Counselling and psychotherapy are professional, helping services.

What do they help with?

Three Areas of Experience

Our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are the three main areas of experience which counselling and psychotherapy help with.  People seek help from therapy when there are problems in one or more of these areas.  All three interact and influence each other.  In my opinion, good therapy is able to shift focus and priority among all three to suit individual and situational differences.

An Example

Let’s consider someone coming to therapy because of worries, which are disrupting sleep, and making it hard to concentrate at work.  Worries are thoughts.  Like, “What if I lose my job, and can’t pay my mortgage?”

Worried thoughts are often fueled by feelings in our body, like the so-called “butterflies in the stomach,” or their nasty cousin the icy fingers of dread which squeeze the guts and turn them to water.

In the behaviour department, worry can be kept alive and healthy by sitting home alone.  Doing so provides plenty of time to think negative thoughts and feel unpleasant feelings.  If worries were flowers, this behaviour would be like water.

How Therapy Helps

Different models of psychotherapy tend to prioritize one or two of the three areas of experience. Cognitive Behavioual Therapy (CBT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) are pretty obvious about it; it’s built-in to their names.  While a particular form of therapy may focus more on thoughts, or feelings, or behaviour; most forms of therapy do address all three to some extent.

For more information about different types of therapy which I make use of, click here.

Each form of therapy uses various methods of intervention to help.  This might involve specific kinds of questions, designed to help people understand more about themselves and what they need to feel better.  Teaching specific skills might provide new and more effective ways to tackle stubborn problems.  Some therapies use technical procedures which help change thoughts, feelings and/or behaviour without directly talking about them as much, or even at all.

Regardless of method and technique, I consider it important to:

  • explain the interventions I recommend doing, before doing them;
  • ask if you actually think that’s a good idea, and want to proceed.