Counselling is the name given to the process of sorting out feelings that you experience, ones that you either want to change, get in touch with, or explore. By coming to therapy you will be supported to do this in a safe environment.
We will focus on supporting you to become more accepting of yourself. The therapist will do this by encouraging you to explore the emotions that you are struggling with in the present moment i.e. what is happening today/now. It is important to recognize where feelings and emotions are coming from, explore them and talk about them. This usually means talking about past events, even though the focus is likely to be on how those past events impact on you presently.
Most clients want to create change in their lives so that they can better understand who they are and leave behind negative experiences that have been bothering them. You will be supported to do this by being encouraged to work through these issues, feelings and experiences and then if appropriate let go of them. It may be important to talk about past experiences, particularly if you have been keeping what has been troubling you ‘secret’. Feelings connected with past events are experienced in the present even when you recall an event from the past. Your therapist will support you at your pace to notice and create space for these feelings. As you pay attention to, experience and work through them you will become more aware of your body and more grounded in the here and now.
The difference between counselling and psychotherapy is that counselling usually focuses on a specific issue that you want to address. This may for example be dealing with bereavement, an illness, relationship difficulty, coming to terms with your identity etc. Counselling is likely to be time limited though could continue for up to 6 or 9 months. Psychotherapy is more focused on self-development, and you may come with more than one specific issue or problem. You may want to address repeating patterns that you notice in your life or you may want to make some time for yourself to start being more self-supporting. It is usual that clients attending psychotherapy attend weekly appointments for 12 to 18 months or longer.
Whether you would like to have counselling or psychotherapy your therapist will work with you as a whole person and you are welcome to talk about whatever you feel is important. Your therapist will keep you on track and hold the many different strands of what you bring to the sessions.
Most people when they come to counselling or psychotherapy or the emotional support service they want to make some sort of change in their lives and this is often the focus of the work. We work with change from a specific model/ theory about how change can take place. If you would like to read more about this please click on this link.