What is therapy?

Therapy is the process of meeting with a counsellor or psychotherapist for the purpose of resolving problematic behaviours, beliefs, feelings and related physical symptoms. Therapy uses an interpersonal relationship to help develop the client’s self-understanding and to make changes in his or her life.

Although counselling and psychotherapy overlap considerably, there are also recognised differences. While the work of both Counsellors and Psychotherapists with clients may be of considerable depth and length, the focus of Counselling is more likely to be on specific problems, changes in life adjustments and fostering the client’s wellbeing. Psychotherapy is more concerned with the restructuring of the personality or self and the development of insight.

Read the full definition of counselling and psychotherapy. 

Some key points about therapy:

  • Therapy usually takes place on a one-to-one basis or may be done in group settings.
  • The client is able to choose a therapist and therapy style which is best suited to their particular situation.
  • A therapist and client will normally sit with one another for an hour to discuss the issues which are presented by the client.
  • The therapy process involves a ‘getting to know you’ period just like any new relationship.
  • The therapist and client play an equal role in the therapy process. There is no ‘expert’ in a therapy relationship.
  • The therapist’s intention is to make the therapy process both safe and supportive.
  • Everything that happens in therapy is confidential, except if your own or another person’s safety is at risk.