Dennise Rathbone Counselling in Ashurst Wood, West Sussex and Little Venice, W2

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

People may be drawn to counselling to resolve a specific issue they are struggling with, or to help them overcome a distressing life event, and tends to be shorter term, until the client has regained their sense of wellbeing. However, this exploration can open up into how current problems may be reflecting unresolved childhood issues, which is where counselling and psychotherapy usefully overlap. Psychotherapy can allow for a deeper exploration over an extended period of time, enabling the client to really get to know themselves better.

Instead of focussing in on individual problems, psychotherapy considers patterns of behaviour, recurrent feelings and strategies we may have developed as children in order to manage or navigate our environment. This asks for an openness to exploring the past and its impact upon the present. The aim of psychotherapy is to heal the underlying issues which fuel ongoing struggles. Psychotherapists aim to help their clients resolve past experiences, helping them lay the foundations for a satisfying future.

In describing "talking therapies", the terms counselling and psychotherapy are frequently used interchangeably and The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) doesn’t distinguish between them. However, The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) acknowledges that psychotherapy training tends to be longer and students are required to undertake extensive personal therapy as a key aspect of their training. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that one is better than the other.

While counselling might have you asking, "What can I do and change to feel better?", psychotherapy might also find you exploring, "Who am I?" and "How did I become this person?" (in the wider context of my family history) and "Who do I really want to be, deep down?"

Fundamentally, it's the relationship which heals, or perhaps a new experience in relationship. Therefore, it is important that you find a therapist you feel comfortable working with, with whom you can build a relationship of trust.

What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?

Transpersonal literally means ‘beyond the personal’ and allows space within the therapy to explore the spiritual side of human experience, in whatever way that may hold meaning for the client. This enables us to see that we are part of something greater than ourselves, and within that wider context we may loosen the grip of the fundamentally human issues that we all struggle with, to find greater meaning in our lives.


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