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What is psychotherapy?

Whereas most people have an idea what counselling means, many are much less clear about psychotherapy. There is considerable overlap between counselling and psychotherapy, both in the issues that can be addressed and the methods used. In general psychotherapy tends to address more deep-seated problems which may have roots in very early childhood experiences. Psychotherapy tends to take longer, and a commitment to regular sessions becomes important. The training of a psychotherapist can be longer that that of a counsellor, and a psychotherapist will normally have been to therapy themselves for several years.

There are many branches of psychotherapy, including Psychodynamic, Psychosynthesis, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Humanistic and Integrative, to name but a few.

If you are unclear about which form of therapy is best for you, please call Maurice Tomkinson.

What does psychotherapy involve?

Therapy sessions normally take place once a week and last an hour. At the first meeting the therapist will ask you about the problems or issues you would like to work on, and the results you would like to get from psychotherapy. He or she will also answer any queries you may have.

During subsequent sessions you can bring any issue you want to talk about, and together we will explore it in different ways, sometimes using imagery or dreams, sometimes by exploring feelings, often simply talking.

What sort of problems can be helped by psychotherapy?

The list below gives examples of some of the issues that can be worked with in psychotherapy:

addictions • anger management • anxiety • bereavement • breakdown • bullying • compulsions • communication difficulties • creative blocks • crises • depression • eating disorders • family problems • fear • mid-life crisis • obsessions • panic attacks • phobias • relationship problems • self harm • sexuality issues • sleeping problems • stress • suicidal feelings • traumas • work and career issues

This is by no means a complete list - if you have an issue that is not listed here, it doesn't mean that it can't be helped by psychotherapy. Give us a call to discuss it confidentially.

How long does it take?

This is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on the nature of the problem, the type of change you are looking to achieve, and your own readiness to make the necessary steps.

As a guide, clients find that a certain amount of emotional relief can be obtained by talking through a problem in one or two sessions, a single issue problem that has arisen fairly recently may be resolved in five or ten sessions, whereas a problem which is complex or has persisted for years may take many months to resolve.

How much does it cost?

Each practitioner working at the Hope Street Centre sets their own fee scales. As a guide, counselling and psychotherapy sessions typically cost £35-50 per hour. Some therapists offer reductions if a block of sessions is paid for in advance.

How do I access the service?

There is no need for a doctor's referral - you can make an appointment directly with the therapist, who will usually be able to see you within a week.