FAQ

Frequently asked questions about counselling and therapy. If you have your own question – ask it on the contact me page.

Where do you offer counselling?

I offer counselling and psychotherapy sessions in London Waterloo as well as London King’s Cross. My London Waterloo psychotherapy practice is located very close to Waterloo and Lambeth North tube stations, on Westminster Bridge Road. My King’s Cross psychotherapy practice is located with walking distance from King’s Cross and Angel stations.

What is counselling / psychotherapy?

Counselling provides you with a supportive, non judgmental and confidential environment in which to explore any emotional or psychological problems you might be encountering.

Counselling can assist you in identifying your own personal resources and capabilities, which are sometimes hidden or buried in times of confusion and high levels of stress and anxiety. It may enable you too see your circumstances under a new light or perspective helping you to make the necessary changes that will assist at this particular stage of your life.

Counsellors will not make decisions for you and would rarely give any advice. Good Counsellors will neither impose their believes or opinions in you but they will respect your individual needs.

Throughout this process you will be encouraged and supported to look at yourself from a different point of view. This has not only the aim of helping you with current problems, but to do it in a way that produces a learning for the future so you can be more in control of your life. Fostering responsibility and autonomy is an important part of this commitment.

Is therapy confidential?

Yes, it is. Everything you say is kept confidential. However, should during our work together I consider that you are likely to endanger or cause harm to yourself or others I reserve the right to consult or inform an outside authority such as your GP. I will endeavor to inform you of my decision and explain my reasons why prior to informing someone else. I retain the right to do so without prior consultation if I consider that the urgency of the mater requires me to act immediately to safeguard the physical safety of yourself or others.

How many sessions would I need?

This depends on each individual and each presenting problem might require shorter or longer therapy. There is an average of 8-12 consecutive sessions, but the actual potential length of your therapy will be discussed with you on your first Counselling session.

It is hoped and my intention that the therapeutic process will have helped you to overcome the presenting difficulty. Of course this is something that whilst remaining an objective of the current therapeutic work, it can never be predicted. The final session will focus on our current working contract with a view to having the possibility of expanding your therapy or drawing our work to an end.

What are the different therapies used?

Person Centred Therapy

Person centred therapy is a non directive therapy widely used in Counselling and Psychotherapy which encourages clients to take responsibility for the treatment process and therapists to take a non directive role.

Two primary goals of Person Centred therapy are better self understanding, lower levels of defensiveness and guilt, increased self-esteem, greater openness to experience new ways of thinking abut life. Person Centred therapy can be very useful as it helps to increase client’s capacity to be more open to experience and to express feelings in the present moment.

It might seem at times that therapists are not saying or doing much, but this experience can be very powerful as it encourages clients to be self directive and self governing. This, in return, may enhance the clients’ sense of autonomy, leading them towards a closer meeting of their “real self”.

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy tends to be more directive than Person Centred. It is based on the assumption that the way we feel and behave as adults is powerfully influenced by unconscious motives rooted in childhood experiences.

Both Psychodynamic and Psychoanalysis terms are often confused. Sigmund Freud’s theories were Psychoanalytic, whereas Psychodynamic refers to both, his theories about human condition and those of his later followers.

Again, Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the unconscious thought processes which tend to manifest themselves in client’s behaviour. This approach aims to increase the client’s self-awareness, making sense and understanding the way that past experiences influences present thoughts and behaviours, by exploring their unconscious patterns. It also helps clients to identify defence and copying mechanisms as well as learning to think critically.

I often encourage clients during their sessions with me to explore unresolved issues and conflicts, and to talk about important people and relationships in their life. I also encourage during the session to talk about transference, which is the term we use when clients transfer feelings they have towards important people in their life onto the therapist.

Existential therapy

Existential therapy or existentialism is foremost philosophical rather than theoretical. Applied to the work of various philosophers from the 29th and 20th century who became primordially concerned with the way people make sense and/or experience “being in the world”. It is a dynamic approach to therapy which focuses on concerns that are rooted in the individual’s existence.

It is highly suitable for people in crisis whose life is going under transformation or who are in the midst of suffering.

It is primarily a place where client is invited to become aware and discover their own philosophy of life. This philosophical movement focuses on the way in which individual struggles with the human condition and in particular with our inevitable limitations.

Existential anxiety, death anxiety, isolation anxiety can be the source of destructive behaviours. Clients may be encourraged to look at issues regarding mortality, responsibility, freedom and meaning of life.

Phenomenology

Phenomenology is incorporated throughout therapy as it encourages clients to describe  experiences and to look at the use of language with sufficient rigour.

It involves an attempt to suspend all pre-conceptions and judgements. It helps to describe and make sense of lived experiences and helps to understand how language shapes this experiences which in turn affects our own reality.  As the process of phenomenological counselling is a dialogue from which new meanings emerge and can help clients to have  different perspectives on lived experiences.

Phenomenological Counselling and Psychotherapy is an enquiry into the different existential issues that affect us all. It enables therapists and clients to work from a spirit of enquiry and free from dogmatism often found in different schools of thought.

Do you work with children and couples?

No, I do not offer counselling / psychotherapy to children or couples.