What is therapy?

Talking therapy — which today includes counselling, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, started with Sigmund Freud, over 100 years ago. At the heart of this process, is the suggestion that some of our earliest relationships and experiences have resulted in patterns of behaviour that can at times be negative, and prevent us leading a more fulfilling life.

Difficult feelings such as loss, neglect, rejection and low self-esteem can make it hard to achieve a sense of balance and to fulfil our ambitions, whether these are related to our careers or our personal lives.

Sometimes it can feel like we are going around in circles, that we want to move on, but can’t. This is when talking to a fully qualified therapist, trained to listen and able to help shed light on what might be behind these patterns, can lead to a more positive and balanced outlook on life.

How can therapy help?

Therapy is a way of moving toward having a better, more accepting relationship with oneself and others. It is not about someone telling you what to do or offering definitive solutions.

It can help us gain insight into how behavioural patterns from our past impact on the here and now. The more self-aware we are, the more likely we are to be able to make better choices in our lives.

From this place of greater emotional stability and understanding it is more possible to feel hopeful and inspired about the future. This work is carried out in a safe, confidential, non-judgmental environment where you can feel safe to explore difficult feelings.

How many sessions will I need?

The length of time people spend in therapy is flexible and can be tailored to suit different needs.

Meetings are usually once a week for fifty-minutes - though they can be more often if appropriate.

Therapy sessions may continue over a few months, but if difficulties are more long-standing, I may suggest that longer-term or more frequent sessions would be beneficial. I am also qualified as a DIT (Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy) therapist. This form of therapy takes place over 16 sessions and was specifically developed to work with those suffering from anxiety and depression.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

I offer both counselling and psychotherapy.

I may suggest counselling when you are fairly content with your life but are struggling with a specific issue or problem. I would recommend it when someone is going through a period of change or, for example, when making a decision about the future, perhaps to do with a career or relationship dilemma. 

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy

My interest in how our early relationships can have an impact on our lives is something that led me to further training in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) at the Anna Freud Centre. DIT can only be practiced by those that are already accredited psychotherapists or psychoanalysts. It is aimed at people suffering with depression and anxiety and is a structured form of psychotherapy over 16 sessions.

The focus of DIT is very much on understanding how our relationship patterns are connected to our moods, and wellbeing.  Learning to conduct our relationships in more positive and creative ways can lower stress levels, improving our emotional health. This form of therapy is fairly new and is being rolled out within the NHS.

Individual psychotherapy - that is, engaging a distressed fellow human in a disciplined conversation and human relationship - requires that the therapist have the proper temperament and philosophy of life for such work. By that I mean that the therapist must be patient, modest, and a perceptive listener, rather than a talker and advice-giver.
— Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst