The terms 'counselling' and 'psychotherapy' are often used synonymously. However, it is generally understood that counselling is short-term and focuses on a specific concern. Whereas, psychotherapy explores and addresses deeper, underlying thoughts and feelings that have built up over a long period of time. Consequently the therapy is longer-term, working to identify emotional issues and the background to problems and difficulties. The individual may then have a deeper understanding of their thoughts, feelings and actions.
It is possible for someone to start with counselling and decide that their initial concern is linked to deeper issues that they would like to explore further.
I practice existentially which means my approach is grounded in a philosophy that questions the nature of human experience. It recognises our capacity for growth whilst challenging our responses to unavoidable limitations.
Existential psychotherapy does not 'medicalise' or pathologise the suffering of an individual; it does not 'treat' symptoms. Rather it seeks to understand the meaning of symptoms, thoughts, feelings, behaviours.
I am richly informed by the psychodynamic approach that seeks to understand patterns of relating as a result of early relationships. These patterns may become evident within the therapeutic relationship itself. So the therapy space can provide a safe place for exploring ways of interacting, leading to increased personal awareness, insight and ultimately, change.
Existential therapy allows you to pay attention to how you live your life, how you make sense of your values, assumptions and the choices you make.