How does psychotherapy work?
Psychotherapy is the process at work between you, your therapist, and group members (in the case of group therapy). It is reliant on the developing relationship between you and the therapist and group members. In individual and group sessions patterns, behaviours and emotions are presented consciously or unconsciously which might reveal hidden or ignored aspects of yourself. The support and safety of therapy can help you to understand why you think, feel or act in a way which might be holding you back, or maybe destructive to yourself and others for example.
What sort of problems can be treated with psychotherapy?
All sorts of different symptoms can be treated. Sometimes you might be surprised to find an emotional root to a problem. It is worth discussing this with a psychotherapist if you are unsure whether this kind of therapy can help. If I believe another form of therapy might be more useful to you at the time, I will be able to make a recommendation.
Will my therapist need to contact my GP?
I always discuss your preferences with you. As a matter of courtesy I inform your GP if you agree to be seen regularly. If there are circumstances whereby you would prefer that I didn’t contact your GP, we can discuss this. It can be helpful to have a link with your doctor if you are seeing other health professionals and/or are currently prescribed medication that might be linked with the symptoms bringing you into therapy/counselling.
What happens in the session is confidential though I will make it clear if I need to contact an authority if I consider you or others to be at serious risk. I would, of course inform you of this beforehand.
What happens if I don’t want to continue with the therapy any more?
This always needs to be discussed with the therapist. It is important to be honest about how you are progressing and feelings you are having towards the therapist and the therapy. When you embark on therapy we will discuss what happens if you feel you no longer wish to continue. It is expected that a notice period is respected in order that you and your therapist can work out and talk through why you wish to end the therapy so that issues of ending can be addressed. Sometimes not wishing to continue or attend sessions signals that you are wanting to ignore something difficult. The therapist can help work out with you if this is the case and often working through this can mark a significant point in moving forward.
What if the therapy doesn’t make me feel any better?
It is essential that the therapist knows and understands how you feel. Finding a way to say you’re not feeling any better in words is important. Being able to discuss your feelings in therapy whether these are what you might consider negative or positive is something to aim for. This can allow hidden aspects to resurface which can help you to move forward.Therapy is difficult, and gains can take some time to be achieved. If this becomes prolonged it maybe that an alternative or additional approach is needed.
How can I trust my therapist?
This is down to how you and your therapist relate to one another and also requires a little bit of research to ensure that your therapist is accredited to practice and has the appropriate training. Therapists do not have to register with United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists (UKCP) or any other organisation, which means that anyone can call themselves a psychotherapist. While therapists who are not registered with UKCP may be well trained and experienced, choosing a therapist who is UKCP-registered gives you reassurance about their training and qualifications. It also means they have agreed to follow ethical codes and standards and to undertake ongoing training and development.
Trusting your therapist is key to a prosperous working relationship. I can reassure you of my trustworthiness by giving you a background of my training and experience, as a psychotherapist and group analyst. I practice with the support of a clinical supervisor and personal therapy when needed. To find out more about me please click here
What’s the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
What if I find it hard to talk in the sessions?
This is to be expected at times. In some sessions you will find it hard to stop talking and others you will find it hard to start! Psychotherapists are highly skilled in understanding and recognising when things become hard to talk about. Psychotherapy is a talking therapy and therefore words are encouraged. It might be that things come out in a single word format sometimes, all of which is acceptable and provides some material to work on in your therapy. Otherwise if talking is difficult, the therapist or group members may point out other behaviours which display a non verbal version of what you would like to be expressing. It is worth pointing out here that physical contact in an aggressive way is to be strictly avoided in individual and group therapy and physical affection is discouraged. It is to be encouraged to try to put words to both of these expressions if possible in therapy.
It is quite a common concern to feel uneasy or embarrassed at the thought of sharing one’s feelings with others, especially when first starting therapy or joining a group. It takes time for a sense of trust to develop, but this usually happens quite quickly, followed by a sense of relief at finding that one is not alone. The sense of closeness that develops can be immensely strengthening and supportive.