In a typical counselling or psychotherapeutic setting, a therapist meets with a client in private and will explore any difficulties/distress the client may be experiencing in confidence. Sessions last 50 minutes each and are usually scheduled weekly but can be on a more ad hoc basis to be arranged between you and your therapist.
Counselling tends to be more short term work (6 -12 sessions) focused on supporting you through a specific situation such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy. Psychotherapy tends to be longer term work on personal growth and covers broader issues such as building self esteem, increasing personal satisfaction and making life choices.
Counselling or psychotherapy sessions provide you with a secure space in which to talk freely and openly - in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family - to a person who neither judges nor offers advice.
During sessions you are gently encouraged to explore various aspects of life that may be troubling you. By listening with empathy, attention and patience your therapist will attempt to understand the difficulties from your point of view and help you find a fresh perspective on your situation.
As the trust between you and your therapist builds, you will be encouraged to look at aspects of your life, relationships and yourself, which you may not have thought of or felt able to face before. This experience can enable release, reduce pain and deepen awareness as to the underlying causes of distress. It is a way of facilitating choice or change and reducing confusion.
Counselling and Psychotherapy can help in some of the following ways: