Frequently Asked Questions
Life isn’t easy, it has its ups and downs and times of crisis come to all, in every shape and form. We are not always equipped to deal with what life throws at us. Therapy offers a safe place to support you in times of crisis and difficulty. Therapy is a safe and supportive environment to decompress and realign.
What is Therapy?
Therapy is a professional holding space to explore and manage emotional and psychological difficulties. It is a place which seeks to analyse one’s internal and external experiences alongside cognitive, psychological and environmental influences, to understand our thinking, behaviours, and emotions.
Types of Therapy
Counselling fosters a congruent, accepting and empathetic environment where one feels safe to share and process life experiences. Counselling helps the individual manage their emotions and learn healthy coping mechanisms to build confidence and resilience.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses on underlying causes of emotional dysfunction and distress. This type of therapy works with the subjective experiences of one’s internal world. Through the therapeutic relationship unconscious thoughts, understandings, and emotional and behavioural patterns are explored to bring about fundamental change through self-evaluation.
Present Focus therapy (CBT)
Present Focus therapy (CBT) works to change negative thought patterns and behaviours by reframing the way one thinks consciously about issues and events. It involves challenging one’s current understandings to encourage self-awareness and produce a more balanced perceptive.
What type of therapy do I need?
Depending on your needs and presenting issue, a certain type of therapy may be more beneficial. Your therapist will choose the most appropriate course to take which often involves a combination of therapy types.
How many sessions are needed?
It is important to understand that any type of therapy requires commitment. An individuals’ reason for therapy, their current needs, and the type of therapy desired, will all be factored into establishing how many sessions are necessary. Sessions are weekly moving to fortnightly towards the end of therapy. Options for fortnightly and twice weekly sessions are also available on discussion with your therapist. Ultimately it is the individual who decides how many sessions they feel they need. The therapist will provide guidance to ensure that the therapy continues to be safe and effective and that expectations are managed.
Below is an outline of how many sessions occur with each type of Therapy:
Brief psychotherapy and Solution-Focused work: therapy where one specific issue or experience is explored. Sessions can range from 12-24.
Counselling: short to medium term therapy, often chosen for those who are currently experiencing difficulties that may be triggered by past experiences or recent events and wish for support through this time. Sessions often range between 24 – 50 (6 months to a year).
Psychodynamic therapy: medium to long term therapy which works at an analytical level within a therapeutic relationship. This type of work is for those looking to understand relationship patterns, those with attachment difficulties, those who have experienced traumatic events and those with reoccurring emotional and behavioural difficulties which negatively impact on their living. An internal shift in one’s understanding of one’s self, their relationships and experiences is a frequent outcome to this deep level of processing. This type of work lasts at least a year and beyond.
A short series of 4 to 8 sessions are also available which can be beneficial for those who have a set goal in mind or have an event/situation that they wish to prepare for such as a work interview or family event.
Please note that the amount of sessions for therapy is fluid and is reviewed throughout the therapeutic process depending on changing needs and circumstances.
What happens in therapy?
Therapy is a place of expression, discussion, sharing, off-loading, deciphering, recalibrating and demystifying. This occurs through trust, communication and congruency between therapist and client allowing for conscious and unconscious processing of one’s thoughts and feelings.
The therapist has expertise in understanding the psychological health of an individual, the client is an expert in themselves, both work together to move forward in the therapy process. The therapist will not tell you what to do or give you advice, they will be active in supporting you in your own discovery and recovery, enabling one to learn from their experiences
Expression of one’s thoughts and feelings to encourage processing of stagnant and conflicting ruminating thoughts and emotions.
We think about how you experience life, past and present, consciously and unconsciously uncovering possible links between the two.
Patterns of thinking, behaving and relating. We look to understand how these impact on one’s judgement and decision making.
Exploration of one’s Experiences
Understanding of, and response to, our experiences. We seek to understand the complexities of confusing and conflictual emotions by gradual unpicking their associations, representations and misunderstandings.
Examining how you relate in relationships, differences and similarities, and how you relate to your self. Understanding thoughts, emotions and behaviours associated with each relationship.
