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In this section we hope to ask and then answer questions concerning Counselling, Psychotherapy and Therapy that may typically be asked by individuals looking for help or a therapist. Some questions may be again asked and answered in other sections because of overlap. By no means are we attempting to create an exhaustive list, therefore if we have not asked a question that you wish to ask or seek clarification of an answer, please feel free to contact us for that and any other reason.

Questions and Answers

  • What is Counselling or Therapy?

Counselling, Therapy and Psychotherapy are generic terms used to describe two branches of ‘Talking Therapies’. Generally, ‘Counselling’ applies to more recently developed models for example Humanistic, Gestalt, Person Centred, Transpersonal, Transactional Analysis, and many others. Whereas Psychotherapy and Therapy refer to more ‘classical’ approaches which have stronger ties to Psychoanalysis. However, it is difficult to determine definite lines of demarcation and definition between ‘Counselling’ and ‘Psychotherapy’ since they are both group terms for many differing models or schools of therapeutic theory and practice. It is far easier to define differences between each individual model than the two groups as a whole.

Laypeople, (non Therapists), tend to use these terms interchangeably and to maintain ease of use of this site we shall use the term Therapy when referring in general terms to any of the ‘Talking Therapeutic’ models. Otherwise we will refer to them by their specific names, e.g. Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic, Person Centred, Gestalt, Transpersonal, Integrative and so on. Also we will refer to all types of practitioners as ‘Therapists’ regardless of the therapeutic model they practice.

Therapy is practiced by trained mental health professionals for the purpose of improving a client’s or clients’ psychological and emotional health and wellbeing through the application of proven psychological theory and method. This process involves a client or clients engaging in a ‘Therapeutic Relationship’ with a Therapist in which the client or clients explore, with the help of the Therapist, their thoughts, emotions, values, beliefs, relationships and history.

Therapy is not to be undertaken lightly, on a whim or without due consideration. Therapy has the potential to change your life; it will alter your perception of yourself and your world, and little may seem the same again. The work itself can be hard, challenging and sometimes gruelling. It may bring to light deeply hidden thoughts, feelings, emotions and events that will take time and effort to process.

However, though the work is sometimes hard and long, we believe that it is well worth the effort. We believe that Therapy is a wonderful positive experience that when undertaken with sincere commitment by the client and with a well trained and practiced Therapist, it is generally a life altering experience and a force for great improvement in people’s lives.

  • Can Therapy help me?

Life can be both demanding and difficult and people seek help for a myriad of different reasons but most commonly because they feel that they need help resolving an issue or issues that they are having difficulty with but cannot seem to resolve on their own.

Do you need help with a specific issue or situation you are find difficult to cope with?

Do you feel Depressed, low or anxious; Lost without purpose; that you are stuck in a rut; that happiness is for others; Worthless; Disempowered; that you cannot cope; that your relationships are never what you truly want; that your family life is a war zone or that life could be so much more than it is?

Do you suffer from Low self worth; Anxiety; Depression; Anger; Stress; Violent episodes; Suicidal or self destructive thoughts or tendencies; Obsessions or Compulsions?

Do you find it difficult to cope with life and how you feel and use coping strategies e.g. Self Harm; Substances Misuse including Alcohol, Solvents, Drugs, etc.; Rituals; Avoidance; or control you food consumption?

Have you ever suffered from or been the victim of Physical, Emotional or Sexual Abuse; Assault;  Crime; Trauma; Neglect; Victimisation or bullying; Chronic illness or disablement; or Bereavement or Loss?

Are you Aggressive or passive-aggressive; Violent; Argumentative; Self destructive; Self Harming; Inflexible or Controlling; Jealous; Vengeful, hurtful or cruel; Over reactive or over sensitive; Insensitive; Uncommunicative; Shy; Passive; Unhappy or sad?

If so, would you like to Change your life for the better; Let go of thoughts, values, rules, and emotions that weight you down; Improve your relationships with others and yourself; Give new meaning to your life; Value yourself; Enjoy your life and Be happy?

If the answer to any of the questions above is ‘YES’, then how you feel and what you are experiencing is not uncommon and what you want is perfectly reasonable and achievable and perhaps a therapist can help you resolve your issues and achieve your goals.

