Counselling and Psychotherapy
All individuals, couples and families experience difficulties at times and whilst we usually find ways of resolving or managing them there are occasions when we may find it useful to talk to a professional therapist who is outside our usual support network of family and friends.
What is psychotherapy, counselling & family therapy?
Whether you attend on your own, as a couple or with other members of your family, psychotherapy, counselling and family therapy offer a private and respectful place to talk through and explore the problems that are affecting you and/or your family’s sense of well-being.
Individual, Couple or Family Therapy?
If you are experiencing problems that you feel are personal and private to you, you may decide that you want to meet with me on your own. Individual therapy can also be helpful if your partner and/or other family members are unwilling or unable to attend for couple or family work.
If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship with your partner, including sexual difficulties, it might be that couples therapy will be more suitable than individual work. Couples therapy can support couples who are uncertain about their future together, couples who have decided to separate as well as couples who want to stay together. I work with heterosexual and same sex couples.
If your family is having problems it may be that family therapy will be helpful. I work with all types of families e.g. families with two parents, single parent families, families with same sex parents, families with divorced parents, families with fostered children and families of adult children.
What problems can be helped?
There are many reasons why individuals, couples and families decide to come for therapy: e.g. life events can leave us and our families in crisis; parents and/or teachers may be concerned about the behaviour or development of a child or young person; you or someone in your family may be feeling depressed, sad or unhappy and/or finding it difficult to adjust to changes in your life. Psychotherapy and counselling may also help people who have no idea why they feel the way that they do, but feel that life has become uncomfortable, stressful or even intolerable.
Issues that individuals, couples and families present with include:
- Abuse - sexual, physical and emotional
- Adoption, post-adoption and fostering
- Bullying at school or work
- Burnout and compassion fatigue
- Domestic violence
- Eating problems
- Fears, obsessive behaviour and phobias
- Physical illness, chronic illness of self or others
- Post-traumatic stress
- Problems at school, college or work
- Relationship difficulties e.g. with partner, parents, children, friends
- Traumatic experiences e.g.road traffic accident, injury, assault, rape, sudden death, witnessing a traumatic event
- Sexual identity, gender identity
How long does therapy last?
Some individuals, couples and families meet with me for a few sessions whilst others may continue for several months or a number of years. Sometimes a one-off session is sufficient. Depending on your circumstances we may meet weekly, fortnightly, monthly or less frequently. The frequency may also change e.g. meeting weekly at the start of therapy and less frequently as the work progresses.
Sessions last for an hour. There may be occasions when we will negotiate a longer session time. This rarely happens in individual work but is more common in couple and family work especially for the first session and when a number of family members are attending.
How can I/we prepare for my/our first session?
Before your first session you may find it useful to make some notes about what brings you to therapy, why you have decided to come now and what you would like to be different. You may also want to write down any questions or queries that you have.
For family therapy I will usually invite you to come to your first session with as many members of your family who are willing to attend and who live with you at home. This is because problems experienced by one person in the family affects others and others in the family affect the person who presents with the problem. It is therefore helpful to understand the situation from everybody’s point of view.