Counselling or Psychotherapy?


Do I Need Counselling or Psychotherapy?

The different terms ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ can be confusing as they both refer to the same thing – therapeutic interventions or treatments based on talking about problems.  In general,

‘Counselling’ is a brief, time-limited approach for very specific difficulties that haven’t gone on for a long time, like stress, bereavement or relationship problems.  Short term counselling (4-12 sessions approximately) is a problem-solving therapeutic intervention which might include practical ‘homework’ in between sessions; for instance, ‘mindfulness’ relaxation techniques. Not everything will be solved by counselling but your self esteem and confidence will be boosted and you will feel able to try further on your own.

Couple Counselling: If you and your partner are having relationship problems,  Colleen will see you both together to help you understand why you might have communication difficulties, argue a lot, or feel you’re ‘working against each other’. She helps you both to ‘think together’ and ‘work together’ by listening to and understanding each other as well as suggesting practical solutions.

Sometimes you may need longer term psychotherapy.

‘Psychotherapy’ is usually a longer, more in-depth treatment for chronic, complex problems like long term depression, eating disorders, ongoing anxiety and panic, low self esteem or mental health problems. There are different psychotherapies – ‘Psychodynamic’ therapy explores how we repeat unhelpful or destructive patterns in our relationships with others or with ourselves, despite our best intentions. This can spoil our enjoyment of life, hold us back from developing our potential, and even sabotage success as we unconsciously ‘re-live the past in the present’. This therapeutic approach may last up to six months or more.

Some psychotherapies are time-limited.  For instance,

‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) is the name given to the short term intervention for anxiety, panic attacks, behavioural and eating problems, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   CBT is recommended by NICE, by the NHS and most insurance companies. It can also be helpful for other difficulties.

EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing) is another therapy Colleen can offer. EMDR is a recognised treatment for PTSD, anxiety disorders, pain management and many other longstanding problems. ATTACHMENT FOCUSED EMDR (AF-EMDR) is recommended for people who have had much longer term relational traumas and attachment issues dating back many years. Here is a short video clip which describes Attachment Focused EMDR.

Solution-Focused Therapy is another brief therapeutic approach which helps you build on your existing strengths.

Contact Colleen to talk about which counselling or psychotherapy is right for you, and to book a therapeutic consultation. If you have further questions about how to start changing your life, have a look FAQS.