This helps us assess whether you’re getting what you want out of the work, and if your original goals still stand or need adjusting. Changes of direction can be normal part of therapy, and are often a consequence of gaining a better understanding of your issues and making progress.
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. I aim to help you understand more about how and why your difficulties may have arisen, work through your feelings and come to terms with your experience, and decide what you might want to do make things better for yourself. Different people may focus on different parts of the process – some find more meaning in dealing with their emotions, while others prefer to focus on practical solutions such as altering their behaviour or circumstances.
Being in counselling is not always easy as it may involve connecting with difficult emotions and experiences. It is a process whereby you get help finding your own solutions and sometimes the answers are not immediately obvious which can be frustrating at times. However, these struggles can be a crucial steps on the journey of finding what you need in yourself in order 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 – whether the two seem to ‘click’ together so the client feels understood and supported, and the two feel they have a good chance to make progress together in a way which will help the client get what they want out of therapy. 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 think about these things and see what might be most helpful to you going forward.