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Frequently Asked Questions:

These common questions may help you decide whether counselling or psychotherapy is for you.

What are counselling and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy offer clients a private, safe, non-judgemental and supportive environment where they can explore problems, or issues of concern or conflict.

Counsellors deal mainly with day-to-day issues rather than delving into the past. Counselling is usually short-term, and can offer new coping mechanisms or ways of dealing with current conflicts.

Psychotherapists are trained to look beyond the presenting problems to possible underlying causes. Psychotherapy is a long-term commitment, which can take months or even years.

A therapist can then help you gain perspective on the issue(s) troubling you. Together you explore the cause(s) of your problem(s) and consider what might be stopping you reaching your full potential.

The aim of the therapeutic process is to enable you to understand and accept yourself, to change your behaviour to that which is more productive and rewarding for you, and to help you move towards becoming the person you want to be.

What issues do clients bring to counselling?

There is no definitive list; you can bring any issue that is causing you difficulties. Some of the more common include: 

  • Abuse
  • Adoption
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Bereavement or loss
  • Depression
  • General counselling
  • Identity problems
  • Life changes
  • Low self-esteem or self-confidence
  • Relationships
  • Redundancy
  • Personal development
  • Stress

Counselling can be undertaken by anyone, individually, as a couple or in groups. Some therapists are also trained to work with children.

What about confidentiality?
All information disclosed to the therapist is treated as confidential. The only possible exception would be if there were an immediate risk of harm to the client or another person. Wherever possible, we would always inform the client first before breaking that confidentiality.

What benefits can be expected?

Most clients begin to feel some sense of relief from their problems within a fairly short time, and some choose to end counselling at this stage. Others continue, in order to resolve the underlying issues. This process can take months, or even years, but the potential rewards are much greater in terms of feelings of self-empowerment and fulfilment. It is for the client to decide how far they wish to go in their therapeutic journey.

Cathy no longer sees clients for counselling or psychotherapy. If you are looking for a therapist then have a look at the UKCP website or the UKATA website