Frequently Asked Questions About Counselling
What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
I use the term counselling to refer to time limited or brief therapy where a specific problem or issue is worked on. Psychotherapy is normally open-ended where a range of difficulties or deeper psychological problems are explored to work towards achieving more sustainable changes in your relationships, work, physical health and well-being.
How many sessions will I need?
When counselling focuses on a single issue, it may be resolved within a short period of time, typically six to twelve weeks. When working with a range of difficulties or deeper psychological problems psychotherapy may take longer. Gaining an awareness of the changes you may wish to make in your life, working towards implementing these changes and the subsequent effect this has on yourself and others around you may take time. There is no definitive answer to how long this process will take, although six months to a year would be an average.
Who decides when counselling psychotherapy ends?
How long you attend counselling psychotherapy is your decision. We can discuss this as and when you feel it necessary.
How do I know if counselling psychotherapy is right for me?
Counselling psychotherapy does not work for everybody. Deciding if counselling psychotherapy is right for you may be stressful or confusing. During the initial session we can discuss your concerns before this decision is made. There are no guarantees as to whether counselling psychotherapy will or will not help or to what extent as the personal journey each person takes is unique and depends on your own motivation to make changes in your life. Psychological change is an on-going process and often continues well after counselling psychotherapy has finished. If you are unsure, we can discuss your concerns to find a resolution, a different approach or decide if a different counselling service may be of more benefit. I may be able to refer you to another service or counsellor.
Can I stop at any time?
Yes. However, it is recommended we discuss this to ensure a satisfactory ending. Sometimes leaving counselling psychotherapy can be distressing and may bring up other things.
Will you tell anyone about what we discuss in counselling psychotherapy
All counselling psychotherapy sessions are confidential as outlined by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) code of ethics. However, there are some exceptional circumstances where I may wish to involve another professional, for example if there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or others. This will only be done with your permission.
What information will I need to give you?
This is entirely up to you. The more information you able to share about what brought you to counselling psychotherapy will help with the effectiveness of the changes you wish to make in your life.
Will I feel better straight away?
Counselling psychotherapy often requires you to discuss upsetting emotions and painful memories. Bringing up these personal thoughts can feel difficult to start with and initially you may feel worse. This is necessary to move forward and in time, you should start to feel better.