What is Counselling?

Counselling is a place where you can meet a qualified psychology professional in a one to one setting. Therapy takes place in a private and confidential environment, where you can discuss any psychological issues with an experienced professional. Counselling can be a remarkable and unique opportunity to delve into the world of the most important thing–YOU! A place where you can discuss thoughts and feelings which you are finding difficult to process in a private, confidential and nonjudgmental setting. Speaking to an experienced, qualified therapist can help you improve your confidence and self esteem, reduce anxiety and stress, decrease feelings of loneliness and depression.


Counselling can also help you deal with communication breakdown in relationships, deal with the loss of a loved one and find greater meaning in your life. Counselling will provide the support you need so that you are empowered to live life on your own terms.


The relationship with a counsellor, is a special one with somebody whom you can trust, is not judgmental and accepts you for who you are. A therapist will not give you any unrequested advice and will not tell you what you should or should not do. Counselling is all about supporting you to empower yourself, to make your own decisions and choices. Speaking to a counsellor can help you feel more comfortable within yourself and start building up a more free and positive mindset.


Many psychological problems can be discussed during a counselling session, including relationship problems and learning to deal with the loss of a loved one. Dealing with these psychological issues can help you find a deeper meaning in life or simply just make life a little easier. Counselling can help raise self esteem and help to manage stress, depression or anxiety better. During therapy, we will set goals together so you can learn new resources that help you learn to cope with your more difficult psychological issues.


Do I need therapy?


You might be asking yourself how counselling can help you? Why would you talk to a stranger, when you could talk to friends and family? You might also want to know if you can trust your counsellor since therapy involves discussing very private and personal issues. You might also want think that the therapist might not be able to understand you and that your thought and feelings are not acceptable? Counselling can help with a wide variety of psychological issues, from feeling unsatisfied in life to experiencing loneliness or dealing with anxiety, depression, stress and phobias. Counselling can help with relationship issues and dealing with grief and bereavement. 


How do I know if I need counselling?


Deciding to see a therapist is a completely personal choice and picking up the phone to make a counselling session booking can be daunting. If you feel you are struggling emotionally within yourself and would like to talk to somebody, counselling can help in ways that you may not be able to visualise right now. Sometimes talking about difficulties with a trained and experienced therapist can help create a new way of thinking.

I do offer a free 20 minute telephone consultation for anybody who has any questions or feels unsure about whether counselling is for them.


What is Psychodynamic Therapy?


Psychodynamic Therapy looks at the importance of the unconscious and how past trauma has affected current behaviour. Psychodynamic counselling involves recognising repeated patterns, talking about relationships with parents and significant others and how these psychological issues have been brought into your existing life. In a psychodynamic counselling session we will explore patterns, answer direct questions, interpret dreams and revisit childhood experiences.


What is the Person Centred Approach?


The person centred approach, known as person centred counselling, is a Humanistic psychotherapy approach was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1950’s. The idea behind the person centred approach to counselling is that by providing a non judgemental environment where a person can relax and feel comfortable, the therapist is able to facilitate the individual’s natural potential for psychological growth and wellbeing.


Person centred counselling holds that all individuals are capable of realizing their own goals of personal achievement when they feel that they are not under any kind of psychological or physiological danger and have the freedom to be themselves. When using the person centred approach to counselling, the environment created during the therapy session is more important that what is discussed or identifying what the client is experiencing and how to develop treatment.


In order to practice person centred counselling, a psychologist must always try to see things from the client’s perspective and be willing to not always look like the expert concerning any psychological matters. The therapist must try to establish a genuine, non judgemental relationship with the client and always have an unconditional positive regard for the client, no matter what he or she says or does. The person centred approach involves creating an authentic, empathetic understanding of the client’s situation and issues.


Why Choose Person Centred Counselling?


Clients generally prefer person centred counselling, to some other approaches because it feels more authentic and because it gives them the freedom to direct the counselling session in a way which suits them. Many clients seeking psychological help are attracted to person centred counselling because they get to keep control of the content and pace of the therapy session. Clients can talk about whichever topic they wish to and the counselling session is lead by them. Clients can discuss anything from unsettling thoughts and feelings or to trouble dealing with grief and relationship issues. The therapist will not judge anything said and will not lead the client away from the topic. The person centred approach is a non directive style of therapy and can have a profound effect on the personal well being of the client. Individuals often leave the counselling session feeling more understood, supported and accepted, having been able to explore your thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or disapproval.


Some of the benefits of Person Centred Counselling include:

  • Having somebody to listen to you
  • Being able to see things in a differently
  • Coping better with issues in your life
  • Better relationship with self
  • Raise awareness of self
  • Decreased defensiveness
  • Lowered guilt and insecurity
  • Trusting oneself
  • Improved relationships
  • Better self esteem
  • Less fear of communicating and expressing
  • General sense of positive change


How I use the Person Centred Approach?


