About Psychotherapy and Counselling


There is a great deal of overlap between counselling and psychotherapy and the two are often interwoven. Broadly speaking, however, counselling tends to be a shorter-term, more tightly focused intervention. Some people may get what they need from six to ten sessions while others may wish to work for longer. Counselling can help if you are experiencing anxiety, distress or low mood as a result of current life events, for example bereavement, the ending of a relationship, loss of a pregnancy, changes in your professional role or retirement. Counselling can also be useful if you are experiencing a general sense of being ‘stuck’ and are unsure of what direction to take. Counselling, in effect, focuses on a smaller number of specific problems and helps you to gain greater awareness about yourself and the resources you bring to a situation.

Psychotherapy focuses in greater depth on more long-standing problems and lasts for a longer period. Often in psychotherapy issues from your childhood and adolescence are explored to see how relationship patterns and patterns of behaviour learned in early life may be affecting you now. Some of the issues people bring to psychotherapy might be recurrent feelings of low mood, depression or low self esteem. You may be aware of certain recurring problems, such as difficulty in finding or sustaining a fulfilling relationship, ongoing problems with family, or issues from your past which feel unresolved and are affecting you in the present. Psychotherapy offers a way of developing greater insight about yourself and how you relate to other people in your life.

For more information about what to expect from counselling and psychotherapy with me see My Approach.

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