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Is therapy for me?

People seek therapy for all sorts of reasons. Therapy is suitable for anyone who wants to better understand themselves. It may be that you already have a sense of what is troubling you or it could be that the cause of your difficulties seem less obvious. Either way, therapy gives you the opportunity to address your difficulties and attend to your distress. This tends to involve exploring your past, your unconscious, and your defence mechanisms.

When is the right time to start therapy?

Some people seek out therapy pre-emptively or out of curiosity and in search of greater self-awareness. Others seek therapy because they have started to see a dip in their mood, energy levels or confidence during a period of transition, crisis or difficulty. 

How long does therapy last?

How long therapy lasts depends on your goals. You may opt for time-limited therapy which usually lasts 12 sessions. If you prefer to work in an open-ended way, there is no agreed upon end date, instead we work together on an on-going basis until you decide you are ready to end. Working towards an ending is an important part of the work, so I ask clients to give 4 weeks notice.

Laura Magill | Psychotherapy & Counselling, Central London
Laura Magill | Psychotherapy & Counselling, Central London

What are the advantages of therapy? 

The advantages of therapy are varied and multi-faceted. Therapy can help you deepen your relationship with yourself and the other people in your life. The insights you gain can help you build confidence and find a way forward. It can help you identify and challenge unhelpful defence mechanisms and break harmful patterns of thought, behaviour, and ways of relating.

Therapy fosters an atmosphere of openness and trust. In a safe and supportive environment, you may find yourself able to explore and express emotions you previously felt unable to and uncover what has been avoided or suppressed.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy? 

Counselling tends to be more brief and structured, with a focus on a specific problem. Psychotherapy is usually more long-term, open-ended and explorative. It aims to address more complex and deep-rooted issues. What is central to both counselling and psychotherapy is the importance of a strong therapeutic relationship or "alliance". This is widely accepted as a key factor in therapeutic change.

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