How does counselling or CBT help?
Whether you are going through persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, lack of interest or feeling worried and anxious, there is hope and help!
First and foremost, I do a thorough assessment to understand your difficulties, the different contributing factors, triggers and most importantly any unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving that are maintaining those problems. This guides our treatment plan and you are then supported step by step to learn and practice a variety of skills and techniques to overcome your challenges.
Emotional distress can impact work, home management, social life, private leisure activities and our ability to form and maintain relationships. By helping you deal with your problems, therapy also helps you to do the things you used to do once again and re-engage in all areas of life.
What if I am feeling nervous and unsure about taking my first steps?
The process of therapy is very personal and it can be hard to open up to a new person especially regarding sensitive and distressing personal issues. To make this easier, before you even decide to have Counselling or CBT, I have a free 10-15 minutes informal chat with you over the phone. This gives you an opportunity to speak to me and ask any questions you may have about therapy before deciding if you would like to book an initial consultation (first session).
During the initial consultation session (1 hour) I do an assessment as explained above. I am trained to make you feel comfortable so that you can gradually open up and explain everything. I help this process by asking you the right questions in order to build a clear picture of what is happening. Following this session, if you decide to go ahead with the treatment, you can book weekly sessions, one at a time. There is no expectation to commit to any number of sessions.
What Is the difference between Counselling and CBT and which one will benefit me?
CBT is a more structured, goal oriented therapy, often following specific treatment plans for depression and anxiety disorders. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety (excessive worry about many different things), social anxiety, OCD, health anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.
Counselling does not follow disorder specific treatment protocols and is helpful for life issues like marriage and relationship problems, bereavement, grief, loss, domestic abuse, life transitions etc.
With depression, the approach selected depends on the client’s goals. Counselling helps when the client mainly wants to explore and process difficult experiences that may have triggered or are contributing to the depression but have not been processed while CBT is a good option if the goals are to get active again and change any unhelpful beliefs and behaviours that are maintaining the depression.
How is having therapy different from getting support from a friend or a family member?
Although support from friends and family can invaluable, therapy is different in many aspects, including the following:
- A therapist has expertise to help people overcome emotional and psychological difficulties.
- During therapy you work towards ‘specific‘ goals to improve your wellbeing.
- A well-qualified therapist is able to help you achieve this in a way that you feel fully accepted without being judged.
- A regular weekly session time is set to ensure you work consistently and progressively on your challenges.
- Unlike with a friend or a family member, you can freely discuss your diffuculties without worrying about any effect on your therapist.
- The help that you get is professional and confidentiality is taken care of.
Frequency and number of sessions
Sessions usually take place once a week for 50 minutes. As we start working together you may choose short term counselling or CBT (6-12 sessions) or continue for a bit longer, but there is no minimum commitment and you can continue as long as it feels right for you.
What can therapy help with?
Therapy, whether counselling or CBT can help with a variety of issues. You may find it useful to visit the common concerns page by clicking this link: COMMON CONCERNS
A few examples of the common problems dealt with in therapy are:
Marriage and Relationship Issues (including difficult relationship with inlaws)
Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety, Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD
Bereavement and Loss
Childhood issues (including physical violence, emotional or sexual abuse) affecting the present
General dissatisfaction with life