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Psychotherapy and counselling are talking therapies

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How long does psychotherapy last?

This depends on the technique being used, and the issues which a client brings.  For some people, there is a specific issue which they want to look at, and this can be addressed over a few sessions, perhaps 8 – 15, in a solution-focused way.   For others, the issues may be more widespread, and may be buried deeper in their unconscious.  In this case, the therapy will work more psychoanalytically, and will take longer, typically 6-12 months, but longer if necessary.

What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is based on the idea that unconscious ideas and constructs shape our behaviour and lives; often, these ideas stem from very early infancy, and our attempts to make sense of the world around us. Meanings can be stored in the unconscious which can bring about distress and problems in current life. Psychoanalytic therapy looks at the connections between these, in order to help clients develop a better understanding of what is happening, and as a result feel more in control of their lives.

How does change work?

Talking therapies bring about change by enabling us to see the unconscious ideas, beliefs or fantasies which are influencing us in our current lives and relationships. As long as these ideas remain unconscious, we cannot know what effect they are having. Bringing them into consciousness allows us to see them, and importantly, to question them and discover how false or incorrect they are – in essence, we stop believing in them.

Do you work with all types of clients?

Yes.  I will work with all adult individuals, couples and relationships experiencing the types of difficulty outlined on this website, and I bring the same non-judgemental, confidential and interested professional care and attention to my work with all of my clients.  Most therapists have particular areas of expertise, and as an accredited gender and sexual diversity therapist I do have particular experience in working with clients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, or who have other gender or sexual identities. However, I bring the same non-judgemental, confidential and interested professional care and attention to my work with all of my clients.

Is psychotherapy confidential?

Psychotherapy is completely confidential.  There are rare situations where there may be a need to break confidentiality, where there is a risk of harm to the client or others, but even in this situation, the therapist would make every effort to agree this with the client before taking any action.

You say you’re a UKCP registered psychotherapist. What does that mean?

UKCP is an approved regulator of psychotherapists and has high minimum standards of training.  UKCP therapists have been trained to Masters-degree level, over a minimum of 4 years, and are required to carry our certain levels of ongoing professional development training in order to ensure that their practice is maintained at that same high level.  Be aware – people can call themselves psychotherapists or counsellors and not have had any training or formal regulation.  Be sure that you choose a psychotherapist or counsellor with a recognised qualification, for your own safe-keeping.