Useful Information

How do I know which counselling or psychotherapy approach is most suited to me?

There are a number of established counselling and psychotherapy models; these include psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy, transactional analysis, existential, humanistic and cognitive behavioural therapy. You may have an idea that a particular approach may be suited to you, if not you can telephone the Crescent Practice to discuss the different models, or you may make an appointment for a one-off consultation.

How do I know what I say is confidential?

The counsellors, psychotherapists and coaches who work within the Crescent Practice are ethically bound by their professional organisations, British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy, British Psychoanalytic Council and the Association of Coaching to hold what you say to them in confidence. Confidentiality will be discussed in more detail at your first session.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

There is considerably overlap in the meanings of Counselling, Therapy and Psychotherapy. All three terms refer to the process of meeting with a trained therapist to work through personal issues.

A broad distinction between counselling and psychotherapy is that while both counselling and psychotherapy seek to understand and help clients work with current or long- standing difficulties in their lives, psychotherapy is also directed towards exploration of who we are and what might fundamentally drive us; profound personal transformation can come about, over time, in the process of the exploration.

A Counsellor has a specific training in counselling theory and skills as well as clinical experience of face-to-face counselling. Counsellors offer both short and medium-term work usually on a weekly basis.

A Psychotherapist is also trained in counselling skills and theory but generally works in greater depth. Thus psychotherapy may well be medium to long term and possibly involve more frequent sessions, i.e. twice or three times weekly.

How long do I need to see my counsellor or psychotherapist for?

There is no set period of time for counselling or psychotherapy, the number of sessions depends on you as an individual and the kinds of difficulties you may be experiencing. Our counsellors and psychotherapists are trained to work both to a short term and a longer term model of working.

How do I start counselling or psychotherapy?

For an initial meeting with a counsellor or psychotherapist please contact us.

What happens at the first session?

The first session is an opportunity for you to tell the counsellor or psychotherapist about the kinds of difficulties you have been experiencing. Then you will both discuss whether counselling or psychotherapy will be helpful and if you decide to go ahead and arrange further sessions the counsellor or psychotherapist will discuss with you the practical arrangements. These will include timings and regularity of sessions, fees, the arrangements around holidays and missed sessions. You will also discuss the issue of confidentiality.

What issues can counselling and psychotherapy help with?

There are wide range of difficulties which can be helped by counselling and psychotherapy, these include:

  • Depression, bereavement, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and other anxiety related problems, post traumatic stress, past trauma, childhood abuse, grief and loss.
  • Stress, work related pressures, redundancy, study or academic anxiety.
  • Family problems, cultural identity, relationship difficulties, sexuality, gender issues, and sexual difficulties.
  • Feelings about physical health, caring for somebody with health problems, coping with disability, pregnancy related difficulties, self harm and food/eating related problems.

How do I know if the counsellor or psychotherapist I see at my first session is the right person to see?

From your initial session it is important for you to think about whether the counsellor or psychotherapist is going to be someone who you fell you can develop a rapport with. This is often more important than the therapist’s particular counselling or psychotherapy theoretical approach.

What are the different counselling and psychotherapy approaches?

Historically, the three principle orientations in counselling and psychotherapy are grouped under the headings of:

  • Psychoanalytic
  • Behavioural
  • Humanistic

Psychodynamic or Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Counsellors and Psychotherapists who work from this approach generally draw from psychoanalytical theory outlined by Freud and his followers. The development of the counsellor/client relationship is considered to be very crucial in the psychodynamic model. This model also places emphasis on past as well as present experiences. It pays attention to the way a person’s early life, in particular childhood and relationships with parents and family, has shaped their present personality, their way of thinking and behaving, and their current relationships with other people. The client and therapist aim to learn more about this by paying close attention to how the past might be played out in the present relationship between them.

Cognitive Behavioural (CBT)
Counsellors in this field acknowledge that how we think about ourselves influences not only what we do but also what we feel. In this model of counselling, clients’ illogical and irrational thoughts are challenged by the counsellor. CBT aims to help client’s to change the way that they think, feel and behave. It is a used as a treatment for various mental health and physical problems. CBT is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger or ‘fuel’ certain health problems

The Humanistic group of therapies includes Carl Rogers’ Person-Centred Counselling, Fritz Perl’s Gestalt Therapy, and Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis. Existential approaches to therapy are also grouped under this heading: they particularly focus on questions of value and meaning in peoples lives.

The Counsellors and Psychotherapists at the Crescent Practice work mainly from the Psychodynamic, Psychoanalytic and Existential models. If you would like to discuss the various counselling and psychotherapy approaches in more detail please contact us.

Can a counsellor or psychotherapist prescribe medication?

The counsellors and psychotherapists at the Crescent Practice cannot prescribe mediation for you. However they can speak with your GP or help refer you to a consultant psychiatrist who will be able to prescribe any necessary medication for you.

Can I use my health insurance to pay for counselling Sessions?

In some cases it is possible to pay for your counselling or psychotherapy sessions from you health insurance but you would need to check this out with your insurance company prior to starting counselling or psychotherapy.

How can I pay for counselling sessions?

Counselling or psychotherapy sessions are usually paid for either at the end of each session or by invoice at the end of each month. Fees will be discussed with you in your first session or you can ask your counsellor or psychotherapist in your initial contact by email or on the telephone.

Is my Counsellor or Psychotherapist qualified?

The team of the counsellors and psychotherapists working at The Crescent Practice have professional qualifications and have many years of experience. This is something you may wish to discuss with your counsellor or psychotherapist at your initial assessment session.

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