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What's therapy?

  • Do I need counselling/psychotherapy?
    Counselling/psychotherapy sessions can help you gain clarity on an issue, change old patterns, untangle complex personal issues or embark on a journey of self-development. You may seek counselling/psychotherapy as a result of a crisis or you may be encouraged to seek counselling/psychotherapy by family members, friends, or colleagues.
  • What kinds of people seek counselling/psychotherapy?
    There is no limitation to whom counselling/psychotherapy can help. We welcome you, regardless of your culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or employment group. Counselling/psychotherapy is also not just for adult individuals, but is beneficial for couples, families, teenagers and children.
  • What issues can counselling/psychotherapy help with?
    There is a wide-ranging range of problems that counselling / psychotherapy can help, such as: anxiety (generalised anxiety problems, panic attacks, social anxiety) depression (including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal) workplace issues (stress, work-life imbalances) relationship issues (breakups, divorce, affairs, choosing inappropriate partners, loneliness, life adjustments, marital problems, arguments, jealousy, wedding and premarital issues) trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder from accidents, and other attacks/incidents) low self-esteem and lack of confidence phobias and fears obsessive-compulsive disorder eating problems (including bulimia, binge eating, negative body image) addiction and substance misuse bereavement/grief/loss
  • Is there a difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
    Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms used interchangeably, and cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing. Generally though, counselling usually refers to a brief treatment that centres around behaviour patterns; while psychotherapy focuses on working with clients for a longer-term and draws from insight into emotional problems and difficulties. However, rest assured that whatever your needs are, we will find together the best possible solution.
  • What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
    In basic terms, a Psychiatrist is a registered doctor who can diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication. Psychologists and counsellors/psychotherapists will offer talking therapy and would not typically provide diagnoses or medication (though they will have a good understanding of the diagnosis or even medication that might be applicable). Where necessary, they will liaise with Psychiatrists to support you further.
  • What happens in a counselling/psychotherapy session?
    There is no typical counselling/psychotherapy session. The therapist will be highly trained in listening and reflecting and provides a safe environment in which to explore your issues. With most types of therapy, you are free to discuss what you wish, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, and thoughts, to regrets, aspirations, memories and dreams. Other, shorter-term forms of therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be more structured and provide practical exercises to help you understand your thoughts and actions.
  • Are online sessions as effective as in-person sessions?
    Effectiveness Since a psychological assessment and counselling/psychotherapy do not require physical examination (eg. palpation), distance therapy treatment is fully functional and effective for 98% of clients according to international scientific research (1,2,3,4,5). Benefits Online therapy can have significant benefits for you, provided you do not feel discomfort with the use of audio visual technology and equipment (web cam, microphone): Shorter absence from work and other obligations. Easy access (no commuting time,traffic, parking, etc.). Comfortable communication from your home, or from an environment of your choice. References: Univ of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. “Online therapy effective at treating depression and anxiety.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2016. B. Wagner “Internet-based versus face-to-face cognitive-behavioral intervention for depression: A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial.” Journal of Affective Disorders. Jan 2014;152-154:113–121. L. Beebe; “A Comparison of Telephone and Texting Interventions for Persons with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.” Journal Issues in Mental Health Nursing 2014;35:323-329. Ruwaard J, Lange A. “Efficacy and effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral treatment: a decade of interapy research.” Stud Health Technol Inform. 2011;167:9-14. V. Harrison. “Mobile mental health: Review of the emerging field and proof of concept study.” Journal of Mental Health Dec 2011;20(6):509-24. J. Bergström, G.Andersson. “Internet-versus group-administered cognitive behaviour therapy for panic disorder in a psychiatric setting: a randomised trial.” BMC Psychiatry 2010;10:54.
  • What platform do you use for online sessions?
    We use Zoom (preferably), or Skype for online sessions. Both platforms have been endorsed by various professional bodies and the choice for their use is based on quality, ethical considerations and for the protection of client and therapist. Please check if your location allows for use of these platforms. In exceptional circumstances, if the platforms are down or inaccessible, Therapist may contact you by telephone.
  • How long should I expect to have to continue counselling/psychotherapy?
    The length of your treatment will very much depend on your unique circumstances and needs, with six sessions often recommended and a review after that. Additionally, it also depends on the type of therapy you choose to try. Cognitive behavioural therapy is designed to be short-term and lasts six to 20 sessions. Psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, and existential therapies tend to be longer term, and many last for many months or even years. Do keep in mind that once you start sessions, new issues and angles can arise you were not aware existed that you then want to explore. It is of course possible to also see improvement faster than you expected.
  • How do I know which approach is most suited to me?
    There are many types of evidence based therapeutic approaches nowadays, including person-centred, psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Don't worry if you are simply not sure what particular approach would be suited to you. Your first appointment will be an assessment where you can discuss your issues and the different types of therapy that might help.
  • I feel unsure whether therapy is what I need. Am I able to speak to a therapist over the phone to make sure I will benefit from the sessions? Could I summarise my concerns in one email?
    During the initial session you will have the opportunity to disclose any topics you might want to bring to therapy with a skilled therapist, as well as questions and concerns. Certain topics are best discussed in-person, with adequate space to be understood. If you have specific questions that haven’t been answered, you may use the Contact Form to reach us.
  • What if I want to try more than one kind of therapy?
