Counselling and Psychotherapy
What is it?
Counselling and psychotherapy provide a safe and confidential place to talk over your problems or difficulties and to explore thoughts and feelings. A well-trained counsellor or psychotherapist will not judge you and will be concerned with trying to understand what is happening in your life. This can help you to gain new understanding about yourself, which in turn can help you to make changes.
People seek counselling or psychotherapy for many different reasons: they may be facing difficult situations, having difficulty with a relationship, lacking confidence, feeling depressed, anxious or distressed, or feel unable to come to terms with past events and experiences.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Both counselling and psychotherapy are concerned with finding a way to understand particular difficulties that people face in their lives and to help them to live fuller and more satisfying lives. Counselling is usually concerned with focussing on a specific problem, whilst psychotherapy tends to work at greater depth exploring the whole personality.
There are many different kinds of counselling and psychotherapy, and you may know exactly what you are looking for, or you may know very little about it. What is important is that you feel you can get on with your therapist, as the relationship that is formed will be an important part of the work.
Psychodynamic counselling and psychoanalytic psychotherapy
My training is in psychodynamic counselling and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, both of which involve exploring current behaviours and ways of thinking to find the unconscious motivations behind them, which may come from childhood experiences. Everyone has a tendency to repeat patterns of behaviour, and even if you want to change these, it can be very hard to do so. By discovering the unconscious motivations behind your behaviour and your thinking, you can see how they have developed and this can help to change them.
Some of these behaviours may be repeated in the therapeutic relationship, which makes it an important tool for change, as the therapist will be able to understand and accept what happens in a way that is difficult in any other relationship.
Jung viewed the psyche as purposeful, with goals that we may be unaware of but which we need to discover in order to live a more fulfilling and creative life. He saw the unconscious as potentially helpful and creative, and he believed in the importance of dreams and images to help us to discover the areas of ourselves that we need to be paying attention to.