Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Psychotherapy and Counselling?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but generally counselling is shorter term and more solution focused (advice giving) whereas psychotherapy involves a deeper exploration of the issues and is generally longer term. For this reason, Psychotherapists go through a longer, more intensive training process.   Both counselling and psychotherapy have a ‘therapeutic’ aim.

How long does therapy last?

As long as you want it to!  As your therapist, I can only recommend continuing or stopping as appropriate to your circumstances. Some people resolve the main ‘issue’ and decide therapy is no longer necessary, whereas others decide to continue because they want to explore another issue, or because they benefit from the regular support.

What if I don’t feel comfortable in therapy?

Your therapist is your choice. If you do not feel comfortable for any reason, you are completely free to voice this and to explore it, or to change to somebody with whom you feel greater connection or comfort.

What if the trouble is with my relationship, but my partner won’t come?

You are not alone! You can try inviting your partner to a couple’s workshop, such as those run by Sophie Slade of Imago International, or you can buy books (on relationships!) to study together with your partner. Alternatively, you can start therapy alone in order to work on your own side of the relationship and the impact that your actions or character may be having on the dynamic you have with your partner. Individual therapy can also help you to fathom out whether or not your relationship is a positive thing for your life and if it is, how you could try to nourish it more effectively.

Will you force me to talk?

No!  I will ask questions to start with in order to get to know your circumstances and to help you to explore different angles of your reality which may be helpful to consider. However, you are free to stay silent during the sessions if you wish. In short, I will adapt the therapeutic approach as is comfortable for you.

There is also the possibility of working with a dialogue process that can help and encourage you to express your reality, whilst not being directly asked any questions at all.

How do I know what approach is right for me?

That is difficult to know before starting! In fact, I believe it to be of less relevance than the connection you feel with the therapist. Therapists receive all sorts of training from different theoretical approaches and disciplines, but the most important consideration is the relationship between therapist and client and the way in which that changes and evolves throughout the work.

Why do you call therapy ‘work?’

Therapy is the work we do on ourselves. It can be difficult, demanding and quite time consuming for those who really want to delve deep. We can do as much or as little ‘work’ as you like, but the more ambitious you are, the greater the reward!