What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
Both terms are often used interchangeably as both overlap due to the use of similar modalities. However counselling usually refers to short-term work aiming at targeting a specific goal bereavement being one example. Psychotherapy is generally a long-term process allowing deeper and wider reflective work. One format is not better than the other. It’s what works for you that matter the most. Both can be very powerful and a life-changing experience.
Some of the common areas of concerns psychotherapy and counselling can help with are (this is a non-exhaustive list):
- Depression: Common symptoms of depression are apathy, loss of motivation, pessimism or despair, sleeping difficulties, loss of appetite,
- Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder (OCD)
- Relationship issues
Ready to give it a go?
You might have concerns about engaging in therapy;
this is a common occurrence and it can be overcome with your therapist :
Fear of collapsing
People may fear they will collapse by opening up. It can be compared to a taboo that would turn into a curse if it was spoken of and named. You might fear that if you don’t keep your emotions and feelings tightly in check you will be unable to recover. For a long time you have vigorously managed to use defence mechanisms to cope with those emotions.
Your therapist will aim to explore them with sensitivity and diligently so that you have the tools to deal with those painful emotions beforehand. It’s like building a new scaffolding to reach for those emotions. Therapy is a process like unpeeling layers after layers. In fact you don’t access deeper levels before you are ready to confront them.
Fear of being judged and shamed
Exposing your thoughts and feelings to a stranger can feel at first an anxiety provoking situation. You might fear of being judged, shamed and rejected by your therapist. If you are used to cope on your own and keep yourself to yourself the presence of an other person might feel very unsettling.
Your therapist is trained, remains in on-going personal and professional development and adheres to a code of practice that respects and values your thoughts and feelings. Instead of coming from a judgemental perspective of right or wrong your therapist will empathically explore those from your own lens allowing you to feel safer and emotionally connected.
“Am I worth it?”
You might feel your problems are not worth it as so many other people seem to suffer much more. It is irrelevant to compare your situation to others. Every one is unique, every story is unique, every feeling is experienced differently. In fact scoring those are very personal and we all have our own “grading” of intensity. Coming to therapy is a personal choice and is driven by a multitude of “reasons”. So no matter how relatively big or small they might be it is your opportunity to take the driver’s seat and embark on your journey with the therapist seating at the co-pilot seat.
Fear of attachment
Because successful therapies create a strong relationship between your therapist and yourself people may fear they will remain dependent from him/her. It is paramount to the therapeutic process that a positive attachment is created. The weekly support your therapist engages into becomes a source of hope where you can channel your distress and hone new constructive and sustainable changes in your life.
Because the working alliance co-created with your therapist fosters growth you work towards developing a stronger sense of self that empowers you to feel more robust and eventually feel ready to face life without his/her support. Ending with your therapist is YOUR new beginning!
How do you know you are ready for therapy?
You may feel overwhelmed and struggle to cope with your daily routine. Reaching out for help may feel like a daunting task as it requires a great deal of courage to acknowledge you can no longer cope alone.
Once you have contacted and met your therapist, how do you know that he/she is the right one for you?
You feel safe:
Opening up about your feelings can be a daunting process as it leaves you vulnerable. Safety is paramount to any therapeutic relationship. You need to feel safe with your therapist if you are to open up about your upmost fears and desires. By offering you a consistent, caring and confidential space you can express your thoughts. It enabled you to explore and pace the reflective process in a collaborative and non-judgmental manner.
You feel heard and understood:
Do you remember a time when a person you didn’t know that well got you? A therapist is able through empathy to be genuinely present and share your feelings from your own perspective. Being seen with the eyes of another, listened with the ears of another and felt with the heart of another is a truly unique and empowering experience.
You feel contained:
Your therapist is accompanying you on your journey and his/her presence enables you to explore more deeply issues leading to new meaning-making insights. You feel emotionally supported and the burden of your distress is shared and processed together.
There isn’t any problem that is too big or too small. From an existential mid-life crisis to severe traumatic experiences we endeavour to provide you with a professional and consistent support so you can grow out of your troubles and in a better position to tackle future difficulties. How you feel and what you experience is what matters.
Depending on your difficulties we can arrange short-term, long-term, early mornings and late evenings or fortnightly sessions when this is appropriate. Because we take your concerns very seriously we strive to help you to get back on track as smoothly as possible.
Ready to give it a go?