Understanding how our Past effects our Present behaviours
Examining unresolved conflicts and symptoms that continually arise in relationships, career choices and general decision making.
Exploration of difficult experiences and/or events to manage reoccurring stresses and anxiety.
How does therapy work?
Exploring how you behave, think and feel in relationships, the patterns of similarities and differences brings understanding on past relationships and allows us to manage those of the future. How we relate to others provides insight into how we relate to our self.
Therapy is about gaining understanding in how we function and in how we relate to ourselves and others, both internally within our minds and externally within our environment. This understanding encourages internal processing of past and present experiences and naturally influences how we think, the decisions we make, the actions we take, and our general outlook on life.
Therapy works to understand the difficulties being expressed emotionally and behaviourally. It looks to find the roots of the problem and to then to assess how to manage it.
Self-awareness in understanding of one’s thinking and behaviours offers us the chance to take control of our life choices, promoting self-autonomy and self-confidence.
Talking is a healthy way to express feelings. It helps people feel accepted and understood which helps to reduce social anxiety and build self-confidence.
Being listened to and being heard is a powerful process and can instil confidence and build self-esteem and self-worth.
Talking about what you find difficult reduces the worry and anxiety surrounding the problem. Therapy allows you to work through problems bringing about a sense of self-control and achievement.
A Supportive Space
Therapy builds helpful thoughts and encourages healthy behaviours. Therapists help people see the good in themselves and recognise their strengths.
The therapist will ask questions to understand what your needs are and what it is that is causing you distress. It is a collaborative relationship where you are listened to. Through the back and forth conversation between you and your therapist you will learn to communicate your thoughts and feelings.
What are the benefits of therapy?
A holding space which offers a sense of security in the routine and consistency of sessions. Therapy provides stability in offering a consistent time every week, a time dedicated to you alone to be held and understood.
Practising how to express and communicate one’s thought and feelings. The benefits of expressing and communicating one’s thoughts and feelings in therapy transcends to one’s relationships. Talk openly and without judgement, allowing for exploration of feelings and all aspects of life not shared with family and friends.
Targeted exploration and insight into life’s experiences and one’s responses to those experiences. Evaluation of specific experiences creates focus and with that clarity in decision making and future direction.
Processing past and present events, experiences and understandings. An internal sense of equilibrium is a natural consequence of addressing, talking through, and breaking down problems.
Learning how to manage overwhelming emotions. Understanding triggers and utilising healthy coping mechanisms. Regulating overused and disruptive emotions. Finding and practising ways to express and communicate emotions safely and productively.
A safe space where one is listened to and understood. A place where difficult and distressing experiences can be expressed and processed safely. A confidential space devoid of judgement.
Greater insight into how one functions: common defences, individual approaches to challenging, stressful and distressing situations, relationship patterns. Gain better understanding of one’s goals and values and how these have developed or changed over time.
Autonomy & Confidence
The ultimate aim of therapy is to enable individuals to make their own choices and decisions and act upon them. It is a template of learning which transcends the therapy room highlighting resources which one possesses but cannot see, and building resources which one has but is not able to utilise. Therapy encourages empowerment through building one’s self esteem.
Experiencing and internalising a relationship of trust. The therapeutic relationship transcends outside the therapy room. The experience of the therapeutic relationship helps to build healthy relationships in developing self-awareness and understanding of others.
For more information on the therapy process and the next steps get in touch.
Would you like to know anymore about therapeutic services?
Meet Sophie Barrett MSc, BA (Hons), Dip, CertHE
As a Child and Adult Counselling Psychotherapist I have extensive experience working with a variety of issues and presentations in short and long term therapy.
I work integratively as a therapist, combining elements of different types of therapies depending on the client’s needs and to ensure the most effective approach is chosen. I am analytical in my thinking and integrative in my approach. I adapt to the person as they are presented to me in the room and adjust the therapeutic approach depending on the needs of the client to ensure the time offered continues to be safe and effective.
The therapy works at the pace of the client not the therapist enabling you to be of optimum mind set and open to new understandings and perspectives.
For more information on how I work and the benefits of therapy please email me at Sophie.email@example.com.