Counselling and Psychotherapy

Counselling and psychotherapy are talking treatments for people experiencing emotional and psychological distress. Many clients seek help from counsellors and therapists when they are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, mourning losses or struggling with addictions. Some people are haunted by traumatic events in their lives. Some are facing relationship or employment problems and need support with major decisions. Others are motivated by a quest for self-awareness, self-esteem or fulfillment.

Counsellors and psychotherapists offer a safe, dependable and confidential place in which people can talk openly about themselves. Clients are invited to speak about anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. People are free to talk in a way that is often difficult with family and friends. A time and space is offered that is just for people to discuss the things that trouble them. Counsellors and therapists are trained to listen attentively and empathically to the way people feel and how they are affected. We aim to be accepting and non-judgmental. People often find the process of expressing their thoughts and feelings cathartic.

We understand that it is not always easy to talk about problems and express feelings. However, a recent survey by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy found that 91% of respondents agreed that, “it is more acceptable to talk about emotional problems than it was in the past”. 95% agreed that, “it is a good idea to seek counselling or psychotherapy for a problem before it gets out of hand”. 88% agreed that, “people might be happier if they talked to a counsellor or psychotherapist about their problems”.

Counsellors and therapists work hard to create trusting therapeutic relationships with clients. Industry research has found that such relationships are pivotal in leading to positive change and improved wellbeing.

Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy

At Farringdon Counselling and Psychotherapy, our counsellors and psychotherapists are trained in the psychodynamic approach.

The term ‘psychodynamic’ refers to a talking treatment derived from psychoanalysis. This type of therapy is based on the understanding that difficult experiences in the past can affect the way we feel and behave in the present. We engage in a collaborative approach with our clients to identify the origins of their distress and the purpose of their coping mechanisms, known as defences.

The psychodynamic approach features exploration of conscious and unconscious mental processes. Clients are encouraged to share whatever thoughts are going through their minds. Exploring emotions, thoughts, dreams, memories, behaviour and relationships can help people to change the way they respond to situations. We aim to assist this process by being curious and attentive to links and patterns. People work through their issues and consider interpretations offered by counsellors and therapists.

Our counsellors and therapists offer a consistent and reliable setting. We are particularly mindful of boundaries. People respond to these boundaries in very individual ways, often revealing the typical patterns and conflicts in their lives.

Clients relate to counsellors and therapists in different ways that are reminiscent of other significant relationships and figures in their minds. The dynamic relationship between the counsellor or therapist and the client is therefore informative and therapeutic.

The psychodynamic process offers people an experience of finding both sanctuary from and meaning to their suffering.

There is a growing body of evidence regarding the lasting effectiveness of this approach. Examples include Jonathan Shedler's research, "The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy" (American Psychologist, 2009) and the Tavistock Adult Depression Study (World Psychiatry, 2015).

Initial Consultation and Treatment Plans

At Farringdon Counselling and Psychotherapy, we start with an initial consultation where the reasons for seeking help are discussed. Some background information is always useful too. This appointment gives both parties a chance to get a sense of compatibility and there is no obligation to continue working together. When an agreement is reached to move forward in principle, we recommend a treatment plan.

Once the specific terms have been confirmed, the work can begin, usually in the form of weekly, 50-minute sessions held at the same time and place every week. Towards the end of each course of treatment, there is an opportunity to review progress and consider either committing to a deeper treatment plan or working towards an agreed ending.

We offer four distinct treatment plans:

Brief Psychodynamic Counselling (Six Sessions)
Brief psychodynamic counselling focuses on a single issue. By necessity, there is “benign neglect” of other matters. The counsellor is fairly active and comparatively direct in this form of treatment. Both counsellor and client are very aware that the work is time-limited and this creates an intense, problem-solving energy towards a specific goal.

Psychodynamic Counselling (Sixteen Sessions)
This medium term treatment plan is suitable for people who seek help with specific issues and want to go into some depth. It offers an explorative and reflective time and space to address both the causes and symptoms of particular problems. There is an opportunity for the client to build a trusting and therapeutic relationship with the counsellor.

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (Sixteen Sessions)
This is a time-limited and structured psychotherapy for people struggling with depression. It aims to help clients to understand the connection between painful feelings and relationship problems, usually traced back to childhood. A repeating pattern in relationships is identified and managed with the support of the therapist.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (Open-Ended)
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an in-depth treatment that can be particularly useful in helping people with recurring, complex or debilitating problems. People may have a number of interconnected issues that require intensive attention. People experiencing a loss of meaning in their lives or seeking a greater sense of fulfilment may also find this reflective treatment helpful. Psychotherapy is usually a long- term commitment taking place over several months and in some cases, years.

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