What is the difference between a Counsellor and a Psychotherapist?

"Psychotherapy" and "counselling" are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they are very similar, there are some subtle differences as well. Technically speaking, "counsellor" means "advisor." It involves two people working together to solve a problem. It is a term that is used in conjunction with many types of advice giving.  The term counselling may also properly be used to refer to what occurs in a relationship with a Psychotherapist. Counselling is a talking therapy which helps an individual examine personal difficulties, which may be overwhelming and causing that person psychological distress. In the context of mental health, "counselling" is generally used to denote a relatively brief treatment that is focused most upon behavior. It often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation and offers suggestions and advice for dealing with it. "Psychotherapy" on the other hand is generally a longer term treatment which focuses more on gaining insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. It's focus is on the patient's thought processes and way of being in the world rather than specific problems. Generally speaking, however, psychotherapy requires more skill than simple counselling. It is conducted by professionals trained to practice psychotherapy such as a psychiatrist, a trained counsellor, social worker or psychologist. While a psychotherapist is qualified to provide counselling, a counsellor may or may not possess the necessary training and skills to provide psychotherapy.

What happens in Counselling and Psychotherapy sessions?

In the initial session your therapist will take time to get to know you, your strengths as well as the reasons you are seeking therapy.  You and the therapist will develop a treatment plan together which can be modified as treatment progresses.  Different therapists have various approaches to treatment.  Some will be more directive in therapy in regards to giving you advice while others may work with you to develop answers on your own.  Make sure to let your therapist know what you need to best help you. The first session is often called a consultation or assessment.  This is an opportunity for you to to get a sense of what counselling is like and see if I am the right therapist for you. I will not give specific advice but am there to listen, give support and help identify changes you might want to identify in your life.

How long is a session

A session of about 50 mins and is held in a face to face setting.

How many sessions will I need?

It is difficult to say prior to the initial consultation. We often agree on a few sessions and than review the process. We do our best to agree a frequency that suits you.

Is your service confidential?

Counselling and Psychotherapy are completely confidential. according to the ethical guidelines as set by the UKCP. It is a  professional requirement that clinical supervision of the casework takes place at least once a month. This is also completely confidential.  On very rare occasions when the safety of particularly children may be at risk, it may be necessary to break confidentiality but not without discussing it with the client first.  I adhere to the B.A.C.P. “Ethical framework for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

What if I miss a session/can’t come?

Full payment is required for sessions missed when less than 48 hours notice is given.

How much will a treatment cost?

Please see the Fees page for session costs. The length of treatment is very much dependent on the issues involved and can vary between a few week and a number of years.