As a therapist I have the incredible honour of being able to get a glimpse into the lives of others. Usually during the first session clients are nervous, unsure of what to expect. Over time as they open up we are able to build trust and establish a relationship. At its core, this is what therapy is all about. Having a non-judgemental, empathetic listener is incredibly healing.
I often get asked about therapy and counselling wondering about the process. I thought it may be helpful to explain some things. If after reading this you have any additional questions feel free to leave comment or message me.
What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy? The main difference is length of time. Often people start counselling because they have recently been bereaved, they are depressed, feeling anxious or have one issue they want to work through. Psychotherapy is more long term, perhaps after you have started working through one thing you realise there are more aspects of your life you want to understand.
How long are sessions and how much does it cost? Sessions are usually 50 minutes and here in Ireland if you want to go private, on average a session will cost €60. However, there are many centres that offer low cost services or individuals like myself that offer a sliding scale.
Do I have to talk about my past? I believe to understand the present we need to understand the past. However, you don’t have to share anything that you are not comfortable with. The entirety of your life and past hurts has lead to the perception you have of the world. In some cases that perception is negative or unfairly judgemental of ourself and others. Therapy and objectively examining our past can help demonstrate when patterns began and allow you to have compassion for your struggles.
What will be different? You. What is so interesting about therapy is that as time goes on you will start to feel different in yourself. Hopefully the end result is that you will feel more grounded, confident and secure in who you are. You may also notice a difference in your reactions and interactions with friends and family. As you feel better in yourself you have less of a reason to lash out which can benefit everyone.
Should I start therapy? I believe everyone could benefit from having a good listener in their lives. If you feel like there are aspects of your life that you want to change counselling or therapy could be great for you. We can get into patterns that are no longer benefitting us, sometimes we need support to change.
I have seen the amazing transformations that can happen thanks to psychotherapy. You can be happy in your life, you just have to decide you want things to be different and start making that happen.
“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” – Shannon L. Alder