What is counselling / therapy?
“Counselling” and “psychotherapy” are terms that are often used interchangeably. Some feel that counselling refers to short-term work and psychotherapy to working at depth on an open-ended basis, but generally both are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking and listening based methods of addressing psychological issues.
Through the process of talking – and being heard – in a safe, confidential space, we can gain a better understanding of our past and present conflicts, learn to appreciate and utilise our own resources and explore new perspectives and ways of being in the world. This might involve clarifying opportunities for growth and change, or, conversely, exploring and coming to terms with those areas we are unable or unwilling to change.
What is ‘psychodynamic’?
“Psycho” refers to the mind, and “dynamic” refers to the dynamic between our unconscious minds and how they impact our conscious behaviour; or to put it another way, how our pasts, which we may have long forgotten, still impact our thoughts and feelings in the present.
While some therapies focus on ‘how’ to address blocks and solve problems, psychodynamic therapy concentrates on the question why… “Why do I feel like this?” “Why do I keep having these same problems?!” Through the process of examining why, we can gain greater understanding of the different aspects of ourselves and improved self-knowledge which can offer welcome relief and the possibility of change.
What can I expect from the first meeting?
The very first session will be an initial consultation and will last between 60 and 90 minutes. During this time, we will get a sense of each other and you can tell me all about yourself and why you’re seeking counselling at this time. I will make some written notes during this session but this will be the only time I will make notes during our time together. You can also ask any questions you may have about the counselling process. If, at the end of this meeting, you would like to proceed with further sessions, we will then set the day, time and cost of our future meetings.
What about the other sessions?
If, after the initial consultation, you decide to proceed with regular sessions, each session will be 50 minutes in length and will take place on a weekly basis, at the same time each week. This is your time, so sessions are client led and will focus on whatever is on your mind that week.
During our discussions together, I will assume the position of a trained ‘co-explorer’ of what is going on for you. No one is more of an expert on you than you are, but I may help to understand what is just out of sight, or bring your attention to recurring patterns of behaviour, forming links between seemingly disparate areas of your life. I won’t tell you what to do but instead will help you towards making the right life choices for you. Ultimately, my aim is to make myself redundant in your life!
Are our sessions confidential?
Absolutely. I am bound by the ethical standards of the BACP. As such, I am required to attend regular supervision sessions with a qualified professional and may discuss our work together in this context, though your identity will not be disclosed.
In accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, I may be required to break our confidentiality agreement in the event that your life, or the life of someone else is in imminent danger.
How do I start?
To begin the process, simply complete the contact form on this site with your details and a short message detailing why you are seeking counselling.
I will respond within two days and invite you for an initial consultation at my practice in Walthamstow, E17.
My standard fee is £60 per initial consultation followed by £60 per 50 minute session.