Useful questions and answers.
When is the right time to see a psychotherapist?
Often people come into therapy because certain events cause them to feel overwhelmed and they realise that their usual mechanisms for making sense of and operating within the world no longer serve them. This can follow loss and bereavement, pregnancy and birth, relationship or job loss or a traumatic event. Seeing a psychotherapist can help to work though these difficult times.
Other people might come for therapy because they feel that it is time to address recurrent issues and/or long held traumas or explore how they can live life more fully and develop richer relationships with other people and the world around them.
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
Psychotherapy is usually more in depth than counselling and looks at the underlying processes as well as the content of whatever issues are immediately apparent in order to help you focus on more fundamental patterns of relating to yourself and others. It is usually a more interactive dynamic and challenging process and effective at working at depth.
Psychotherapists generally undergo longer training (although many counsellors have extensive continuing professional training too) which equips them to explore issues in greater depth. Extensive personal therapy (4 years/160 sessions minimum) is an essential part of training and this enables psychotherapists to have direct insight into complicated mental and emotional processes and have faith in the ability of psychotherapy to help.
How do I identify the right therapist/approach for me?
Research suggests that the second most important factor of successful therapy is the quality of relationship between client and therapist, so I would always suggest that people choose a therapist who they feel they can trust enough to talk openly with. Incidentally, the most important factor of successful therapy is the clients’ commitment to the work.
Some people may be interested in reading more about a therapist's approach to therapy. There is a lot of information available. I offer some pointers about my approach in the section here.
How many sessions should i have?
This is the clients choice. I offer both brief (6-12 session) and longer term open ended psychotherapy. Brief psychotherapy seeks to address specific, issues often relating to difficult situations or events. There is no upper limit for longer term therapy and many people want open-ended therapy. There is no ‘normal’ and it is the client who decides what they need.
How does Psychotherapy work?
My clients will often comment on how good it is just to talk. Talking to someone who gives their full non-judgemental attention releases the burden of secrets that weigh us down, make us stressed and tie us in knots. A psychotherapist can draw on their knowledge and experience to reflect back, share observations, make connections and raise questions which may help you to raise awareness of the patterns of thinking feeling and behaving that you struggle with.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative process and it is the client’s desire to address their issues that determines what they get out of it.
How much do sessions cost?
I charge £45 per sessions for higher earners and £40 for lower earners. Sessions are 50 minutes long. I offer some sessions for cost price for people on low incomes.
Is this accredited and regulated?
It is important to check out what training and accreditation therapists hold. BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) are the two key organisations which accredit and regulate counsellors and psychotherapists. I abide by the Code of Ethics in Professional Practice of the Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership, which is consistent with the standards set by the UKCP. All my work is supervised by Accredited UKCP supervisors.
Is it confidential?
Confidentiality is a core principle of psychotherapy and it is essential for clients to feel that it is safe to talk. Some exceptional circumstances exist where we would need to share information in the interests of safety of a client or others which I would explain to all clients at first meeting.
How does online therapy work?
Whilst I always prefer face to face therapy, online therapy is sometimes essential and also preferable for a client, and with the right considerations, it can work very well.
If you are interested in online therapy during the current pandemic, I would encourage you to join me in the following considerations.
- Ensuring safe confidential therapy, by updating anti-spyware software and choosing a quiet space free of interruptions.
- Managing interruptions and loss of connectivity by having a back up communication channel.
- Continuously reflecting on how the online environment affects us, loss of internet contact, computer glitches, the absence of direct eye contact, having faily members in the same building.
- Bringing the whole body in to the workshops as much as possible, positioning the camera so that the upper body is in view, and that hand movements and body language can inform the work.
- Creating a transitional space before and after therapy to replicate the time you would normally spend travelling to and from a session, which is often useful preparation/reflection time.