    Many therapists nowadays are what is known as 'integrative' or ‘pluralistic’ , meaning they are trained in and combine a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches to best help their clients. If this is of interest, look at individual profiles under 'Therapists' to find one that offers the several types of therapy you are interested in, or call us and we can advise you further. We use a pluralist approach that draws upon Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic, and Third wave CBT such as Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBCT/MBSR).
  • What’s the difference between the therapeutic approaches used?
    There are several evidence based therapeutic approaches used to treat psychological distress. In out practice we use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBCT/MBSR) and Psychodynamic Therapy. ACT is a cognitive behavioural method of psychology that teaches us to notice, accept and embrace our thoughts, feelings and actions. A critical assumption of ACT is that pain and suffering are a normal and unavoidable part of human experience and that it is our attempts to control and avoid these experiences that actually lead to more long-term suffering. Consequently, what ACT teaches us is to accept what is out of our control and instead commit to action that seeks to enrich our lives. The goal of therapy is not to eliminate certain parts of our experience but rather to learn how to deal with these painful events. During therapy you will learn the skills to recognise, recontextualise and eventually accept these events, and develop greater clarity about what values are important to you and commit to change. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychotherapy which combines cognitive and behavioural therapies with the aim of helping individuals change how they think and behave. Unlike other forms of psychotherapy, CBT focuses specifically on the problems and difficulties we are facing in the present, rather than the past. CBT focuses on the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes we hold (our cognitive processes) and how this interacts with our behaviour to create our emotional problems. Fundamentally, CBT is based on the theory that it is not the events themselves that upset us, but the meanings we attach to them. Thereby, our thoughts can prevent us from seeing things that do not fit with what we believe is true. As such, CBT helps us to see the alternative explanation and enjoy the rewards of seeing events differently. Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves making a special effort to notice what's happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings) – without judging anything. It has roots in Buddhism and meditation, but you don't have to be spiritual, or have any particular beliefs, to try it. Many people find practising mindfulness helps them manage their day-to-day wellbeing, but it doesn't always work for everyone. It aims to help you: Become more self-aware Feel calmer and less stressed Feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings Cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts Be kinder towards yourself Psychodynamic therapy stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. By encouraging individuals to explore unresolved issues and to talk about important people and relationships in their life they can increase their self-awareness and understanding of how the past is influencing present problems. Compared to psychoanalytic therapy, psychodynamic therapy seeks to provide a quicker solution for more immediate problems.
  • I only want one session; will the therapist be able to help?
    Generally, your first session will be used as an assessment and consultation, rather than for treatment. This allows you to identify your issues as you see them, and for your therapist to start to gain an idea of what your needs are. So unfortunately, having just one session is unlikely to have any lasting benefit for you.
  • Why do I need to attend weekly sessions?
    The standard format of weekly sessions helps you make gradual and steady progress that means you see real results. In some cases, a therapist will agree to two or more sessions per week, if you both deem it beneficial and they have the availability.
  • Can I have more than one session a week?
    Yes. If you require more than one session a week, therapists may be able to accommodate this, with a review as things start to improve for you. Sometimes, however, the therapist you are working with will not have any other availability, so will not be able to offer multiple weekly sessions.
  • Can I speak to a therapist before my appointment?
    Therapists are in sessions with clients during the day and simply can't make time to talk to every potential client. Your consultation appointment is the time to ask any questions you might have, find out about how your therapist will work with you, and discover if you feel a connection. Remember that while the majority of consultations proceed to a full course of treatment, you are under no obligation to continue.
  • Does my GP need to refer me for an appointment?
    No. You are free to refer yourself.
  • Will my counselling/psychotherapy sessions be confidential?
    Yes, counselling sessions are confidential. The exception would be if you were to pose a danger to yourself or others, in which case the relevant parties would be notified.
  • Will any of my information be shared?
    Therapists are committed to your privacy, so sharing your personal information is a rare occurrence. There are two exceptions. The first is if your therapist were to become aware that you are an imminent danger to yourself or others, or that someone else is a danger to you. You would first be encouraged to seek necessary support, and if you were unable or unwilling to do so your therapist has a duty of care to seek this support on your behalf. The second exception is if your therapist were to become aware that you intended to commit a major crime of any sort. In such a case they have a legal obligation to disclose such information to the relevant authorities. However, please keep in mind that for the purposes of therapy, personal drug use or addictions are not considered to be criminal activities (unless they involve anyone underage). They are seen only as areas to be addressed in therapy.
  • Will my therapist be available for me in a crisis?
    Your therapist will be available to you at your scheduled appointment time only. In the case of an emergency, you will need to seek other resources. Contact your GP, the Samaritans (call 116 123,, or, if necessary, emergency services.
  • How much is the counselling/psychotherapy session? Do you offer discounts for therapy sessions?
    The fee for one session is £70 (or equivalent). Concessions for low-incomers, trainees and students may be considered. Please do get in touch to discuss any available options.
  • Why do I have to pay for missed/cancelled sessions?
    In order to reserve a certain time slot just for you each week there will be a cancellation policy that applies. Thus, if you have scheduled a session with a therapist and have a confirmed session time and date, we have a forty-eight-hour notice period. For sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice, a full fee will apply, therefore we cannot offer a refund or session replacement. Any and all missed sessions outside of the agreed to terms will be charged at the full fee, including holidays, work commitments, illness and other emergencies.
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