We offer:

  • The opportunity for time solely dedicated to you and your needs.
  • A safe and supportive environment in which to explore your Thoughts, Emotions, Behaviour and Experiences.
  • A trained and experienced professional dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and meet your needs.
  • The freedom and confidentiality to express yourself and what you feel without fear of rejection or judgement.
  • The personal space to express without burdening others.
  • A new perspective on your life

If you wish to discuss your needs and how we might help you please feel free to contact us. (See Contact Us section).

  • Is it worth the investment?

People do many things in their lives to help themselves feel better or avoid issues or things that trouble them. Some spend copious amounts of money participating in what is amusingly called ‘Retail Therapy’. Others spend their money ‘having a good time’ consuming alcohol and or recreational pharmaceuticals, (drugs), which generally involves throwing up, falling down and telling people that they love them or that they hate them and want to fight them. Others pursue recreational sexual gratification. Others seek the drama of planning, staging and participating in events, e.g. Holidays, Weddings, Parties, etc.

However the soothing effects of all these activities are short lived and it is not long after the event that one is seeking the next ‘fix’. Of all these solutions, though counselling is not inexpensive it is cheaper in the long term. Of all these solutions, Counselling is the one with a proven track record that gives real, measurable and sustainable long term results.

  • Are there specialist areas or areas of expertise?

While some therapists for personal or circumstantial reasons may specialise in specific issues or a specific client group; therapeutic psychological theories tend to be general and complete in their examination and understanding of people and their issues. This means that an experienced counsellor will be able to work with the vast majority of presenting issues.

All our therapists have a wide range of experience. Please see our individual therapist profiles for a summary of their experience.

  • What might I expect during my initial session?

The initial session has a number of purposes:

      • To meet with your prospective therapist and establish if you are compatible in the way you would like to work together and are able to create a healthy therapeutic relationship.
      • To establish the nature of the reasons or issues that bring you to therapy and discuss the types of therapy that will meet your needs.
      • To establish if the therapy needed can be provided by the therapist.
      • To explain the nature of the therapy on offer and the obligations placed on the therapist and client.
      • To contract with the client and explain fees, confidentiality, ethics, etc.
      • To answer any questions or concerns that a client may have.
      • To establish the beginnings of a professional relationship between client and therapist.
      • To schedule place and time for ongoing sessions that is convenient for you both.

Therapy should be a transparent process; a collaboration between therapist and client to achieve that goals of the client. The initial session is the foundation of the collaboration setting the scene for the relationship and future work.

  • What if I do not want therapy or Counselling but instead want impartial emotional support?

Therapy is a wide ranging discipline providing a variety of levels of support covering many areas of an individual’s life. Part of therapy can be to provide support while facing the changes and difficulties in life and also with setting and achieving personal or career goals and working within relationships. Impartial emotional support is always part of the support offered. It is always the who chooses and controls the level and type of support provided.

  • Do you offer Telephone or Internet counselling?

We now offer Telephone and Internet counselling for individuals who may prefer to be counselled remotely, or find it difficult to attend sessions. Fees for this service are consistent with our other fees, however, all sessions must be paid for in advance either by bank transfer, cheque, PayPal or bank standing order.

  • How do I get a therapist?

In order to get a therapist all you need do is contact us and we will recommend a therapist in your area or alternatively you can read through the personal profiles a choose a therapist and then contact us. An initial session can the be arranged at no financial cost to yourself and then if appropriate, a convenient and regular time will be arranged for your sessions.

  • How do I pay?

You can pay by cash, cheque, bank draft, or standing order. For more details please visit our Fees and Conditions page.

  • What types of therapies do you provide?

We offer mainly Counselling and Psychotherapy and also Life Coaching and Anger and Stress Management and Resolution. For more details please visit our Services pages.

  • What are your areas of expertise or issues do you cover?

Our therapists are willing and trained to work without prejudice with any and all individuals. While some have more experience in certain fields all our therapists are well trained and dedicated professionals able to work with most issues. For specific therapist information please visit our Therapist Profiles pages.

  • Do you provide specific denominational therapy, i.e. therapy based on a religious ideology, e.g. Christian Counselling, Buddhist Counselling, Islamic Counselling, etc.?

