Frequently Asked Questions
The truth is there is no real difference. They are terms that mean the same thing. Both Counsellors and Therapists will use the same skills to work with you.
Sometimes counselling is perceived as a talking and listening service and therapy is perceived as an analytical service. Yet a counsellor will analyse the information you tell them and a therapist will listen to you.
Sometimes counselling refers to short-term work and therapy refers to long-term work but all practitioners should contract the number of sessions with you and make it clear at the start how long and how frequently you will meet. Often private practitioners will be able to extend the duration of the sessions if you feel that you are engaging well or need more support.
If you are struggling with anything, anything at all then counselling is for you. Sometimes people worry that their problems aren’t worthy of ‘wasting someone’s time’ and sometimes people worry that no one will want to listen. Equally some people worry that their problems are so enormous or so dark that they couldn’t possibly burden someone else with them.
You couldn’t be further from the truth. Counsellors want to support anyone who is struggling. They train extensively to be able to work with all scenarios and they will support your transfer onto specialist support if it is needed.
You will be welcomed regardless of your circumstances, I promise.
Try to focus on the positives. You have found this website which means you have found me and I’ve been where you are now. I completely understand how daunting it can feel to approach a counsellor especially if it is for the very first time. The great news is that I am extremely friendly and supportive and I want to hear from you.
I also understand that different people prefer to make initial contact in different ways so there are a range of ways that you can connect with me so that you can choose the one you feel most comfortable with,
Telephone 07952 589578
Text 07952 589578
Via the FB group on messenger https://www.facebook.com/Integrative-Therapy-1648123198746380/
WhatsApp 07952 589578
Face to Face Find me at The Old Vicarage, Market Square, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP270AN (you may want to notify me in advance to make sure that I will be there).
Question 4 You offer quite a few types of counselling & therapy, how do I know which one is for me?
There are several ways to select the right service:
1. Read the information about the services we offer (listed on the page Our Therapies) and select the one that sounds right for you.
2. Arrange a welcome appointment with any of the practitioners, explain your circumstances and ask for their help in guiding you towards the right style of work.
3. Think about your past experiences of counselling & therapy. What have you tried before? What worked and what didn’t? Do you need to try something completely different or do you need to have another go at something you’ve tried before?
4. Read the testimonials (listed on the page Our Reviews) supplied by real clients to get a feel for how they have experienced the different services.
5. Carry out some internet research on the different therapy styles that we offer to gain a greater insight into how they work. Then make an enquiry with us to check any information or questions you might have.
There are several ways to choose which counsellor or therapist to book in with:
1. On the page ‘Our Therapies’ you will notice a tick and cross chart below each type of service. This indicates the services that each practitioner offers. Choosing your preferred style of work and then looking at the available members of the team will help you to narrow down your options.
2. On the page ‘Our Team’ you will find more information about our practitioners along with links to their individual websites. This will help you to get a feel for the different people we have to support you.
3. On the page ‘Notice Board’ you can check current availability with the different practitioners.
4. If you are still unsure contact Rebecca directly and she will happily help you.
Remember some services can’t be offered if you have personal connections to the practitioner in question. Our team will be happy to advise you in these circumstances.
It’s perfectly normal not to know how to start. It’s also normal to arrive at a session and go blank. Remember there is never any pressure. Our practitioners are supportive and will help you through this challenge should you experience it. The best thing you can do is tell us if you are feeling that way. You won’t be judged.
This is an interesting question as it depends largely on each individual client. However I can share some thoughts that may be useful:
Firstly in my experience almost all clients report of feeling better after every session of therapy. A good therapist will manage the session well so even if you talk about difficult issues you will still feel contained and okay again by the end. Talking and crying are both natural ways for the body to release a buildup of unwanted negative emotions. We call it ‘venting’. If you create a healthy vent and enable the negative emotions to empty out of you will experience a sense of release, lightening and freedom. So although your problem may not be fixed instantly, in general you can expect to feel a bit better every time you come.
Some therapies are designed to provide immediate relief and this includes Spectrum Emotional Release and Intuitive Heart Healing. The reason for this is because these therapies are carried out whilst you are in your natural medative state. Therefore the practitioner is communicating directly with the unconscious part of your mind and the effects are much faster because your brain isn’t having to ‘think’ about the answers. Therefore these therapies are ideal for people who suffer with PTSD, who don’t want to re-hash past trauma or who can’t face the idea of talking week in week out about their challenges. There are some clients where this technique doesn’t have the full effect, namely those who struggle to meditate or those who experience strong secondary gain / payoffs. Secondary gain / payoff means that there is an unconscious advantage to having the problem. E.G. if you have had suffered with a particular problem for years it may have formed part of your identity. If you can’t bear the idea of losing that identity you might hold onto the problem despite the therapy. This only happens in very rare cases. But it means that secondary issues need to be addressed first which may make the process take longer.
Some problems aren’t as deep rooted. You could be facing a challenge whereby you have an important decision to make or a particular situation to overcome. This type of situation can usually be tackled in short-term therapy. Ordinarily this would be addressed using Integrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Short term means approximately six sessions.
Mental health conditions, problems stemming back to childhood or unwanted behavioural patterns are more complex. (In some cases) they can be worked on using Spectrum Emotional Release or Intuitive Heart Healing but most commonly people like to work through their content over time. There is a need for a person to understand themselves, make sense of things and work through a lifetime of challenging experiences. In this instance mid-term therapy of approximately 20 – 52 sessions. This would normally be done using Psychodynamic Therapy, Transactional Analysis (TA), Schema Therapy, Integrative Therapy or Creative Therapy.
In some cases clients have may embark on long-term therapy. This can be for a number of years using any of the styles mentioned for mid-term therapy. This might be because there are many facets of the person to work through or because it acts as alternative to mental health medication and holds a person in a healthy ‘management phase’ without the need for drugs.
This the answer to this question depends on several things:
What is ‘it’?
What will you need to accept?
How much are you committed to eradicating unwanted thoughts, feelings and behaviours?
How will you manage your process of change; from where to start, what needs to be done and how to maintain it?
I believe 100% in the powers of therapy.
This is a really personal decision that only you can make.
I always advise that you strive to keep yourself safe so perhaps think about the following before making your decision:
Who can you trust?
What information is safe to share?
What would be beneficial for you, for people to know about you?
What are the risks involved in divulging certain information to certain people you know?
If you have a good, supportive, reliable and trustworthy person or network of people then what would stop you from sharing?
Could sharing information help people to give you more of what you need?
Is reducing the stigma around mental health important you?
This is often (but not always) frowned upon.
I would offer that you should always be transparent with your therapist / counsellor about this and chat to them openly about it.
The two main reasons for it being discouraged are:
Every therapist will have their own unique way of helping you through your challenges. If you work with two professionals simultaneously and they both approach you from different perspectives you could end up more confused than before you started.
You will cover a lot of ground in your sessions and often the brain requires time to let the information sink in and take root. For this reason it is often advised to have a break between different styles of therapy. The ideal time period is different for everyone.
If you feel that you aren’t getting enough from your therapy you could think about increasing the time from one hour to one and a half hours per week. Or you could have more than one session per week.
You may want to think about changing modalities (the style of therapy) if your counsellor offers an alternative.
You may want to think about changing your therapist.
In every eventuality I urge you to discuss your thoughts with your current therapist.