Loosely speaking, counselling tends to address a specific current issue and is often a short term piece of work, whilst psychotherapy is a more in depth and lengthy process, which seeks to identify the underlying roots of the problem(s). There can sometimes be areas of overlap.
Ultimately, the aim of psychotherapy is lasting change, and growth. This stems from an understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, in relation to your past and how you're living now.
The process of counselling is most effective when you are an active participant. This means that I will expect you to be engaged during the sessions, and to take the time to reflect and perhaps complete a journal, or other relevant activities between sessions. If you feel unwilling to invest any time beyond our sessions, it may be possible that you are not ready for the process of counselling or psychotherapy.
What could you gain from Counselling and Psychotherapy?
The specific benefits of counselling and psychotherapy depend on your individual needs, but the general benefits include:
An increased sense of control and direction as we work towards fulfilling your therapeutic goals.
Better understanding of yourself and why you think, feel, and act in the way that you may have done for years.
A change in perspective - increased ability to think clearly about your life, how and with whom you really want to live it.
Feeling able to live through stressful situations without returning to former unhelpful, or self destructive habits.
An increased ability for self acceptance and self compassion, often people learn for the first time, that it's ok to be who they are, whilst in therapy.
Why work with me?
Ultimately, I think that it depends on what is important to you.
You might simply choose me, because you want to discuss your issues with someone who isn't a friend or relative.
If you're thinking of training and professionalism, then you might like to work with me, because I have undertaken years of rigorous training at Masters level, including years of personal psychotherapy. I remain in personal therapy and attend regular supervision, as I believe that this underpins ethical practice and provides protection for both myself and my clients.
If empathy is important, I know what it is like to feel broken and overwhelmed, and I know what it is like to be a client; a reluctant (at first) one at that!
As a woman of African descent, I experience life in an intersectional way; there are areas of my identity which afford me some 'privilege' and others which expose me to 'oppression'. I bring this thinking into my work, understanding that the world is a complex place and it can be difficult to develop a healthy sense of self, let alone belonging.
Sometimes, we carry more than our own pain due to transgenerational trauma, and my work is informed by this concept. By this I mean the trauma, messages, or ways of being that can be transmitted from one generation to the next, often out of awareness. Every member of the next generation in a family wont necessarily be influenced, usually only the individuals with particular sensitivity to the messages or trauma. It can be very surprising to an individual when the patterns become obvious, and it is very rewarding to help them to break free and create their own story, going forward.
We can't undo what has been done.
Together, we could co-create an environment that enables you to be who you want to be, and live as you want to live - now.
Examples of issues that you may want to work on are:
Low self esteem
The list is not exhaustive, to discuss your specific needs, feel free to contact me.
Why Couple Therapy?
Sometimes it can be hard to remember why you fell in love with your partner, or even why you stay together. The early desires to please each other may now feel like a burden. Where you once completed each other's sentences, perhaps you now live in a battleground of miscommunication and constant bickering. Instead of being interested, you may now view your partner as paranoid or controlling and find yourselves retreating into silence, or other potentially damaging ways to distract or protect your selves from the real issues.
Therapy offers a neutral space where mutual respect is encouraged.
In this space, you and your partner can say what you need to say, and also be heard; a powerful experience if you've spent months or years silencing or being silenced.
For a couple who want to save and heal their relationship, couple therapy can lead not only to renewed compassion and love for your partner, but also for yourselves as individuals.
If you think that your relationship could benefit from counselling, do get in touch, and we can discuss your needs.