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A containing space to be heard and explore all aspects of yourself without fear of judgement or reprimand. In therapy, you slow down, focus on one thing and get out of autopilot. In a busy world, make time to rediscover you! Talking about things may take time; it is a good idea to think about how long you want to commit to the process. I prefer to use the term counselling to therapy as it can sometimes sound clinical.
Also known as talking therapies, the terms psychotherapy, counselling and therapy cause a lot of confusion. Below are the definitions according to the Cambridge Dictionary (Source: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/):
Therapy is the job or process of listening to someone and giving that person advice about their problems and how to deal with them
Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental illness by discussing someone's problems with them, instead of using drugs or operations
Therapy is a treatment that helps someone feel better, grow stronger, etc., especially after an illness: illness disease or injury
Practically, therapists use the terms interchangeably or only one title depending on the training they have received. The biggest difference maybe each professional approaches the problem and what skills they have to help you. Professionals with a medical background can give advice. Those without should not but may offer suggestions.
Here’s a tip: Look at a professional’s qualifications, ask questions in relation to your problem and find out how you might work together. If it doesn’t work for you, you can stop.
In short, Yes with 2 exceptions. This means I will not share anything you say with anyone except my supervisor who is also bound by confidentiality. But if there is a risk of you harming yourself or a risk to others, then I have a duty of care to share information to safeguard those involved. For example, I may share with your GP, emergency services or your parents if you are under 18. This rarely happens and is discussed with you individually. Any information shared is strictly on a need-to-know basis.
Most things but here are a few examples: anxiety, depression, self-confidence, achieving your goals, suicidal thoughts, relationship conflict, giving up bad habits, fears.
It may be that you need a more specialist service if you have a more complex chronic issue but this would be raised with you if appropriate.
50 minutes is known as the therapeutic hour for many reasons. According to research, this feels more containing for clients so you are not over-exposed to strong emotions. It helps keep the confidentiality because there is a clear short end point and keeps the focus. It also helps the client to keep a fresh perspective without getting too engrossed in your story.
There may be times where a longer or shorter session is appropriate and tailored to your individual needs.
Sessions can be by telephone, online, in person in an office or out in a public place depending on the needs of each client.
The great thing about therapy is that there is something for anyone. Each approach has benefits and may suit you depending on your reason for seeking therapy and how you want to work. The approaches are simply frameworks to look at a problem. I would suggest finding “the right fit” for you in regards to the person as well as the approach offered.
Nobody and everybody! In essence it’s about being acknowledged and heard, everyone can benefit from that. You don’t need to hit rock bottom, the earlier you get support, the faster things will happen for you. Clients like having an objective person to look at things, this often brings fresh perspective, better understanding or gets them “unstuck”. Therapyis a tool that supports you through life’s problems, which means that anybody can access it. Having just one session can be powerful! But it depends on your mindset, there needs to be a willingness to be open and ready.
It might not be appropriate for those experiencing significant mental distress or health issues. They may need a more specialised professional and/or a team of support.
It’s a different process for everyone. Some clients have a single power session, others have been in therapy for years, still going and growing. On average, clients see me for 6 to 12 weeks.
Ask yourself how long do I want to commit to this process, when do I want to meet this goal?
It has been said that 6 months of focus can put you 5 years ahead!
It takes years of training to be a qualified therapist, most often with unpaid work placements and low pay despite being qualified. Therapists are generally caring by nature choosing this profession to help others; but they also need to recoup their costs and make a living. Once qualified, therapists have ongoing supervision and may also have personal therapy- both exist to keep that therapist on top form to better help you. A good therapist will also need ongoing CPD to keep their skills and knowledge relevant, all of these come with costs.
See the cost as aninvestment in you and your personal growth.
I offer a small amount of limited concessions for those who are really struggling emotionally. Many charities offer sessions for a small fee or free sessions but you may have to wait to be seen.
There are many charities offering low cost or free counselling services. The staff are well trained and happy to support you.
Qualified therapists often work in different places and with different providers.
Many private health and business insurance companies or unions provide access to counselling, check your policy or ask your GP for local services.
Your employer may have paid for an EAP (employee assistance programme) for staff to access, or may be able to refer you to a service. You can check with HR. Local churches may also offer services, as more pastoral staff train in counselling skills.
If you're a student, check with your college or university, there is usually a free service.
Did you know… you do not need a referral from a GP to access NHS talking therapy? Anyone over 18, who is registered with a GP can refer themselves directly to an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) online.
Talking therapies are also available in British Sign Language (BSL) through SignHealth Psychological Therapy Service.
Under 18? Children and young people can get support from their local children and young people's mental health service (CYPMHS), formally known as CAMHS. You can find your local one here: Find clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in your area
But you can also talk to your GP, someone you trust at school/college, a children’s centre or health visitor.
A talking therapies service will not contact your GP without your permission unless they believe you're at risk of harming yourself or other people
Talking therapies are delivered in confidence.
Where can I go for more information?
For everyone: Every Mind Matters - NHS resources and information
A lot of the language used in services like CAMHS can be confusing, here is a simple glossary to help you understand. Guide To Mental Health Support Glossary | YoungMinds
An amazing listener who offers the most valuable advice and understanding. After every session, I felt like things made more and more sense.
Talking about my most vulnerable past has become my biggest strength. That helped me to give my pain and fear a voice and now soothe myself.
I was able to build a build a great therapeutic relationship with Karin. This allowed me to be my 100% unfiltered self, making it easier to identify the areas I needed to work on.