There are 3 main solutions I offer: coaching, counselling and therapy. Which one would be best for you depends on the kinds of problems you’re wanting help with, and how much help you want to get. Read about these solutions below in summary, you can click on the title of each to find out more:
Coaching is for people who want to improve their performance, whether it’s at work or elsewhere in life. Like a sports coach, a coaching psychologist works with people who feel generally well, but need help to focus and train themselves to achieve the goals they have set themselves. So coaching tends to have a specific goal, and it doesn’t stray into rehabilitation of past injuries. Coaching can be time limited, for an upcoming event, or it can be ongoing to help a person gradually improve their game and move up to a bigger league. On the journey of life, coaching helps us learn skills to perform better; it’s less concerned with helping us decide where to go.
Counselling is for people who just need someone they can trust to talk to about the problems they’re facing, someone who can help them think those problems and encourage them to use the skills they have to overcome their problems. Often it’s enough to have someone we can talk to in confidence. On the journey of life, counsellors act as guides and companions for short personal journeys, allowing the client to take the lead and explore, and trusting in the client’s native ability to get out of the difficulty they’re in.
Therapy is for people who are facing big, complicated or longstanding problems, which are easier to resolve with the help of an expert. Some problems would be difficult for anyone to overcome, and they have long been the focus of intensive study by psychologists and psychotherapists. Many of these problems have been given medical diagnoses as mental disorders, because psychiatrists try to resolve these problems with medication.
On the journey of life therapists act as guides for longer or more arduous journeys. However like guides in the physical landscape, therapists can work in a range of ways. For example, psychodynamic therapists tend to allow you to explore your problems in your own way and at your own pace. Their expertise lies in interpreting where you are, helping you to see that you’ve been this way before, and so helping you to understand the landscape of your life and cultivate your life more effectively. Conversely, cognitive behavioural therapists tend to focus on achieving a specific goal, and advocate using established routes to get there step by step. They emphasise the importance of you gaining scientific knowledge and skills to resolve your problems.
Although studies show that on average the different approaches to psychotherapy work as about as well as each other, I still believe that some approaches work better than others for particular people and particular problems. You will have your own ideas of what will work best for you, and as feeling comfortable with the therapist is important for success, I make a point of adapting my approach as far as I can to suit the client.
If you’re thinking of getting help, but you don’t know whether you need coaching, counselling or therapy, why not contact me using the form on the right. I can tell you whether your problems are big, complicated or longstanding enough to need therapy. You can also come initially for counselling and then decide with me if you want to switch to coaching or therapy.