Julia Lonergan Counselling & Psychotherapy in Rickmansworth

FAQ. canal

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are both talking therapies that give the client space and time to explore what is on their mind. However, counselling may be used to look at current issues or behaviour patterns bothering the client right now, perhaps a bereavement or change in circumstance and perhaps on a shorter-term basis, whereas psychotherapy can be used to go a little deeper, to really explore the personality and how it developed and to answer big questions, like "who am I?" and "what is my purpose?". However, people have differing views on this and the two can and do overlap. My qualification is in psychotherapy, but this means I am also qualified as a counsellor. You don't need to choose between them as I work with each person depending on their needs.

How will I know what to say?

People often start therapy by saying, "I don't know where to start!" It can be quite overwhelming to suddenly have the opportunity to say whatever you like, and sometimes this can make it hard to know what to start with. I endeavour to put you at ease right from the beginning and help you to be able to tell me what you feel necessary in the first session. If you feel lost for words I will gently guide you by asking questions to help you to get started.

How long will I need therapy?

Psychotherapy can go on for years in some cases, however short term work can be very effective. I like to have a review on the sixth session to see how we are both finding it, to see if we are both happy to continue or if we feel that we should start planning an ending. Sometimes six sessions is enough, sometimes twelve, and sometimes on-going therapy without a planned ending is what the client needs. It is up to you, and can be discussed during our initial phone call.

What about confidentiality?

Whatever you talk about stays within the walls of the therapy room, and you should feel comfortable in telling me whatever you want.
However, there are exceptions, which are: If I suspect that you or someone else is in immediate danger from the information you have told me, I reserve the right to let the relevant authorities know. I will inform you beforehand if this is the case.
I may also sometimes seek the advice of my supervisor (UKCP/BACP accredited), but in this case I will not disclose your identifying information.

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