Signs that this could be a good time for you to come into therapy may be….
- You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
- Your problems don't seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
- You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
- You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
- Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive, are harming you or others.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can therapy do for me?
Therapy provides an opportunity to talk in confidence to someone who has the skills and experience to listen carefully and can respond appropriately. One of the aims of therapy is to assist you to make the changes, which you feel would benefit you. This may involve finding a clearer understanding of what led to the problem in the first place.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy have many things in common. Counselling often addresses current issues that seem to have a particular focus and may be short term. In psychotherapy, you can more fully explore deeper underlying patterns and feelings concerning long-standing issues that often go back to childhood. Psychotherapy is usually longer term; you decide with your therapist on the duration.
How do I know I need counselling?
You may wish to embark on a series of counselling sessions for a number of reasons: to gain clarity on an issue, change old patterns, untangle complex personal issues or for self-development. You may seek counselling as a result of a crisis, or you may be encouraged to seek counselling by family members, friends or colleagues.
Which concerns are suitable for counselling or psychotherapy?
You can talk with the counsellor or psychotherapist about anything bothering you, however large or small you think the problem is. Experience shows that it is often best to catch a difficulty early, before it has a chance to grow. But therapy can help even if you have reached crisis point and everything seems impossible. Many people find there are things they can’t discuss with family or friends. Your therapist will not be judgmental or shocked by what you say. Your concern may be about something that happened years ago. Or you may need to talk about a particular problem in your current life. You may not even have a specific problem to bring but rather underlying feelings of unhappiness or confusion.
Is counselling confidential?
Your therapist will not give information to anyone else without your permission apart from their professional supervisors who are bound by the same confidentiality. Otherwise, the only reason a therapist might consider breaking confidentiality is if there is a serious risk of harm to you or others, or in the very rare cases where required by law to do so. In these instances, a therapist normally discusses the possible disclosure with you first.
How long is therapy?
Sometimes it is for a short time-limited period, which is agreed at the outset – for example 6 or 8 sessions. Or, you may not be clear about how long you need to be in therapy and sessions are then open-ended. You can talk to your therapist during your therapy to review how things are going. The ending of therapy is an important part of the process and should be planned by you and your therapist together.
How long is a session?
Sessions are usually once a week and last for 60 minutes.