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Frequently Asked Questions
All are professionals engaged in the provision of mental health support. They differ by the level and focus of their training, and the ways in which they practice.
Counsellors are trained to deliver one or several counselling approaches, each based on a specific philosophy and a set of techniques. A counsellor typically listens attentively to their client and reflects key elements of what the client talks about. At the most basic level, counsellors have qualifications below a university degree. However, some counsellors have considerable experience, and many have additional qualifications such as a psychology degree or further counselling training.
Psychotherapist is a generic term which usually designates a professional conducting some form of counselling, psychotherapy or psychology, rather than any specific form of training.
Psychology is the scientific study of how minds function, and the factors influencing how people behave. Several areas of applied psychology, such as clinical psychology and counselling psychology, are regulated professions and require the highest academic level of training (typically a doctorate).
Counselling Psychologists apply their knowledge to help people find helpful ways to address their difficulties and develop positive mindsets and healthy coping strategies. They also consider all aspects of their clients’ life, including their relationships, rather than only addressing a diagnosis or ‘treating’ a specific problem.
Psychiatrists go through medical training during which they specialise in mental illnesses. A psychiatric approach typically focuses on diagnosing mental illnesses and treating them using medication. Psychiatrists may also recommend or offer other treatments, such as counselling.
A psychologist is a professional highly trained in assessing and addressing psychological and mental health difficulties.
As a psychologist, I can help you understand the psychological processes which are at the root of your problems and those which keep you stuck. I will also guide you to identify personal strategies to help you change durably and for the better, rather than simply listening to you or applying a standard counselling technique.
Whatever the psychological difficulty you come to see me for, as a Counselling Psychologist I will consider you as an individual above any psychiatric diagnosis you may have received and beyond the problem(s) you have. I help a person; I don’t simply treat a problem.
I will also consider your personal context and your relationships, rather than seeing all your difficulties as your problems. I will help you change and grow, focusing on a healthy mind and positive development rather than only treating your symptoms (for example only changing what you do when you are anxious without addressing the root cause of your anxiety).
As a psychologist, my fees are more expensive than some other therapists, but this reflects my high level of training and the time I invest before and after each session, to develop a meaningful and accurate psychological perspective of you and your difficulties.
Counselling is a collaborative process. You need to be ready to explore your problems in depth, and to change. That means sharing your personal thoughts and feelings, and discussing significant moments of your past. This is why it is essential to form a meaningful connection with your therapist, allowing you to feel comfortable and to trust them. Forming a personal relationship with my clients is what I value most in my work. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to give you a chance to find out if you would feel comfortable working with me. To arrange your free consultation, please contact me using the details at the top of the page, or leave a message on the Contact page
This depends on the difficulties you want to address, their severity and also your capacity to change. Addressing psychological difficulties in depth takes time and commitment, but it also produces lasting positive change. It is not uncommon for short-term therapy to last more than 10 sessions, spread over a period of a few months. My approach focuses on reaching your goals, and we will regularly review together the progress we make, so you remain in control.