How I work - Psychotherapy & Counselling in North London

The core qualities of the therapeutic relationship are:-

  • Genuineness
  • Empathy
  • Respect

Therapy concentrates on the therapeutic relationship to gain an understanding of patterns of behaviour which may have evolved over long periods of time. By providing a safe place to think about and experience feelings and being able to talk about experiences and explore the emotions behind them allows us to gain better understanding of the unconscious processes which have been influencing our behaviour.

Psychodynamic theory is based on the belief that everyone has an unconscious mind and that feelings held in the unconscious are often too painful to be faced.

Thus we come up with defences to protect us from knowing about those painful feelings which can result in anxiety, depression and other distressing modes of being.Often these defences were put in place to protect us from emotional pain when we were younger and now they are no longer serving their purpose and are causing more harm than good. The therapy helps to unravel and so reduce their power over our current lives.

When we are aware of how we are acting we are able to take more control over our lives and start to change maladaptive behaviour.As the work progresses you can expect to become more aware of thoughts and feelings and learn how some ways of coping may be unhelpful or even harmful to you or your relationships. This can lead to deeper awareness and more open and healthy ways of dealing with the inevitable problems that life throws at all of us.

Initial meeting

We would initially meet for an assessment session lasting for approximately one hour. This provides an opportunity to talk about the issues which have brought you to consider counselling and for both of us to explore whether we can work together.

This assessment is particularly important as it allows you to get a better understanding of therapy and decide whether it is appropriate to you. If not, there are other types of therapy which I may be able to help you to think about.

Counselling or psychotherapy?

There is much debate and very little agreement about the difference between counselling and psychotherapy. In very general terms, it can be useful to think about them in the following way. Counselling tends to be based on once a week work and tends to be shorter than psychotherapy, addressing more immediate problems in one’s life. Psychotherapy tends to be for longer and generally requires sessions twice or three times a week. It is aimed at more fundamental personality change particularly where there are long standing or deep seated difficulties.

The next step

A thorough assessment is very important to decide whether you want to commit to starting therapy. If we decide that either psychotherapy or counselling are appropriate we can agree to meet at the same time each week with sessions lasting for 50 minutes either once, twice or three times each week.

The length that psychotherapy and counselling takes can vary considerably and can be agreed between ourselves depending on progress.