In the counselling process there will be an opportunity for you to talk through the difficulties you are experiencing, on a once weekly basis. You may have experienced certain painful incidents, such as loss of a loved one, a divorce or loss of a job. Counselling can help with the thoughts and feelings around these events. Counselling is not about giving advice, but the counsellor will help you to clarify your thoughts. With the counsellorís help you might then decide to bring about changes in your life, or you might find a way of coming to terms with the events you have experienced. Psychodynamic counselling has some similarities with psychotherapy in that the focus is often on past experiences to help to explain and understand current difficulties. The duration of counselling is usually medium term, it is not as short as CBT, but is not as extensive as psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is a deeper more intense journey than counselling into understanding the self. The focus is more on the unconscious as the belief is that much of what we do is motivated by the unconscious part of the mind. This is why individuals keep on repeating old patterns of behaviour which take them to the same difficult place again and again. Psychotherapists work with the unconscious through the clientís stories of past and present events and often through dreams.
Psychotherapy places emphasis on unresolved issues from the past which often involved childhood relationships with parents and siblings. The aim of psychotherapy is not to bring about a quick change but to help you to focus on your really getting to know and understand yourself, only then can changes slowly and subtly occur. Psychotherapy can be helpful on a once weekly basis but it is most effective more than once a week and often people attend the centre for twice weekly therapy. Psychotherapy is usually a long- term treatment.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [CBT]
CBT is carried out with a psychologist and is usually a short term treatment of between eight to twenty sessions. This approach does not usually journey into the past or unconscious but focuses more on the here and now. It is particularly useful for the treatment of phobias-such as a fear of flying, driving or of social situations. It can also be useful for P.T.S.D. [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] where there is anxiety following a traumatic incident. It can help with O.C.D. [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] such as constant checking, hand washing, cleaning and other obsessive behaviours. The psychologist will explore with you your basic core beliefs about yourself so that you can begin to challenge those beliefs. In this approach there is a focus on goals and aims and strategies are put into place to reach those goals.
Couple counselling and psychotherapy