Psychotherapy FAQ


What is the difference between counselling, psychotherapeutic counselling and psychotherapy?


Counselling or what is sometimes referred to as talking therapy or psychological therapy and involves talking with a counsellor about current issues that cause you distress. The counsellor will listen without judgment and issues discussed will be confidential.

Psychotherapeutic counselling has a notable difference with its emphasis on the formation of an in-depth therapeutic relationship between client and therapist. Establishing and maintaining the therapeutic relationship, is a pivotal factor in the therapeutic work.

Psychotherapy involves exploring your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences in a structured way, at a deeper level when necessary; in order to gain insight into what may be causing distress or difficulties. It is a process that enables a greater comprehension of the influence of personal history and childhood events and relationships and how these shape current perception. It can facilitate better ways of coping and promote positive changes in thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Together with your therapist you can explore different techniques as a process to help you find the capacity for improvement within yourself.

“UKCP believes the difference lies in the length and depth of training involved and in the quality of the relationship between the client and their therapist. UKCP-registered psychotherapists are trained to Masters level”.


What does it mean to be an integrative therapist?


It means the therapist has trained using a variety of theoretical approaches and that s/he can draw upon the most useful and relevant ones depending on the individual person’s issue, personality style and their preferred way of working.


What are some of the theoretical approaches that inform your therapeutic work?


Relational psychotherapy is a way of understanding the process of human relating, using the therapeutic relationship to identify, understand and work through dynamics that occur within therapy to improve relational dynamics that the client experiences and enabling a greater understanding of themselves.

Attachment-based psychotherapy explores the concept that problematic attachment experiences during infancy & early childhood are often replayed through relationships throughout life, with different types of attachment identified by Bowlby, a British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst -secure, anxious, avoidant, ambivalent or disorganised.

Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories with creative exploration through drawing, painting and sculpture. This can be an external expression of the internal emotional experience for an individual and can be particularly helpful for individuals having difficulties verbally expressing themselves. Techniques might also include sand-tray work with miniature figures to represent themselves and others to explore relationships.

Person-centred counselling or Rogerian works on the basis that an individual seeking support in the resolution of a problem can engage in an accepting non-judgmental relationship with the counsellor, allowing the client to freely express emotions and feelings.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology that focuses on the unconscious and past experiences, to determine current behaviour. The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, the primary focus being to reveal the unconscious content of a client's psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. Psychodynamic therapy relies on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist than do other forms of depth psychology.

Transactional analysis, referred to as TA was developed by Eric Berne and draws upon psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive approaches. A central tenet is that we have three 'ego-states' to our personality: the child, adult and parent. These influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviour and by becoming aware of them an individual can be more autonomous in their actions and beliefs.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combines cognitive and behavioural techniques with the aim of challenging or changing negative thoughts and emotions. This may include: keeping a diary of significant events along with feelings, thoughts and behaviours; questioning thoughts, assumptions, and beliefs which may be unrealistic and testing out new ways of behaving. Relaxation and distraction techniques are also commonly used which the aim to influence negative emotions relating to inaccurate appraisal of events.

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