Affordable Therapy Concepts
Ample House, Lincolnshire
0152 253 5555
How can counselling or psychotherapy help me?
People attend counselling and psychotherapy sessions for many reasons. Perhaps you are dealing with grief or the breakdown of a relationship. Maybe you recognise the need to break unhealthy patterns of behaviour, or you feel angry or upset all the time but are unsure why. You may not understand the emotions you are experiencing, it could just be that you feel unhappy, anxious or dissatisfied and want to make a change.
The aim of Counselling and Psychotherapy is to help you identify the issues that are affecting your life in a negative way, and work with you to resolve these problems so you can feel more positive again. Often clients feel a great weight is lifted from their shoulders once the roots of a problem have been identified, and they then feel able to work to resolve any emotions, thoughts or behaviours that are stopping them moving forward or enjoying life.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
The terms Counselling and Psychotherapy are often used interchangeably.
Though they have similar meanings with considerable overlap, there are some important distinctions between the two that are helpful to keep in mind when looking for a mental health care provider.
What Is Counselling?
Counselling is sometimes known as “talking therapy” it is a conversation or series of conversations between a Counsellor and client. Counselling usually focuses on a specific problem and taking the steps to address or resolve it. Problems are discussed in the present-tense, without too much attention on the role of past experiences.
Counselling tends to focus on relating to and understanding the breath of change and usually the client is still able to function on a normal basis. Whereas psychotherapy offers depth of understanding so that clients can relate to the complexities and seriousness of the changes they need to make in order to benefit their long-term health.
Though the titles “Counsellor” and “Advisor” are often used. Counsellors rarely offer advice. Instead, Counsellors guide clients to find their own answers and support them through the actions they choose to take. In the UK, Counsellors can be Senior Accredited, Accredited or Registered Members of various Professional Bodies, the largest of which is the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). They can be qualified at Certificate, Diploma, Degree, Post Graduate Counselling Certificate/Diploma, Masters or PhD by satisfying several educational, experience and testing requirements over a period of years.
What Is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, like counselling, is based on a healing relationship between a health care professional and client. Psychotherapy, or therapy for short, also takes place over a series of meetings, though often it has a longer duration than counselling. Some people participate in therapy over several years; constantly or by dipping in and out according to their needs. Therapy can be carried out individually, in couples, families or in groups.
Instead of narrowing in on individual problems, psychotherapy considers overall patterns, chronic issues and recurrent feelings. This requires an openness to exploring the past, its impact on the present and future. The aim of psychotherapy is to resolve the underlying issues which fuel ongoing issues. Psychotherapists help to resolve past experiences as part of laying the foundation for a satisfying future. Gaping open emotional wounds hurt much like a physical wound would and if they are touched can create incredibly painful responses. Many Psychotherapists are open to and interested in wisdom from a variety of sources, my interest lies with the inner child, adult and parent ego states as discussed by Eric Berne and bringing unconscious processes and learned behaviours into the conscious mind.
Other therapists may be interested in working with bodily reactions or cognitions whatever their interest therapists need to be comfortable working with strong feelings, traumatic memories and addressing therapeutic developmental needs in the relationship. In the UK Psychotherapists are usually registered through a professional body the largest one is United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists (UKCP). Psychotherapists are usually educated to a minimum of Master’s level, have completed a minimum of 160 hours of personal therapy, at least 750 hours of supervised practice hours and a minimum of 750 hours of training. Most have exceeded these targets hugely before they qualify.
Group Therapy in Lincoln
After an initial period of assessment to determine client need, I sometimes recommend group therapy sessions. The support and understanding offered in a group environment can build confidence and help to gain a deeper understanding of the issues being experienced.
Whilst working in a group may seem scary as you are opening yourself up in front of others, it can be the most rewarding and insightful way of doing therapy simply because of the richness of alternative perspective it offers. If facilitated well, inclusion
in the support of others resolving their own issues can be so empowering.
How do I Choose Between Counselling & Psychotherapy?
In the UK, Counselling and Psychotherapy are unregulated professions which means you need to be aware of who you choose to work with particularly in the private sector; there are unscrupulous practitioners out there, so you need to check they are qualified, a member of a professional body, have professional indemnity insurance, data protection and a current disclosure and barring certificate.
If you are choosing to see a therapist through an organisation rather than as an individual practitioner; you need to ensure those running the establishment are appropriately qualified, insured and data protected too. As an organisation they will have public liability insurance, support clinical supervision and continuing professional development for all their practitioners and those involved in managing the organisation.
It is incredibly important to check the level of qualification of your practitioner because frequently you pay the same for someone that as limited qualification and experience as you do for those that are well qualified and very experienced.
Be aware therapist is a generic term which can mislead clients to believe practitioners are better qualified than they are. Being qualified in Counselling and Psychotherapy doesn’t necessarily entitle you to practice as a Counsellor or Psychotherapist so please take your time about getting to know who you are choosing to work with.
Providing you are aware, choosing a Counsellor or Psychotherapist should be a straightforward task. Usually the most important aspect is finding someone who is a good fit for you that is trustworthy and easy to talk with. Research shows that the connection between therapist and client is the most important factor in successful outcomes.
Scale of Daily Functioning can indicate if you require a Counsellor or Psychotherapist.
0 ———————-25%———————-50%———————-75%—————– 100%
0 equals wellness and excellent daily functioning
100% equals severe mental health issues, unwellness and no function..
If you are in the 0 to 25% range – consider talking to family and friends or a trainee Counsellor.
If you are in the 25 to 50% range – consider a well-qualified and experienced Counsellor or Psychotherapist
If you are in the 50 to 75% range – you are likely to be struggling so consider a Psychotherapist
If you are in the 75 to 100% range – you need to consult your GP and ask for a psychiatric consultation. You are likely to be offered medication and/or psychotherapy in an NHS setting.