Ellen Sharrocks Counselling Leicester

Counselling FAQs

What is Better - Online for Face-to-Face Counselling?
Research indicates that online and face-to-face therapy are equally as effective. 

Most of the people I work with prefer face-to-face counselling, perhaps temporarily moving online for a session or two if it becomes necessary. However for some people, online counselling is ideal. For example, people with mobility issues (my room is up two flights of stairs), live outside of the local area, or whose work schedule means that it wouldn't be possible to get to a counselling appointment in time.

I predominantly offer face-to-face counselling, but am more than happy to offer online therapy if a client requests it. If you would want counselling to be online, just let me know.

What Is The Best Type Of Therapy For Me?
Have you researched therapy and got confused by the myriad types of counselling and therapy there are? If so, you are most definitely not alone! From CBT through to Psychodynamic, Person Centred and many, many more. Each person is unique so having the choice is important. To help you choose, This is my break-down of the therapy types found most often in private practice:

  • Cognitive and Behavioural (including CBT, DBT, Solution Focused)
  • Relational (including Person-Centred, Humanistic, Emotion Focused, Contemporary Psychodynamic)
  • Integrative (Includes any type of therapy that is right for the client and the counsellor feels comfortable working with)

The cognitive and behavioural therapist tends to focus on your unhelpful thought patterns and help you to learn to think differently. They also examine your behaviour and encourage you to behave differently. They provide education on what is happening to you and encourage you to look for solutions to your problems so that you can manage them.

The relational therapies work at a deeper level. Together, you and your counsellor explore the difficult emotions, thoughts and behaviours you are struggling with. Feelings are worked through, situations and relationships are examined, thoughts and behaviours are explored. This unpicking and working through helps you understand and make sense of what is going on for you. This helps you to process difficult feelings. Difficult situations and relationships can be put into an appropriate place so that your life is not overwhelmed by them.

The integrative counsellor works with different counselling models. Some focus more on the cognitive and behavioural types of therapy whilst integrating some relational counselling models if it seems necessary. Others focus on the relational counselling models, bringing in some of the cognitive and behavioural types of thinking if it is appropriate.  I work primarily with relational therapy models. I trained in Contemporary Psychodynamic Counselling, a relational way of working that incorporates psychoanalytic thinking. I integrate other relational models and work with some elements of the more cognitive and behavioural models if it seems necessary and appropriate.

Should I Start Taking Anti-Depressants for my Mental Health Issues?
This is a question I am sometimes asked. Taking psychiatric medication can prove helpful as a short-term measure although some people find the experience unpleasant. You may find it helpful to do some independent research and discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your GP or other prescriber. 

Why is Counselling Weekly?
I only offer weekly counselling sessions and some people wonder why this is. The answer is that research has shown, time and again, that it is the therapeutic relationship between counsellor and client that makes the biggest difference in the effectiveness of counselling. This therapeutic relationship is best built, and maintained, through regular, weekly sessions.

Counselling or Therapy - which is it?
Some people talk about seeing a counsellor, others talk about seeing a therapist. People talk about going to counselling, or they talk about their therapy. This is also often hotly debated within the therapy world! As a BACP accredited counsellor/psychotherapist, I view them as different terms for the same thing. I suggest you go for whatever term you feel most comfortable with - the therapy process is the same.

Why Choose Private Counselling?
If you choose private counselling rather than counselling through the NHS, you have choice ...

  • Together with your counsellor, you can choose to have as many or as few sessions as you need
  • You choose your counsellor
  • You choose the type of support you feel is right for you.

As well as having a choice, you do not have to go on a long waiting list to seek the support you need. If the counsellor you choose doesn't have suitable availability you can go elsewhere.  You only want to work with that counsellor?  Then ask if they hold a waiting list and if so, you can ask if they will put you on that. 

And two related questions:

  • How long will I need counselling for?
  • When is the right time to finish counselling?

How Long will I Need Counselling For?
A question I am often asked, and I find impossible to answer! Each person is unique, bringing their own individual character, personality, difficulties, emotions, background, experiences and lifestyle. Counselling is like unravelling a tightly knotted ball of string. Different parts of the string are worked on and often revisited. During this process, the string starts to unravel, straighten out, become useable again. In the same way as the knotted ball of string being picked at and unravelled, we work together to unpick what is going on for you in different areas of your life. This helps you process your experiences and resolve those difficult to resolve emotional and relational issues. 

When is the Right Time to Finish Counselling?
The short answer to this question is when it feels the right time to do so.
At some point during therapy, you will probably start to wonder whether it's time to bring counselling to an end. You may or may not be sure, and you may or may not feel a little nervous about the prospect. The best thing to do is bring it up with me.  We can then explore your thoughts and feelings about ending therapy.  We will consider together whether it is the right time to end and agree an end date that gives you time to consolidate our work together and process the end of our 'therapeutic relationship'.

Can I Come Back to Counselling If I Need To?
Most people find counselling really helpful and at some point, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, they will finish counselling. One thing that can stop people from bringing up the fact that they feel ready to leave is that they are worried they will "slip back" and won't be able to come back to counselling.  Most people don't come back to counselling, however, sometimes it can be helpful to return.  For those who feel a need to re-engage in counselling, they often find themselves working at a deeper level than before, coming away with even greater resilience, self-acceptance and self-assurance than before.

So can you come back to counselling if you need to? Absolutely!


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