Counselling or psychotherapy (these terms are often used simultaneously) offers a safe and confidential space to explore difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours without judgement. Through talking together, we work to reduce/eliminate these difficulties or help you manage them more effectively. I use a combination of cognitive behavioural techniques and person centred therapy.
NICE guidelines, which are based on good quality research studies, suggest CBT can be effective in treating anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, panic, and eating disorders. In a nutshell, CBT works on the premise that how we think can effect how we feel and effect what we do. Also, it suggests that how we behave can maintain unhelpful thinking patterns. We call this relationship a vicious cycle. The aim of therapy is to understand any unhelpful patterns and try to work out how we can break these vicious cycles.
You might want to consider counselling if:
- You've experienced a traumatic event
- You're feeling low in confidence or have low self-esteem
- You have had a bereavement or a loss
- You feel overwhelmed by worries
- You find social situations very difficult
- You feel overly anxious about your health
- You struggle with intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours
- You feel depressed
- You binge eat
What Happens in Sessions?
In the assessment session, we will meet to find out what has brought you to therapy. We will explore this and what you hope to gain from our time together. We can discuss any questions you may have. I will explain confidentiality and its boundaries. I will explain the therapeutic relationship and how it differs from a typical friendship. We will also go through a contract together. This is a formality but very important; it will highlight what you can expect from me and in return, what I will expect from you. I will explain how your data is stored. You will probably learn more about me too!
In a typical session, we will start by doing a mood check. This helps me understand how you're feeling. I may ask you to fill out a psychometric measure, depending on what you want to gain from therapy. We will set an agenda together. Agenda setting is used routinely in CBT but it can be a helpful technique to use in other therapies. Setting an agenda means that we will make sure that you get to speak about something that is on your mind. We usually end by reviewing the session - finding out what was helpful or not helpful and how we can build on this.