What are therapy and counselling?

While there are many different approaches to psychotherapy and counselling, I work principally within the psychoanalytic tradition, a key part of which is to work in collaboration with the client to try to understand the unconscious origins of difficulties affecting our lives in the present.

Psychotherapy and counselling are not intended to give advice, but rather to provide a safe and confidential setting in which you can explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, your assumptions, worries and fears, memories and wishes, dreams and day-dreams, as part of the effort to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and to make sense of what you think is going on in your life now, and why.

Therapy is intended to support people who have reached a point in their lives where they feel themselves to be facing difficult, sometimes confusing feelings and states of mind. It offers a reliable place to come and be listened to, without fear of being judged, criticised or told what to do. It is also an opportunity to think about the role, both negative, but also positive, your unconscious mental life may play in the difficulties you face and their resolution.

The goal of psychotherapy is not only to work to relieve inner conflict and suffering, but also to help you to achieve a deeper self-understanding, to allow you to remove the obstacles that frustrate your development as an individual, to help you to achieve a measure of freedom from outworn assumptions, beliefs and feelings, and so make possible a more creative, rewarding and fulfilling life.

Psychotherapy and counselling might be helpful when you:

  • are stressed, anxious or depressed
  • suffer from panic attacks
  • suffer from obsessional thoughts
  • sometimes struggle with inappropriate anger
  • are confused about your sexuality
  • experienced abuse or trauma in childhood
  • feel you have low self-esteem and lack self-confidence
  • live with eating disorders
  • have experienced loss or bereavement
  • want to improve your relationships
  • feel your life lacks meaning
  • want to develop your potential