David Wakely, M.A. UKCP reg.
|29th November 2021|
The aim of the process is to promote change through insight, although the nature of this change will vary from person to person, depending on the issues they bring, their circumstances, their goals and aspirations and the choices they are willing to make. Defining the aim of the process is one of the first things that the counsellor and the client will do together.
Sometimes specific techniques can be used to aid the exploration of issues or to experiment with alternative ways of thinking and behaving. Occasionally, this might involve homework exercises - always with the client's consent and never as an obligation! It should be noted that techniques in counselling and therapy do not in themselves bring about change, although they may aid a process of change over time.
Of equal importance to any techniques that a therapist might use are the personal qualities that s/he brings to the work and the rapport that develops between the therapist and the client. Good therapist qualities might include: respect, support and encouragement of personal autonomy; the willingness to explore issues without prejudice or preconceptions; compassionate curiosity; and the provision of a setting which is safe and confidential.
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Counselling generally tends to be more focussed on one or two main issues that the client wants to resolve and is likely to involve a relatively short-term commitment of a few weeks or months.
Psychotherapy is a more exploratory, open-ended process, addressing problems more globally in the context of an individual's life. It might enable broader or deeper change over time; it might be a useful support for individuals through dark and difficult periods of life; or it might be a preferred option to short-term counselling when problems are particularly longstanding and difficult to overcome.
In practice, both processes contain elements of the other and tend to overlap.
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Potential benefits include:
Counselling and psychotherapy do not cause problems and suffering to disappear; life inevitably continues to bring difficulties and challenges. A good experience of therapy can give someone the resources with which to meet these challenges with greater confidence.
While most people who embark on therapy will experience gains, there will always be some cases little improvement is seen and, on rare occasions, there may be a worsening of the condition.
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You should be sure that the therapist you choose is registered or accredited.
At present in the United Kingdom, psychotherapy and counselling are self-regulated professions (that is, they are not regulated by the government).
The two main registration bodies are the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) and the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) (there are other registration bodies, see below). These organisations ensure that therapists and counsellors meet specific professional standards of training, experience, continuing professional development, reflective practice and frequency of supervision, professional indemnity insurance and adherence to professional codes of ethics.
The standards are similar, but not identical, for both organisations.
UKCP registration requires a substantial training period as well as a minimum level of experience. Training typically covers a three to five year period and will involve both academic and practical components. During this time, trainees will also work on supervised placements and in most cases will be required to undertake their own personal therapy. Once the trainee has qualified and has completed a minimum of 450 hours of supervised face to face work with clients, s/he will be eligible to apply for registration with the UKCP.
BACP currently has different levels of membership. Counsellors who are authorised by BACP to practise are indicated by the initials MBACP (member of BACP) and MBACP Accred. (accredited member). A counsellor can use the initials MBACP once they have completed a one or two year training which must include a supervised placement. In order to become an accredited member (MBACP Accred.), the counsellor will then need to build up sufficient supervised post-training experience and possibly meet other criteria, such as completion of further training.
There are a number of other registration bodies (click here for more information).
Before starting your search, you may want to think about some basic practical issues, such as:
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email me or phone me on 078 495 19 277.
The first meeting is an opportunity to talk over the issues and for you to decide if you would like to work with me. It does not commit you to anything further and I will usually suggest that you take a couple of days to think it over.
I normally contract for a fixed number of sessions at first, normally six (this does not mean that you are committed to six sessions, however). This allows us a reasonable period of time to see if the process is helpful to you. We review progress on the last session and, if required, may decide to continue for a longer period.
Meetings are generally weekly, but this frequency can be altered if necessary.
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