What is the aim of counselling and psychotherapy?We all experience difficulties in our lives but sometimes people can get stuck and feel unable to resolve issues themselves. A counsellor or psychotherapist works with a client in a safe, confidential space to explore difficulties he or she is experiencing. These difficulties can take many different forms: unhappiness in a relationship, death of a loved one, lack of confidence or perhaps a general dissatisfaction with life. In the therapy sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them openly in a way which is often not possible with friends or family. Counselling and psychotherapy offer the opportunity to explore these feelings so that they can become easier to understand. The counsellor or psychotherapist can help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are causing difficulty and to look at ways of initiating change.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
The term 'therapist' is used to include counsellors and psychotherapists: there is a significant overlap between the two in terms of the skills and approaches used. Counselling is often shorter term, sometimes focusing on a specific issue. Psychotherapy is a longer term process, involving a deeper exploration of past experiences in order to make sense of the present, and understand patterns which lead us to behave or experience life in certain ways.
Practising as an Integrative counsellor and psychotherapist means that I recognise that there are significant links between all approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. As different clients have different needs, one single approach does not suit everyone; I aim to be flexible, working in a way which most benefits my client. I believe that the relationship between therapist and client, rather than any particular theoretical model, is the most successful aspect of therapy. I encourage people to explore their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions.
Confidentiality and data protection (GDPR)
I keep client records securely under a code identifiable only to me, so that they are anonymised. I may from time to time discuss case material with my clinical supervisor, in line with the professional requirements of my accrediting body (UKCP), but your identifying details will not be given.
Client records will be held for a period of three years after the cessation of counselling.
These records are kept confidential unless:
- there is a specific legal requirement to make them available.
- there is an ethical duty for me to disclose information in them, for example to avoid serious harm to yourself or another person, including the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults.