What is Counselling?
Counselling and Psychotherapy are often used interchangeably and some would argue that there is no difference between them. However, Counselling is typically short-term and is generally used to address specific issues, as when a client has already identified a particular problem they want to work on. Counselling is essentially the process of reflection, enabling clients to find the resources within themselves to deal with life events. In times of adversity we can lose sight of our own strengths and need help to regain our perspective. Simply sharing a problem with a therapist who is non-judgemental and will accept you as you are can be an immense relief.
What is Psychotherapy?
The process of reflection is common to all forms of psychological therapy. However, psychotherapy goes a step further by connecting what has occurred in the past with who we are as individuals in the present. Psychotherapy is a deeper form of therapy than counselling and is focussed on exploring early childhood influences and experiences with a view to helping us better understand who we are as adults. The form of psychotherapy I practice also includes a focus on body awareness which aims to enhance the therapeutic experience and facilitate integration between mind and body.
What is Cognitive Therapy?
Cognitive Therapy, also known as CBT, is based on the theory that it is not what happens to us in life which causes us distress, but how we think and feel about what happens. Cognitive therapy focuses on exploring the often unconscious beliefs and values which underpin our interactions with others. These beliefs and values can lead to ‘automatic thoughts’ about situations which may cause us to respond to events in a reflexive way. Cognitive therapy explores our responses to difficult situations, highlights problem areas and works towards identifying more effective ways of responding in order to achieve our personal goals. CBT is particularly effective in addressing depression and phobias. I use elements of CBT in my work to help clients challenge patterns of behaviour which no longer serve them well.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. It is a technique developed by Dr Francine Shapiro in the USA in the 1980s and is now widely used throughout the world. EMDR involves the use of bi-lateral stimulation with eye movements, dual tones and tapping. EMDR has been developed to treat the symptoms of trauma, both major and minor, including PTSD. Numerous randomised studies have shown it to be highly effective in treating trauma.
For more information on EMDR check out http://www.emdrassociation.org.uk
What does Integrative mean?
An integrative approach tailors the therapy to suit an individual client. Integrative therapists are trained in a variety of therapy modalities including humanistic, psychodynamic, existential, cognitive and body work. These modalities form the therapist tool-kit. Depending on the problem which the client presents, the therapist may choose one or more of a number of possible modalities in which to work.
Integration also refers to the clients ability to apply what is learned in therapy sessions to their life in the real world. It also refers to the integration between mind and body which developes when a focus on body awareness is facilitated during the course of therapy.
How does therapy work?
When you give me a call I will arrange an introductory session to discuss your requirements. I will explain the process of therapy and the options available to you. If you decide to proceed then we will agree to meet for six sessions and then review how the therapy is progressing.
Six sessions is the norm to allow an in-depth exploration of the issues affecting your life. You may feel at this point that you have addressed your most pressing problem and have no need to continue with therapy. That is your choice and you are free to terminate the process at any time.
However, very often in addressing an urgent problem other issues emerge which indicate that a deeper exploration would be beneficial. Sometimes we carry pain and distress from childhood and are unaware of the impact this is having on us as adults. When we experience recurring bouts of depression or find ourselves repeatedly in unhealthy relationships, then the past may be exerting an unconscious influence on our lives. Psychotherapy works to increase awareness of the influences of the past so that we can make informed choices in the present and take control of our future.