FAQs

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
The terms counselling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably and currently there is no commonly agreed definition. However, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) believes the difference lies in the length and depth of training involved. Counselling, in general, tends to be time‐limited in nature and focuses on ‘here and now’ specific life issues, whilst psychotherapy tends to be longer-term and addresses long‐standing or recurrent difficulties with roots in the past. It may be helpful to consider counselling and psychotherapy as being on a continuum, with brief counselling for a specific issue at one end, and intense psychotherapy for deep-rooted difficulties at the other.
What are the different therapies used?
Psychological therapies generally fall into three categories. These are behavioural therapies which focus on cognitions and behaviours, psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies which focus on the unconscious relationship patterns evolved from childhood, and humanistic therapies which aim to work with a full range of influences to encourage the development of the individual, their relationship to others and to society. However, research has identified that the main factor which generally determines how successful a person’s therapy is, does not lie with the technique or approach used, but with the quality of their relationship with their counsellor/psychotherapist.
Are counselling and psychotherapy sessions confidential?
Yes, anything you say during counselling and psychotherapy sessions will be treated in confidence, and no personal information you’ve disclosed will be shared with anyone else without your permission. Exceptions to this would be anything I was required by law to disclose, for example, if you were in danger of causing serious harm to yourself or others. However, where possible I would always endeavour to discuss any such situations with you first.
What happens in a counselling or psychotherapy session?
There is no such thing as a typical counselling or psychotherapy session. The session is time set aside for you, and what you talk about will vary depending on the nature of the problems or concerns you bring, your needs and goals. You will, though, be invited and facilitated to share and explore thoughts, feelings, behaviours, dreams or memories as they emerge.
How long is counselling or psychotherapy?
It is rarely possible to predict in advance how quickly the problems or concerns you bring to therapy will be resolved. The length of counselling or psychotherapy will depend on you as an individual, the nature of your presenting issues, and whether these are current or deep-rooted. An initial consultation will give you the opportunity to discuss what you would like to achieve from your counselling/therapy, and whether this is something that can be accomplished over a time-limited period (e.g. six to eight sessions) or would benefit from an open-ended approach.  Equally, you may find two or three sessions prove to be sufficient for your needs.
How do I know if I need counselling or psychotherapy?
Only you can decide whether you wish to try counselling or psychotherapy. Talking to someone confidentially who is neutral (i.e., not a friend or family member) can help you to take a step back from whatever is worrying or upsetting you . . . creating a space between you and what is distressing you. Having this space/time can help free you up to be responsive rather than reactive; objective rather than subjective; more emotionally available to view the situation/problem from multiple perspectives rather than a fixed position, etc. Working with a therapist can help you develop better and, healthier ways of coping with, and responding to life’s inevitable ups and downs, allowing you to feel more empowered and comfortable when faced with unexpected change and/or challenges.
How long are individual sessions and how much do they cost?
Individual sessions are one hour long and cost £45 per session.  I often suggest that you start with a longer appointment of one and a half to two hours.  Having this additional time enables you to describe your difficulties and the background to these without feeling rushed.

Future sessions, depending on your needs, are generally one hour long, and scheduled either weekly or bi-weekly. When nearing the end of our work together, depending on how long this has been, I may suggest that we begin to reduce the frequency of our sessions (e.g. from weekly to bi-weekly, and so on).

How long are couples sessions and how much do they cost?
Couples sessions are one and a half hours long and cost £70 per session. I often suggest that you start with a longer appointment of two hours. Having this additional time enables each of you to describe your difficulties, and the background to these without feeling rushed.

Future sessions, depending on your needs, are generally one and a half hours long, and scheduled bi-weekly. When nearing the end of our work together, depending on how long this has been, I may suggest that we begin to reduce the frequency of our sessions (e.g. from bi-weekly to monthly).

Do I have to pay a cancellation fee if I'm unable to attend my appointment?
A cancellation fee of £20.00 is charged for appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
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