What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?

There can be many similarities, but psychotherapy tends to go to a deeper level than counselling to work on more deep seated and enduring issues. Counselling is often focused on a specific problem.

What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

It is a process of exploration by you and your therapist together to gain an understanding of the processes going on in your unconscious. These unconscious processes affect your conscious thinking and behaviour. By improving self awareness, you are enabled to find more appropriate ways of coping with difficulties. Click here for more details.

Does having psychotherapy mean that I am ill?

Seeking psychotherapy is often a sign of courage in wanting to deal with something that may have been troubling you for some time. You may be afraid that you will be seen as ill, but it is more often a sign of unhappiness or a feeling that “something is not right”. Psychotherapy is a private matter.

Does psychotherapy work better than prescription medicine?

Psychotherapy focuses on the emotional causes of difficulties, whereas medication tends to be prescribed to address the symptoms (such as anxiety or depression). People who have been prescribed medication may also be helped by psychotherapy. Some people may find their medication helpful as a stabiliser enabling them to undertake psychotherapy, which can be painful and disturbing.

What can I expect from a psychotherapy session?

It will last for 50 minutes. There is no set agenda – you bring whatever is on your mind. You may chose to sit in a chair where you can see the therapist, or you may prefer to lie on the couch where you will not be facing the therapist.

How often would I need to come?

The frequency will be agreed by you and your therapist at the initial consultation, and will be once, twice or three times a week.

How long will I need to keep seeing the therapist?

There is no set length of time for psychotherapy. Because it deals with deeper issues and underlying causes (rather than specific problems and symptoms) it can take longer than counselling or cognitive therapies (e.g. CBT). It can take months or years – depending on how much you want to achieve. It is a gradual and open-ended process.

What does it cost and how do I pay?

Please feel free to email me for information about current fee rates. You can pay by cheque, cash or bank transfer. You pay for the initial consultation at the time. You will be invoiced in arrears for ongoing psychotherapy sessions.

What if I miss a session, for example, if I go on holiday?

Your session will take place at the same time on the same day of the week. This time is reserved for you. If you are unable to attend, you will still be charged. If you give advance notice, the therapist may be able to offer you a different time but this may not always be the case. You will, of course, not be charged if the therapist is not available.

Does it work?

The effectiveness of psychotherapy has been shown through several studies and more are underway. If you wish to know more, you may like to read “What works for whom? - A Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research” by Anthony Roth and Peter Fonagy, first published in 1996 by the Gilford Press.