Why seek psychotherapy and counselling?
Life throws many challenges our way, and people seek out psychotherapy and counselling for many reasons. You may be:
- feeling a prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness
- experiencing anxiety, worry or stress
- struggling to cope with a life transition, such as a bereavement, illness, or change of job
- experiencing difficulties in your relationships
- feeling confused about who you are and seeking to understand yourself better
- searching for meaning and direction in your life
- looking for support to change habits which no longer work for you
- wishing to heal from difficult experiences, such as abuse, trauma or loss
These are all common challenges, but sometimes they can be difficult to deal with without the opportunity to discuss them freely with another person. You might feel that you should be able to cope on your own, but this can leave you feeling stuck and isolated. Family and friends can be great sources of support, but sometimes it can be difficult to talk about certain issues with people you know well. A psychotherapist or counsellor is trained to provide a confidential, non-judgemental and supportive space in which you can explore your experience in depth, gain new insights, and develop your ability to cope, grow and thrive. If you are considering starting psychotherapy/counselling, this shows that you want something to change in your life. It may not be easy to take the first step and ask for help, but to do so is an act of courage, strength and hope.
How can I help?
I will not judge you, give you advice, or try to “fix” your problems, but I will work with you to help you find the resources within yourself to cope with life’s challenges. I will do this by:
- helping you to express what is happening for you
- listening attentively and trying to understand your experience from your point of view
- encouraging you to examine your thoughts and feelings in different ways, which may lead you to new insights and different perspectives
- assisting you in becoming clearer about who you are as a person and what is important to you in life
- collaborating with you to discover habits or patterns in your life that are no longer working for you
- supporting you as you consider your options, try out different ways of relating to yourself and others, and learn to respond to experiences in ways that support your well-being and growth
By exploring your experience in these ways in the context of an honest and trusting relationship, you can develop a deeper and more compassionate connection with yourself, and more freedom to make choices which enhance your life.
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
There is significant overlap in the meanings of the terms “psychotherapy” and “counselling”. Both refer to a relationship in which an individual seeks help with difficult experiences. Counselling generally refers to a relatively short-term relationship (from a few weeks to a few months), which is focused on helping you to cope with current life challenges, such as a recent bereavement. Psychotherapy generally entails longer-term therapy (from a few months to several years), which includes exploration of more deep-seated and complex issues. I offer both counselling and psychotherapy, depending on your individual needs and goals. Sometimes clients initially attend for counselling in relation to a current issue, and then decide that they could also benefit from longer-term psychotherapy. This is something we will discuss if it arises for you.
How should I choose a psychotherapist or counsellor?
It is important to choose someone who has completed a professional training course in psychotherapy and/or counselling, and is an accredited/registered member of one of the relevant professional bodies, such as the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP), the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), or the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP). A trusting relationship between therapist and client is essential for therapy to be successful, so it’s equally important to choose someone that you feel you can trust and work with.