As therapists we generally take a systemic or holistic approach and therefore recognise the significance of individual diversity and context, including familial, religious, and social backgrounds. However, while we have experience offering therapy to individuals from all walks of life and various social, economic and religious backgrounds, we do not believe that generic forms of counselling based on these factors are appropriate. We believe that each individual must determine and express for themselves what their belief structures and needs are and thus their ‘Frame of Reference’, so that their therapy can be tailored to their unique requirements and the Therapist can work within their ‘Frame of Referance’. We are all able to offer therapy with theological and philosophical content focussed on the client’s perceptions however, we do not offer ‘corrective’ or ‘curative’ therapies based on religious dogma.

  • How long will I have to be in therapy?

The length of time an individual might attend regular therapeutic sessions is dependant on many factors including the nature of the issues, the type and number of issues, the commitment and engagement of the client, the strength of the therapeutic relationship, the frequency of sessions, the client’s personal circumstances and more besides. However, a therapist will not enter into a therapeutic relationship with a client unless it will be beneficial to the client and nor will a therapist continue with therapy beyond the point that it is healthy or useful to the client. Length of therapy is a decision made by the client with some guidance from their therapist. Also, we do not believe in long term therapy without significant breaks. Therefore a client may be under the care of a therapist and see them periodically to allow them to assimilate change into their lives. A guide for the length of therapy will be given during the ‘free’ initial assessment, however, please note that this is only a guide with the dependencies as stated above.

  • Do you work with children or adolescents and how are parents involved?

A number of our Therapists have specific experience of working with children and adolescents in both their schools and their homes and therefore we are able to cater for younger clients. The work is different to adult therapy and requires specific training and experience. It is usual for therapy to be in the absence of parents as clients, even young clients, prefer an amount of privacy in order to express themselves. Parents can be present at the request of the client, however, this is unusual. Confidentiality is key to the therapist client relationship and therefore any disclosures to parents will first have to be agreed to by the client. Confidentiality is only limited by legal obligation where the therapist will be obliged to break confidentiality to the appropriate services. For details of which therapists have this type of training and experience please read the individual Therapist Profiles or Contact Us directly.

  • I just think that I in need of some medication to help me feel better. Can you write a prescription for me?

No. If you feel that medication is the solution you seek then you need to arrange to see your General Practitioner. However, please be aware that a pharmaceutical solution may not provide the help that you need especially with respect to antidepressants. We suggest that before taking any medical interventions you have a full physiological examination to establish organic causation.

  • How often will I have to see my therapist?

It is usual for a client to see his therapist at least once a week and sometimes more often dependant on the level of Therapy and support needed.

  • Are notes taken and kept?

Most therapists keep notes, however they and generally not done during the session and done only to remind the therapist of important information. Notes usually consist of names of family members, dates, events, and brief descriptions of interventions and outcomes. Notes are never verbatim accounts of sessions.

Also, under the Data protection act you are entitled to see your notes and a therapist may not keep them without permission beyond the time that they are useful to your therapy.

  • Is everything I say completely confidential?

Generally yes, however there are some limitations under law. The ‘Children’s Act’, the ‘Anti-terrorism Acts’, the ‘Mental Health Act’ and a number of others limit confidentially such that if you are in breach of them, confidentiality cannot be maintained. Generally, this only occurs if you reveal that there is a serious threat of you molesting or harming a child in anyway whatsoever or have done so in the past, that there is a clear and present danger of you committing a serious crime or a terrorist act. Under these circumstances a therapist is obliged by law to inform the authorities on pain of heavy fine or imprisonment. Courts also have the right to subpoena any information you share with your therapist including their notes.

Also, there is usually a contractual obligation that may be imposed by a therapist to inform your G.P with respect to any attempts or intention to take your own life. While this is not a legal obligation, it is common, but can be negotiated and excluded under ‘special’ circumstances’.

Your therapist will always endeavour to keep your information confidential; however, you need to be aware that in the UK only information shared with a solicitor or barrister is protected from disclosure by law.

  • I have a question which does not appear on this list or I would like an answer clarified. What do I do?

Please feel free to email us for a written answer or alternatively call us. We are happy to discuss anything with you. Our contact details can be found in the contact us section.