Psychotherapy and Counselling FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about Psychotherapy and Counselling
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
There are two main differences between counselling and psychotherapy.
- Generally speaking, counselling tends to be more problem/solution focused, while psychotherapy is a deeper exploration of the client as a whole.
- Due to the differences in the above approaches, counselling is usually more short term (6-12 weeks), while someone could attend psychotherapy for several years.
For what would someone go to counselling/psychotherapy?
People decide to see a therapist for many different reasons. Some people may have a sudden issue for which they need help to work through or understand, for example a bereavement, loss of a job, relationship issues, divorce/separation, parenting, workplace issues, exams/college, etc…
Other people may have a particular issue(s) that has been with them for years, for example, anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, phobias, addiction, PTSD, anger, abuse, identity issues, obsessions and compulsions, panic attacks, self-esteem, self-harm, etc… Also, many people come to therapy just to explore and gain a deeper understanding of their own self.
How can counselling/psychotherapy help me?
The basis of humanistic and integrative psychotherapy is that everyone, regardless of their experiences or background, has a natural direction towards happiness and well-being. Often, though, we all have a tendency to get caught up in certain thoughts, feelings or behaviours that lead to unhappiness for ourselves and others. Sometimes the things that we believe will make us happy are the very things that lead to suffering. Regardless of what these things may be, therapy can help to bring some new awareness to light that can lead to healthier ways of interacting with ourselves, others and the world around us.
How often will we meet?
That decision is completely up to you. I tend to suggest, particularly in the starting stages of therapy, to meet once a week. When a person begins therapy it is very important to develop a solid foundation of consistency and stability, as this helps the person to build a sense of trust and safety. It can be quite difficult to develop this type of foundation if we only meet for one hour every three or four weeks.
Often when a person has been in therapy every week for a few months, decreasing the frequency of sessions can be appropriate and beneficial. This is something that can be discussed at any point during a therapy session.
Are you a doctor? Do you prescribe medication?
I am not a doctor and I don’t prescribe medication. If you feel that you could benefit from medicinal therapy, a GP or psychiatrist would be qualified to help you determine certain options you may have. Also, this is something that we could discuss in greater detail during your session.
What happens in the first session?
For a lot of people, seeing a therapist for the first time can cause a great deal of fear and anxiety. It can feel quite odd to talk to a stranger about very personal things. Maybe you don’t know what you want to talk about? Or maybe you have something specific to talk about but don’t know where to start? Any fears, worries, anxieties and questions that you may have are all perfectly normal and okay. The first session can take any form that is comfortable for you and perhaps this is something that we can talk about once you arrive.
There is a common misconception that people who go to therapy are somehow ‘broken’ or ‘weak’. This belief can become a large barrier for people when it comes to seeing a therapist for the first time. Therapy doesn’t ‘fix you’ because you are not broken. Therapy just provides a safe and non-judgemental space to discover the strengths that you already possess, and the supports and tools to help you deal with life’s struggles.
Is counselling/psychotherapy confidential?
Everything that is spoken about during therapy is completely private and confidential. However, there are certain circumstances under which I am obligated to break this confidentiality: if it is clear that you are at risk of harming yourself or others, or you are at risk of being harmed by someone else. Furthermore, since the enactment of the Children First Guidelines in 2015, I am legally obligated to report any instances of child abuse (past, present or future risk) to the appropriate authorities.
All of the above can be discussed in further detail if you feel that it is necessary.
How long does each session last?
Each session lasts for 1 hour and punctuality is essential. I require 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a scheduled appointment. Otherwise, I will need to charge the full session fee.
How much does it cost per session?
I charge €50 per session.