Embarking on counselling or psychotherapy can be quite a daunting prospect for many people, particularly when you are not sure what to expect or what is involved. Counselling and psychotherapy are ‘talking therapies’ in which a professional ‘therapist’ (Counsellor or Psychotherapist) aims to help a client explore and resolve their issues.
What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
In the UK, there is no legal difference in definition. Some people believe that the names are interchangeable, and some people believe that there is a difference. The people who think that there is a difference believe that counselling focuses on current issues whereas psychotherapy focuses on how deep-seated issues from childhood are affecting the person as an adult.
At The Green Rooms, we are professionals who are experienced and trained in working with both recent issues and deep-seated childhood issues. All our Counsellors and Psychotherapists are qualified to PGDip or MSc level. Our Counsellors and Psychotherapists are all members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and adhere to the relevant code of ethics. We have a choice of Counsellors and Psychotherapists who are BACP accredited.
What are the different types of Counselling and Psychotherapy?
There are over 40 recognised counselling and psychotherapy approaches, but there are 2 which are the most common in the UK. These are ‘Person Centred Therapy’ and ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT). Many therapists are able to offer an ‘eclectic’ or ‘integrative’ approach, which means that they are trained in more than one therapeutic approach, and will use varying methods, depending on the needs of the client.
Person Centred Therapy will offer you an empathic and non-judgemental environment to explore and move through your issues. It focuses on how you are feeling and supports you to make changes to improve your situation.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a logical, goal-oriented systematic approach to addressing psychological issues. It focuses on thoughts, feelings, behaviours and body sensations, giving you tools and techniques to make changes in your life.
The Green Rooms offer Person Centred Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, as well as an integrative/eclectic approach. Your first session
When you attend your first counselling session, your therapist will ask you what led you to seek counselling and what you hope to gain from it.
Making the most of your counselling sessions
In order to benefit from counselling, here are a few important things to remember:
Be open and honest: Therapy is a place where you can share your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental environment. Honesty allows exploration of, and resolution to issues.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If there is anything about the therapeutic process you are unsure of or don’t understand, ask your therapist to explain.
Be prepared to actively participate in the process: Challenge is good, but pushing yourself too hard is not. Therapy will progress at a pace you are comfortable with, and will gently and supportively challenge you along the way.
Choosing the right Counsellor or Psychotherapist
When embarking on counselling or psychotherapy it is important that you are happy with your therapist and feel comfortable discussing your issues with her/him. Here is a quick guide on what to look for when choosing your counsellor.
Written by Alison Barr and Jennifer McElroy