Using the person centred approach, I focus my counselling sessions by seeing all issues from the client’s perspective. As my client, I will accept you in all your humanity, aiming to be always open and genuine throughout the duration of our therapy sessions. I will hold a positive and unconditional space for the you, so that you can discover your true potential for self healing and psychological growth. The purpose using the person centred approach is for you to understand your own feelings and reconnect with your self worth, by being accepted and supported within a trusted relationship.


How does Psychodynamic Counselling work?


The purpose of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness. This can help a the client in a therapy session to explore and unfold deep rooted feelings. Our unconscious holds on to memories and experiences that have been painful, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. What tends to happen is that we suppress these memories, mostly without knowing it.


To cope with these traumatic events and memories, we often develop certain psychological defences. These can include blaming others or one’s self, being denial, feeling guilt or projecting our flaws onto others. These psychological defense mechanisms and inappropriate coping skills can often get in the way of living a happy and fulfilling life.

When it comes to facing difficult situations, relationships and communication, life can become challenging and we often ask why? It could be that you are reacting from a painful, past memory but are not aware of it or defense mechanics are causing you to feel bad about yourself or struggle dealing with situations in your life.


Who can benefit from Psychodynamic Counselling?


The psychodynamic approach is designed to help people with a wide range of psychological issues. These issues include anxiety, phobias, depression, addictions, feelings of low self worth, relationship breakdowns and problems communicating. Psychodynamic therapy can help in dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder and many other psychological issues.


One example of how psychodynamic counselling can help a person heal from past problems is that if somebody keeps attracting a certain type of partner and their relationships keep falling apart, the counsellor and the client will discuss together how the client can learn how to break that pattern, by unravelling their unconscious conflicts. They will then be able to see the benefits within the first few months of undergoing therapy based on psychodynamic principles. In this way the psychodynamic approach is very useful for relationship and other forms of counselling.


How Psychodynamic Therapy Can Help You


When you choose to come in for a psychodynamic counselling session, we can work together, as therapist and client, to face immediate problems and look at finding a quicker solution. By understanding any psychological issues, we can start to move forward and work towards resolving them. Some of the benefits of psychodynamic therapy include, changing relationship patterns, learning about difficult attachments and how to do things differently. As your counsellor, I will help you find new ways of dealing with problems and help you to learn how to communicating differently, building awareness of how you function in life and respond to the world. Gradually, as your counselling treatment progresses, the feeling of being ”stuck” will start to shift away and you will have a better way of coping with the problems you face.

The relationship between counsellor and client should always be an equal one, and we will work towards building a trusting, authentic relationship with one another. I will provide non judgemental and unconditional acceptance throughout the entire counselling session. By doing so, you will have a safe and trusted space to open up and explore unresolved issues that have affected your moods or behaviour. In this way, psychodynamic counselling can help you to bring unconscious issues to light and help you resolve old memories or traumas.


Are you registered with any counselling or psychotherapy governing body?


I am a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and am bound by their code of ethics and safe practice for psychologists and psychotherapists. As an ethical and respectable counsellor I am committed to professional and moral conduct.

For more information about the BACP’s (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) ethical framework please visit their website: www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework

I am also a member of the Black and Asian Therapist’s Net

work (BAATN)
For more information about the BAATN visit their website: www.baatn.org.uk


Why do you keep client notes during a counselling session?


I keep brief session notes during all my therapy sessions for my personal reference and to present to supervision if required. The contents of each counselling session is confidential. I do not use any other identifying details about my clients. All clients are fully entitled to see their therapy session notes.


Is your counselling service confidential?


The answer to this is quite simple. Yes, counselling is a completely confidential service. All clients coming to me for counselling can trust that all their personal and private information will be kept private. Building a genuine and authentic relationship together requires trust and without confidentiality the therapeutic process will face many challenges. For counselling to be effective it is crucial to feel safe in the space that is provided to you.


For how long will I need to attend counselling sessions?


I offer both short term and long term therapy. More often than not a client may not know how many counselling sessions they want or require. I do encourage people to discuss this with me; counselling can sometimes be difficult and exploring this together can be helpful in making a decision that feels right for you. The first therapy session is an opportunity for us both to see if we would like to work together towards better psychological health. After this initial counselling session we can explore the number of therapy sessions I recommend and you would like and agree on a day, time and fees. There is an opportunity for regular reviews every 6 – 8 weeks where we can discuss our progress and the amount of counselling treatment still required.


What happens after I make contact with you to book a counselling appointment?


Upon making an enquiry, we can decide on a suitable time for us to meet for your first therapy session. This will be an opportunity to discuss what brought you to counselling, any experience with previous psychotherapists, any fears, expectations or reservations that you may be experiencing about starting treatment and anything else that you may wish to ask about counselling in general or my approach to therapy. If we both agree to work together we can then set the next therapy session. I offer weekly and fortnightly counselling appointments, however because therapy involves an emotional process weekly sessions are recommended.


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