What is Counselling?
Counselling is an effective therapy for many common emotional and mental health problems, as well as a useful resource for people undergoing any life crisis or change period. In counselling, your therapist will listen carefully, mindfully guiding you to explore the many factors that relate to the issue(s) you are presenting with and help you to find the best way to move forward.
Many people find having the space and time to talk to someone other than a partner, relative or friend helps them to reach the right choices for them. Counselling is particularly effective, due to the therapist being trained to recognise signals of what may or may not be helpful to each individual. On the whole counselling tends to be a more short term intervention than psychotherapy, with the exception of CBT, and focuses on a specific issue and is usually ranging from 6 - 18 sessions.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy tends to be a longer term intervention and is used to address issues and concerns which have built up over a long period of time. This may include clinically diagnosed conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, relationship difficulties, eating disorders, a dissatisfaction with life, suicide/self harm, dealing with abuse or other trauma. Psychotherapy is also suitable for anyone wishing to increase self esteem, self awareness and develop self-confidence in relationships and social situations.
The depth of the therapeutic relationship is fundamental to psychotherapy, both the client and therapist work together collaboratively to build greater understanding of why the client thinks, feels, behaves the way they do.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
CBT is the most commonly used therapy in the NHS and is recommended by NICE, National Institute for Clinical Excellence. CBT is often fairly short-term and works to teach clients techniques to manage their symptoms. The approach is based on the belief that psychological problems are born from negative thought (cognitive) patterns that if challenged can bring about symptom relief . It is widely accepted that it is the meaning we give to an event/problem and not the event/problem itself causes our distress and therefore challenging the negative thought patterns associated with an event will create change in both the emotional and behavioural consequences to that event also.
A CBT therapist encourages their client to explore their thought processes and consequential emotional and behavioural responses. This includes using work-sheets, practical exercises both in session and as ‘homework tasks’. In CBT client and therapist work in a collaborate relationship to help the client challenge outmoded beliefs. The client is encouraged to engage in controlled graduated exposure tasks whereby they are encouraged to engage in task or events they would ordinarily avoid.
CBT is particularly useful for anxiety and panic disorders, phobias, OCD, and low self-esteem.