Psychotherapy and Counselling
The main difference between psychotherapy and counselling is that psychotherapists may have undertaken longer training to Post Graduate level and longer term personal therapy. Psychotherapists would work with clients for short, as well as much longer term work. Long term work could involve the client exploring the patterns of how they relate to people in the present (such as feeling oppressed by their manager or being with non-committing partners) and understanding what that might be about in relation to their past (such as low self-esteem because they were told they were useless over and over by significant people earlier in their lives). By being able to emotionally understand where that pattern comes from and challenging earlier voices, they work towards discovering what is real about them in the present day. This can then limit repeating the destructive life choices, open up new ways of seeing themselves and different paths in how to live in the present.
There are many different types of counselling/therapy. The BACP have a list of therapies and definitions about the types of therapy available. I practice confidential one to one psychotherapy, EMDR and AF-EMDR, where you have the opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings about experiences in your life.
Psychotherapy is not driven by specific goals but by you trying to understand your patterns of relating to others and yourself (for example how you are not able to listen to your voice within a specific relationship, at work, in your family, in how you grieve). There is a hope that through this understanding you will create a different way of listening to your needs and relating to yourself and others in the present and future. Often there are patterns about how you are relating to others from earlier relationships and experiences. Once you make the links between past and present, this can given you a different perspective on how to be you.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapeutic approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is an 8 stage process where clients identify a specific trauma and create some resources to ensure they can create a feeling of safety before the trauma work can start. They then identify a specific moment in the trauma and use bilateral stimulation (this can be eye movement, gentle buzzers in hands, tapping etc.) to work through the distress of that trauma so they are not reliving the distress like it is still happening to them. This places the trauma in the past and it does not then trigger them in the present. This can be a single one off trauma such as a car accident or traumatic childbirth or a longer term more complex trauma such as sexual abuse, relationship issues or anxiety patterns. A single trauma would often take around 12-16 sessions to fully work through. More complex or multiple traumas would require longer term work.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), generalised anxiety and phobias have been shown to respond to EMDR therapy. So if you are having flashbacks to a distressing event or feel overwhelmed by anxiety, depression or a phobia EMDR might be the therapy for you.
For more information about EMDR therapy please visit www.emdria.org
Attachment Focused EMDR focuses on working with relationship traumas and the experience of struggling to attach or over attaching with people. There are three phases to AF –EMDR:
- Creating resources where a client can be supportive to themselves which was not developed when they were younger.
- EMDR to process the trauma
- Talking therapy to process the attachment links and how to relate to themselves and others in a secure way.
Walking therapy offers you the experience of talking through situations and issues in an environment that grounds you. By hearing the world around you and moving at a pace that feels right, this can enable you to recall memories, explore feelings and understand where you are and hope to get to. By walking and talking you can create a rhythm of self-understanding. Knowing that you have kept walking shows your inner resilience. In addition, the peaceful movement can be grounding. When you are walking and talking through experiences, this is part of healing your emotional distress and lessening your physical symptoms. Therapy is often a search for a calmer and more resilient way of being. By walking this builds in those elements right at the heart of therapy. The initial session would not be a walking session, it would be either in the therapy room or online. We would discuss what brings you to therapy, the therapeutic contract, what you need to bring to a walking session, what suitable clothes to wear, find a mutually agreeable walking route and I would answer any questions you have about walking therapy.