First of all, you don’t have to have something ‘wrong’ with you to benefit from counselling or psychotherapy. Many people will start seeing a counsellor or therapist to solve a problem and talk things through but find that their life improves in ways that they did not expect.
At its simplest, counselling is simply the opportunity to talk regularly with someone who is not part of your life, in a neutral environment, knowing that everything you say will be kept confidential and that the counsellor will not judge you in any way. Lots of ordinary people use counselling when they need a safe, neutral space to reflect on a problem they are having or a difficult feeling such as sadness, grief, anger, depression or anxiety. Just being able to talk things through can help you feel better, make changes or find your own answers. Counsellors have usually completed 2-3 years of part-time training and should be registered with BACP.
Psychotherapy tends to help you look at issues in a bit more depth, perhaps trying to understand the bigger patterns in your life, where they came from and what direction they are pointing you in. In psychotherapy you may come to understand why some life events cause you to react in an unexpected way, for example, and to then solve any underlying problems. Psychotherapy can help free you from thoughts or feelings that restrict your life and your choices by finding out the deeper reasons that they are there. It can be useful for dealing with pretty much anything that troubles you, such as:
In addition, a very few therapists are trained in body psychotherapy, which can help you find some relief from troubling body symptoms and illnesses.
Psychotherapists tend to have completed a longer training than counsellors (usually at least four years part-time) and should be registered with a national regulating organisation such a UKCP or BACP.
In practice there is a lot of overlap between counselling and psychotherapy, as you can probably imagine, and some professionals may not distinguish between the two as they focus on your needs from moment to moment.
Location: I currently work at Rutland House Counselling & Psychotherapy which is in central Leicester 5-10 minutes’ walk from the train station.
Individual therapy & counselling: £40 per 60 minute session
Relationship counselling: £50 per 60 minute session
I’m currently unable to offer reduced concessionary rates, however Rutland House offer a reduced rate service staffed by counselling trainees.
We often talk about counselling and therapy as a way to help solve problems, but we don’t often hear about all the other benefits that come with it. People who go for counselling or therapy commonly find that their life changes in unexpected ways: their confidence grows, their relationships improve in all aspects of life; their ability to solve problems increases; their stress levels reduce and sometimes physical symptoms reduce too, whether or not they came to address any of these issues. Some people of course come for one specific problem and are otherwise happy with how their life is going. Others drop in and out as and when they need a bit of support. You can do as much or as little as you like – you are in the driving seat. With Process Work, you don’t need to commit to months of years of therapy in advance and you can review the results as you go. The focus is on helping you appreciate yourself better, becoming more aware of your patterns and directions of growth, and putting you in control of your life as much as possible – including in the therapy session itself.
My experience of psychotherapy/counselling – a personal account. I was in my mid-twenties and pretty unhappy, although that seemed normal to me at the time. I was lonely, even though there were plenty of people in my life; I desperately wanted to be in a relationship but somehow it just wasn’t happening for me; I didn’t really understand whether people liked me or not and felt quite insecure; I didn’t really understand who I was. I was having panic attacks, mostly as a reaction to prejudice and oppressive situations, but I knew I had struggled with similar anxiety attacks for many years and had a vague idea it had started with some troubles in my childhood. I had no idea how much could change for the better in my life and that I could come to feel the way I do now. In my very first session I got upset and apologised for having feelings, and the therapist shocked me to the core by saying ‘I like feelings.’ This was a totally new idea to me. What happened in the sessions was always unexpected as the therapist drew me again and again to noticing my own feelings and having compassion for myself. Again and again I discovered more about who I was, and that I liked and appreciated myself. I had some wonderful far out experiences and came to know myself as a vital, sensitive, adventurous person. Back in my everyday life, my confidence grew and grew, and my work life and relationships blossomed. I healed rifts in my family and worked out what I most wanted to do in life – which I went on to fulfil. But most importantly of all, therapy helped me to feel like a whole person, someone I knew and liked and enjoyed being. I still had problems but they started to seem more like part of the richness of a full life – I could feel myself growing and stretching at each turn. And I’m still going.
Relationships and sexuality, in all their diversity, trouble and wonder, have been an abiding interest, a challenge and a passion, throughout my life and work. I’m experienced in working with diverse sexualities and gender identities, and I’m knowledgeable about and comfortable with a wide range of forms of relationship, lifestyle and sexuality (e.g. polyamory, kink, swinging, etc). I’m actively involved in teaching, researching and writing about these subjects.
I am a qualified, accredited psychotherapist with many years of professional experience with a wide range of clients and issues. People say they find me empathic, compassionate and straight-forward. I also work hard to be aware of my privileges and of diversity issues.
I gained my Diploma in Process Oriented Psychology (also called Process Work) in 2009 and I’m registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), UK’s leading, government-approved regulator of psychotherapy. I work with adult individuals and I also offer relationship counselling, for all kinds of relationships.
Special interests and passions. I love my work. I’m in awe of people’s incredible innate creativity and how everyone has a unique way of meeting life – I find being a therapist and helping people get to know and appreciate themselves to be one of the most immense privileges in my life. I love working with anything and everything, and never knowing what will come next through my door. At the same time some aspects of life hold an abiding interest for me, and I’ve gained specialist experience and knowledge in the following areas: