What is psychotherapy and counselling?
Psychotherapy and counselling are traditionally known as the “talking cure”. They provide the opportunity to talk with a trained psychotherapist in a non-judgmental, relaxed and confidential environment and discuss problems that can feel overwhelming and impossible to resolve alone. Psychotherapy is not about being given instant answers to these problems; it is a collaborative endeavor to find a way through the darkness, and learn to turn inwards to find your own inner strength and solutions to your own life issues.
In terms of the difference: Counselling tends to be time-limited and deals with a specific goal, while psychotherapy tends to be longer-term and explores issues in greater depth. In counselling, we would meet for weekly sessions over a specific time frame ranging between 6 weeks to 6 months, and would tend to focus on a specific issue. In psychotherapy, we would work in an open-ended way, and see each other weekly over a longer period. In these sessions, we would not just focus on a single issue, but expand to explore the patterns of behaviour that are influenced by the past – and how the unconscious mind is influencing the way you live your life.
I believe that our therapeutic journey is one of self-awareness, self-exploration and self-empowerment. This reflective way of being, can enable the person to take back control of their life and eventually overcome behaviours that are self-defeating, that can lead to a sense of low self-esteem and powerlessness. Therapy is a commitment, it is a psychological, financial and emotional investment in you, which can help you to think about your relationship to yourself, and those around you and reconnect with your authentic self.
What does it involve?
Psychotherapy and counselling requires commitment. I see clients once or twice weekly for a 50 minute session, during which we work together to understand the difficulties and explore ways to live a more happier and fulfilling life.
How do I start the process?
The initial step can feel daunting. You may be feeling confused, isolated and anxious, and the idea of reaching out for help can seem overwhelming. You may also have questions as to what it all entails. For that reason, I am available for a confidential talk on the phone, prior to potentially arranging an assessment session.
The process will always start with an assessment session, which forms an important part of the process. In this initial face-to-face session, we will discuss the difficulties, whether psychotherapy or counselling would be most appropriate, what you would like to get out of therapy, and how long this might take. This is also an opportunity for you to see if you feel comfortable working with me. The assessment session can take up to 1 hour. Further one to one sessions thereafter are always 50 minutes in duration.
My approach is integrative, which means that I draw upon a range of different theories, psychotherapeutic models and align my approach and clinical responses to each individual case. An integrative approach also recognizes the importance of the whole person, valuing an awareness of the body, feelings, spirit and intellect. My approach takes into consideration the emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, social and cultural aspects of the individual. This way of working is respectful of diversity and difference and ensures acute attention is paid to the unique character of the individual. My aim as a psychotherapist is to create a safe space that you can work from, to investigate and understand thoughts and feelings which may seem overwhelming. The main theories I integrate in my practice are: Psychodynamic, Transpersonal, Gestalt, Existential and Humanistic practices.
From my years of experience of seeing clients, I believe that it takes courage to sit with another human being and explore your most private feelings and thoughts. By talking through the challenges you are facing, the work we do together can help you gain a new understanding of yourself, and by connecting you to a more conscious sense of yourself, it can help you to make informed choices and live a more satisfying and balanced life.
I offer both short and long term work depending on your reasons for seeking therapy. I provide psychotherapy and counselling for individuals from a consulting room in West London, as well as distance therapy on the phone and Skype for both local and internationally-based clients. I do however prefer that we have met face-to-face for several sessions prior to commencing distance therapy.