The terms counselling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably. There are differences, but many therapists, including myself, use the skills acquired for both dependent on the client’s preference.
As a general understanding, counselling is thought to be focussed on shorter-term problems surrounding a problem occurring in the present, such as a current situation or anxiety, whereas psychotherapy considers how the past is affecting the present, such as childhood traumas. Both consider how the unconscious influences thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and both are talking therapies.
Amongst others, therapy can help with:
- Stress or anxiety
- Anxiety disorders
- Low mood or depression
- Difficulties in relationships or loneliness
- Life transitions
- Low self-esteem or confidence
- Traumatic experiences
- Long-term health conditions
- Eating Disorders
I am trained as an Integrative Counsellor. This means I am trained to work psychodynamically with the past and the unconscious, cognitively by looking at thought processes, and humanistically. To work humanistically means to believe in your client as the expert on themselves and to have a genuinely empathic acceptance for others. Rather than a way of working, this is a way of being and essential element of therapy.
More importantly, I work relationally. I am a person and you are a person, it’s as simple as that. We are brought together with the same goal of helping you feel better, however that might look. Being relational means that not only do I try to understand you, but you feel that I am trying to understand you. It’s a shared experience rather than you ‘having therapy done to you’ and is essential for facilitating growth. While other elements of therapy can be adapted, such as not talking about topics you don’t wish to discuss, this part never goes away and I wouldn’t want it to. Being relational is the best part of therapy because it brings us closer as well as experiencing a different type of intimacy with one another, one where you can be yourself and accept yourself.