Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
They are essentially similar except for the fact that counselling tends to be more useful for situations where most areas in one's life are ok and problems tend to be more in one specific area. Think for example of a bereveament where no other underlying issues exist.
Psychotherapy tends to be more useful for people who find several areas problematic in their lives and when they have found them so for some time. It also tends to be more long term than counselling.
This is however a somehow artificial distinction, if you are wondering what kind of support you might need I am happy to discuss this with you when we first meet.
What does integrative transpersonal mean?
An Integrative Transpersonal approach takes into account the spiritual dimension of the individual together with the personal. This means working with the personality, the wounds coming from our history and life circumstances but also seeing every individual's unique potential and soul's nature. It recognises the spark of the divine in each individual.
From this perspective each person's soul's nature carries some unique qualities which can be harnessed as resources in the healing process through inner child work, creative imagination, dream work, visualisations and mindfulness. In this light even difficult circumstances and life crisis could be viewed as a chance for us to develop more and more of these qualities and to reconnect to our soul's sense of purpose and meaning.
This is not to impose any viewpoint on you and isn't religious in nature, I have however found this perspective to be particularly useful and refreshing as it sees the individual as not only a sum of their neuroses, it sees potential for growth and qualities where others would see illness and diagnosis. I have also found that it gives a generous toolbox of resources for healing rather than just pointing out where the problems are.
The integrative bit is also important so that we can make sure we are not skipping over the more personal wounds that would also benefit from other approaches like psychodynamic, the latest research in trauma and the body or CBT.
How long will therapy last?
This depends on the person and is similar to a plane ride stopping at different airports along the way. You can choose to get off at any point if you are satisfied with how far you've travelled or to continue on with the journey.
In practice this could mean 3 to 6 months for short term work and a year or more for ongoing psychotherapy.
The idea is for the process to help you not need therapy anymore although the question is really of stopping at the right time and when you feel ready.
What can sometimes happen is for therapy to come to a difficult point, as do all relationships in one's life. During those times, the invitation would be to come back to therapy to work through any difficult feelings that might have arisen and to discuss what might be working for you and what isn't whilst staying in relationship.
You, of course, have the last say around when to end and I only ask that you give four weeks' notice so that we can spend this time to work on an ending and to bring the work to a close.
What if I can't make a session?
In order to encourage you to make the most out of therapy to account for the cost of the room, I have a cancellation policy of 7 x 24h periods, 7 days. This means that you can tell me at the previous week's session if you need to miss the following week without incurring a charge.
If, however, you find that you can't make it to a session with less than 7 days notice for any reason, this would then incur the full fee. However, I will offer the possibility to have a telephone, Skype or Zoom session, usually on the same date and time of your appointment so that you can have a session anyway.
This does mean there could be some rare situations where, regretably, you might find you need to pay for a session that you had to cancel at the last minute and weren't available for a make-up telephone or Skype session, although we will both try to avoid this, if at all possible.
What does trauma informed mean?
This means that together with the more traditional approaches to psychotherapy, we can also integrate the latest findings from neuroscience regarding the impact of trauma on mental health.
By trauma we now also mean not just big distressing events like accidents or natural disasters but also the more everyday trauma of growing up such as neglect, any abuse, witnessing violence in any way, fights in the home, being bullied, one of the parents growing up being unavailable due to mental health or addiction, any early losses, abandonment traumas like the ones of a parent leaving or being sent to boarding school and many others.
The kind of trauma informed relational psychotherapy I offer values safety, giving clients choices, being collaborative in my approach and including mindfulness and the body in the service of healing.
What kind of trauma therapy do you offer?
Together with my core psychotherapy training I have studied complex trauma and dissociation with psychotherapist Mary Clare de Echevarria.
The type of trauma therapy I offer uses an integrative transpersonal model. I make use of concepts borrowed from the literature on ego state therapy, internal family systems and Janina Fisher's parts work and sensorimotor psychotherapy.
I also integrate body interventions, visualisations and breathing techniques aimed at giving clients more tools to regulate their internal state.
We never stop learning! Although I don't offer this now I am very interested in EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, and I play to do some additional training on this in the future.