Psychotherapy & Counselling

Psychotherapy & Counselling

Types of Practitioners

What is a Counsellor?

Counselling is as old as the Ancient Greeks!! A counsellor will help you work out what is happening in your life. They will encourage you to come to a better understanding of your environment and enable you to make changes that will lead to a stronger emotional state. They will assist you in mapping a way out of the difficulties you are facing, hold and support you while you learn to make better life choices and help you resolve past difficulties. They will offer confidential one-to-one, short term and long term counselling that is unique and tailored to your specific needs.

What is a Psychotherapist?

A psychotherapist is very similar to a counsellor in that they will help you examine and help you to reach a better understanding of your problems. They will help provide you with the necessary skills to overcome your struggles and enable you to find a better emotional place. Quite often counselling is an intricate journey that may take time in order for you to reach a better and more positive place in your life. As such psychotherapists not only offer short term therapy but specialise in long term therapy, as well.

What is a Psychologist?

A Clinical Psychologist has a degree in psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology. They have a tendency to specialise in cognitive behaviour and through their counselling sessions they often mix therapeutic counselling with psychological research and theory. They are able to diagnose issues more complex mental health issues, such as specific phobias. They are able to tell you what is wrong and will work with you to address your issues. Psychologists do not tend to deal with the underlying behaviours that lead to emotional issues. Psychologists are not licensed to prescribe medicines.

What is a Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner who specialises in the study, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. They must first train as a medical doctor before choosing to specialise in psychiatry. They usually specialise in a specific field of which they have spent a minimum of five years studying. They often deal with the more severe issues as well as those that require medical intervention. They are able to prescribe medicines, as well as carry out certain medical tests (CAT scans and blood tests).

Types of Counselling

Person Centred (coined by Carl Rogers): As the name suggests this mode of therapy concentrates very much on the person and uses the relationship between the counsellor and the client to help the client understand what is happening in their world. This enables the client to better understand themselves and in turn their relationships with others.  A person centred approach relies on open and honest communication and is a very collaborative process.

Psychodynamic (originating with Freud amongst others): The name directly translated from German to mean "the dynamics of the soul." This type of therapy helps clients examine not just what is happening consciously but also taps into the unconscious mind, thus enabling the therapist to interpret and bring the unconscious into the conscious.  As people examine and come to terms with these past and often painful life events the client can develop a much clearer picture of why they may be struggling. A vital component of this type of therapy is helping the client to understand their personal defence mechanisms and drivers. It is important to note that psychodynamic therapy progresses at the client's pace and is a self-directed process. Psychodynamic therapy, often referred to as an archaeological dig of the mind, tends to be more long term – almost like a voyage of discovery.

Existential: This type of therapy focuses on the struggle we have as humans with being and nonbeing and our place in the world. Existential therapy uses a strong philosophical understanding to help the client better understand what is happening in their internal world and also how the environment can be contributing to the difficulties they are facing. This type of therapy can enable the client to learn to live in line with his or her own values and ideals, being true to one's authentic self and exploring both their limititations and the world's, as well as their potential, and how to manage the struggle between the two. 

Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT): One of the most popular talking therapies that can help the client manage their problems by changing the way he or she thinks and behaves. CBT therapists believe that thoughts and behaviours affect each other. By changing the way one thinks about certain situations one can then change the way he or she feels about the situation. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. Unlike some other therapies CBT focuses on current concerns and looks towards the future rather than the past.

Integrative: An integrative therapist will take some of the main types of therapy and weave them together to form a consistent and unique way of working to best meet the needs of the client. This can be a very powerful form of therapy as it can be tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. Usually integrative therapists will use an effective combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Person Centred Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy.

More info

Recommended Reading

The Gossamer Thread: My Life as a Psychotherapist (The Karnac Library) - John Marillier
This book is a memoir of the author's professional life as a psychologist and psychotherapist.

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves - Stephan Grosz
In simple stories of encounter between a psychoanalyst and his patients, The Examined Life reveals how the art of insight can illuminate the most complicated, confounding and human of experiences.

The Road Less Travelled (Arrow New-Age) - M Scott Peck
Drawing heavily on his own professional experience, leading psychiatrist Dr M. Scott Peck suggests ways in which facing our difficulties - and suffering through the changes - can enable us to reach a higher level of self-understanding.

The Life Changing Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Sarah Knight
This irreverent and practical book explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt - and give your f**ks instead to people and things that make you happy.

Powerful Quotes and Poems to inspire you

Dare we hope? We dare.
Can we hope? We can.
Should we hope? We must, because to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts given so freely by God to all of us. So when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken.

Andy Ripley – England and Lions rugby legend, often described as one of the most colourful personalities in the history of English rugby

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