Frequently Asked Questions

Different people use psychotherapy for a range of different goals/reasons. Some people come to get a clearer understanding of their personalities and how these are affecting their lives; some come because they are experiencing clear distress; whilst others come without quite clearly knowing why but knowing they need a space to reflect and have a trained professional to listen.

Some have psychotherapy not because of any overt problems in their lives but for one on one personal development.

Yes. Everything said during the session is confidential. The only person a professional psychotherapist would discuss material with is their supervisor who is trained to give advice and feedback to keep work ethical and professional. Supervision is confidential.

If a client is at serious risk to themselves, I would likely contact their doctor with the client’s permission. If the client poses a serious risk to another person, again I would contact their doctor and discuss this with the client.

There are significant differences between the three, but there is also considerable overlap.

  • A Psychiatrist has training in medicine and mental health. Unless a psychiatrist has taken further training as a psychotherapist, psychiatry is not a ‘talking therapy’ but rather works through prescribing appropriate medications for mental health issues.

  • Psychology began wth the study of human and animal perception. Psychology can be applied in many different ways. Academic psychology includes research in the study of the physiology of sensation and perception; social psychology; personality psychology. This research can be applied clinically and used by clinical psychologists, or psychologists who go on to train as psychotherapists.

  • As clinical research grew, it became strongly influenced by psychoanalysis which places a large emphasis on unconscious functioning. The various forms of clinical treatment that emerged in the mid-C20 through association with, and reactions against, psychoanalysis, resulted in what is now collectively called psychotherapy.

  • As clinical research grew, it became strongly influenced by psychoanalysis which places a large emphasis on unconscious functioning. The various forms of clinical treatment that emerged in the mid-C20 through association with, and reactions against, psychoanalysis, resulted in what is now collectively called psychotherapy.

  • Psychotherapy helps people work with and/or change stress levels, emotional problems, negative behaviour and thoughts. These ‘talking therapies’ include – psychodynamic therapies, cognitive behavioral therapies, psychoanalytic therapies.

People who work in the above fields have had in-depth training and must be registered to practice clinically. Professional psychotherapists have had long term psychotherapy of their own to help ensure that they can run a safe, professional practice. Nell Thompson has had over 15 years experience working with individual and groups and has experience working with a range of issues with clients.

Yes. Over the last twenty years there has been an accumulation of empirical findings, scientifically supporting the efficacy of both cognitive behavioural therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. The therapy is based upon a combination of basic behavioural and cognitive research. There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating disorders, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology, the primary focus of which is to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. It is centered around the concept that some maladaptive functioning is in play, and that this maladaption is, in part, unconscious. The presumed maladaption develops early in life and eventually causes dissonance in day to day life. Psychodynamic therapies focus on revealing and resolving these unconscious conflicts that are driving their symptoms.

Due to various factors many clinical practitioners and health care workers are unfamiliar with this accumulation of high-quality, empirical evidence supporting psychodynamic concepts and treatments.

*For further discussion please see ‘The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy’ by J.Shedler Ph.D. Feb 2010 printed in the “American Psychologist” journal.

These studies are indicating that psychodynamic therapies :

  1. are as effective, if not more effective, than non-psychodynamic therapies

  2. are as effective, if not more effective, than some prescribed medications

  3. set in motion on-going change in patients once treatment has finished.