© 2016 by Susan Matthews.

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How Does Counselling and Psychotherapy work?

If you wish to bring about permanent solutions to any difficulties that you experience, then a talking therapy may be worth considering. Talking therapies that provide an enriched environment, through an attuned therapeutic relationship with me, can bring about positive changes through a new way of being or thinking. Neurobiological research now provides the evidence that support the reasons for observed positive behavioural change, change in thinking patterns and feelings as a result of talking therapy.

Our therapeutic relationship is very important for our work together. It is therefore important that after your consultation session with me that you feel that it would be possible for us to work together. However, if you feel I am not the therapist for you, I can provide referral contacts for people I believe may be able to help you, who you then may wish to contact. 

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Most of the work done by counsellors and psychotherapists overlaps. It could be described that psychotherapists work with deep issues that may be somewhat long term. 

What happens in your counselling  sessions?

Your sessions are there for you to use  to help you with any issues that are important to you. It will be important for us to discuss what you would like my role to be in helping you to achieve this. I will work with you to create a safe space within a supportive, attuned relationship and provide the tools to help you to exploring your feelings, thoughts and behaviours and your hopes and fears, which may enable you to become clearer about choices that you are making and if there are any different choices available to you for your life. My Humanistic training and beliefs means that my work is underpinned by a focus on self-development, growth and responsibilities, to  help you recognise your strengths, creativity and choices to help you with your difficulties or decisions.

 

This exploration and processing of your feelings can bring about permanent positive change for you. This sounds very easy and straightforward but as with all journeys the road can sometimes be difficult. Part of my role will be to walk alongside you at these difficult times as well as in the easier times. 

 

How would your counselling be different to talking to friends or family?

You may find that talking to a counsellor can sometimes be easier for people that talking to friends or family, because the counsellor has no history of your story and can remain objective within the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. I am not involved in your life outside the therapeutic relationship, which can be of benefit concerning confidentiality and may give you a sense of feeling safer about material discussed and of course I am bound by strict ethics regarding confidentiality. The safety and confidentiality and non-judgemental nature of our relationship can also enable you to explore.

 

It may be difficult for those around you to remain objective when you ask them for help, and they may have difficulties of their own and may not be as available to you as they might wish to be, or you need. The purposeful, focussed nature of a counselling session and our therapeutic relationship, means that discussion about anything important to you will be important to me also.

 

My training also equips me to offer the appropriate tools that may help you to work through what is important to you.

What will happen in your sessions?

Your first session will be an opportunity for us to meet and start to get to know each other. To help facilitate this I will ask questions about your background and to understand why you may be seeking help through counselling. Similarly it will be a good opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have of me or about the therapy process. During this time it will be important for each of us to think about the possibilities of working together which include your decision about if I’m the right counsellor for you. If you decide you’d like to have further sessions we can discuss how you would like to do that and what you would like to achieve  and when and how often we should meet – session frequency is usually once a week but more or less often might be appropriate for you.

 

After the first session, we can be focussed on working with your goals and exploring the issues that are important to you in more depth. The sessions are yours, to get what you need, to bring about the changes you wish to see.

How long will your  counselling journey take?​

There is no concrete answer to this question because you are individual in both your life story and in the reasons that you might be seeking help through counselling. Throughout our time together,  we will discuss how your counselling is progressing to ensure it is a focused on your needs and that you feel happy with your therapeutic relationship with me. It will be important to discuss any concerns you may have through your journey.

 

It is important to note that some people experience profound change that results in life changes around their relationships and/or vocation. It is important that you consider this as a possible outcome of your journey.

 

Susan Matthews

Talking Therapies

Counselling can help with difficult experiences or feelings, and any other issues that you feel are important. Here is an example listing of some of the things that I can help you with:

  • Difficult feelings such as loneliness, sadness, anxiety and worry

  • Depression

  • Difficulty with intimate relationships or relationships with family and friends

  • Low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence

  • Professional or career challenges

  • Life changes you wish to see

  • A sense that life itself no longer seems fulfilling and may feel pointless

  • Experience of grief and loss

  • Experience of abuse and trauma

  • Addiction

  • Anger management issues

  • Bullying

  • PTSD

What can I help you with?