The term therapy is often used when talking about a wide range of services: counselling, CBT, psychotherapy, relationship/couples counselling and family therapy. All have in common the aim to make things better through talking and other techniques.
Therapy can be helpful for a broad range of issues and problems. Some of the more common reasons people seek therapy are: depression or low mood, stress and anxiety, fears and phobias, trauma including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger management, eating and body image issues, self-harm, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), abuse and many, many more issues.
Often more than one type of therapy may be beneficial for a client, so do not worry about trying to pick the perfect therapy for you. We will discuss your options with you at your first appointment and suggest a treatment plan tailored to your needs and wishes. That said, if you have a specific therapy that you would like to try, then please do mention this when you make your initial booking so we can book you in with a practitioner offering that service.Click here to view the main services available at First Psychology's centres.
We can usually book you in for an initial appointment within a week or so, depending on your level of flexibility.
We work on a self-referral basis, so if you feel you would benefit from a session, we are happy to see you. We are also happy to accept referrals from your GP or other medical professional.
We have practitioners registered with all the main health insurance providers, so if you are covered, we should be able to see you. However, it is best to contact your insurance provider in the first instance to check what cover you have and to find out what you need to do. Once your treatment has been approved by your insurance provider, you will be given an authorisation number, which you will need to give us when you book your first session.
All our practitioners are hand-picked, qualified and experienced professionals in their field. However, it is important you also feel comfortable with the therapist/practitioner you see. Please do check out our practitioner profiles to see who you would like to work with. We are always happy to advise you, just give us a call.
Please also see other FAQs to find out the difference between different types of therapy and practitioner
If you feel your practitioner doesn't work for you, for whatever reason, please do not hesitate to let them, or us know. All our practitioners know that it is important for you to work with someone that suits you and your personality and way of working. They will not be upset and can advise you further so that you get the support you need.
Your initial session provides the opportunity for you to talk to one of our qualified and experienced practitioners to discuss your situation and to agree what might help. It can feel an intimidating and uncomfortable at first, but we are very experienced and will try to put you at ease. Just arrive for your appointment and we'll take it from there. In the session, we will ask you a few questions about your situation and tell you a bit more about how we work and what might be best for you. You will be surprised how quickly time flies in the initial session.
Many people worry about 'clamming up' when they first come for counselling, CBT, psychotherapy or coaching. However, in reality it rarely happens. Everyone is different so we will try and find a way of doing things that feels OK for you.
Some people find it helpful to bring a note of the things they want to talk about, but there really is no need to do any formal preparation.
Everything you tell us in your sessions is confidential and will not be passed on to anyone without your permission, including your GP (except in a few extreme risk situations which we will speak to you about in the initial session). Sometimes it is helpful for us to let your GP know you are working with us and we will talk to you about this if we feel this is the case. However, other than this, all material disclosed is confidential and will not be entered onto your medical records.
The difference between the two is based in tradition, with clinical psychologists historically working in more clinical settings - working with assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
At First Psychology, our clinical and counselling psychologists work with the same diversity of issues using effective talking therapies by applying a wide range of skills to work with each individual's needs in a supportive and caring environment.
Counselling involves working with people - usually on a one-to-one basis - to explore issues that are causing problems. The aim of counselling is to improve things for people and research has shown counselling to be an effective therapy for a range of problems.
Psychotherapy also explores feelings, beliefs and thoughts while providing a supportive environment to help the client understand themselves better. Generally speaking, psychotherapy will be more indepth than counselling.
There are a number of different approaches to these types of therapy which work in slightly different ways. Person-centred therapy and psychodynamic therapy are two of the most common.
Person-centred therapy is non-directive and is based on the core conditions of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. This approach is designed so clients can learn to accept who they are and reconnect with their true selves.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on an individual's unconscious thoughts, believed to stem from childhood experiences, that could be affecting their current thought processes and behaviours. This approach is usually longer term and the aim is to develop an awareness of unconscious thoughts and beliefs in order to improve the client's wellbeing.
CBT is different from counselling in various ways. The most obvious being the increased level of structure. In CBT the practitioner will place greater emphasis on specific techniques, designed to help a client understand their feelings and make changes accordingly.
However both CBT and counselling focus on current issues and facilitate healthy coping mechanisms to enable a client to move forwards.
CBT is primarily used for anxiety, panic, phobias, and low mood but the skills can be applied more broadly.
Haven’t answered your question in our therapy FAQs?
We would be delighted to discuss your requirements with you and to answer any concerns or queries you may have. Please contact us.