Alison Hollingshead PgDip, BSc(Hons), MBACP
What is counselling and how will it help me?
Most people have a lot of questions about the ins-and-outs of counselling.
This page will hopefully clear most of it up. If you do have any further questions, please get in touch.
What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
“Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing.” – (BACP, 2010)
‘Psychotherapy’ and ‘Counselling’ are terms that are often used interchangeably. Some practitioners may choose to use both terms when referring to themselves. Both practices share the goal of relieving distress or uncomfortable symptoms.
‘Counselling’ is generally used to denote a process that is briefer than psychotherapy and is mostly focused upon behavioural patterns and often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation.
‘Psychotherapy’ is generally a longer-term treatment, which focuses more on gaining insight into the underlying causes of emotional problems. Its focus is on the client’s thought processes and ways of being in the world, rather than specific problems.
Psychotherapy training requires a longer, more rigorous academic and clinical focus than counselling training. Whilst a psychotherapist is qualified to provide counselling, a counsellor may not possess the necessary training and skills to provide psychotherapy. In actual practice there may be quite a bit of overlap between psychotherapy and counselling.
Because therapy is such an individual process, there is no way to tell at the beginning how many sessions you would need or how long you would choose to stay in therapy.
Can counselling help with anxiety and depression?
It really can! Counselling can help with depression and low mood. It is a safe and supportive space to explore your feelings and thoughts. It can help you discover ways to cope and overcome cycles of depression.
What else can counseling help with?
Counselling can help you process any difficult or challenging experience. It might be a symptom like anxiety, low mood or negative thinking. Or it could be a difficult experience that you would like to process, such as a loss or bereavement, abuse, assault, work-place bullying, discrimination or anything else that has had a negative impact on you.
Do I need Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
There are many different types of therapies out there. It is important that you find the right therapy and therapist for you. I can also offer solution-focused therapy which can help with immediate ways to cope with your symptoms. However, we will also explore your experience in more depth together, so that you can have a better understanding. This can promote longer lasting, positive change.
How many sessions will I need?
This is entirely up to you. It can be for as long as we are both comfortable working together and you are feeling benefits. When you feel ready to end counselling, you can let me know and we can book a final session to celebrate how far you have come.
Where does counselling take place?
I meet with people online, so I offer counselling to anyone in the UK. I use Zoom and WhatsApp, you can choose the platform that suits you best.