The Benefits of Longer Term Counselling or Psychotherapy

brighton counsellorsFor individuals, working with a counsellor or psychotherapist for the longer term – 12 months or more – can feel very different to a short burst of counselling sessions that help us get through a crisis of some sort. When we have had the time to tell our story (what has happened to us over the years) and allowed ourselves to trust the therapist, it is possible to arrive at a very different place where real, long-lasting changes can be made to the way we live our lives.
I find working in the longer term highly rewarding. Usually we have got past the stage of feeling like we are going round and round in circles, covering old ground and not getting anywhere. This part of the therapeutic process, though important, can be frustrating and requires perseverance.
In my opinion, the rewards of sticking with it can be great.
When we feel safe with someone, when we know that they have our best interests at heart, that they will do everything they can to avoid shaming us – it becomes much easier to think about alternative ways of responding to our own emotions, to others’ behaviour and to whatever else life throws at us.
Having got into a rhythm of meeting every week with a trusted person, we might learn to sometimes prioritise our own needs over the demands of others, even if it is only for the space of time it takes to get to and from therapy and for the 50 minutes we are there. We might learn how to let other people in to our lives, or to see us as we really are. We might learn to set boundaries – personal limits as to what we will tolerate from others and, perhaps more importantly, what we will not. We might learn how to take better care of ourselves, to say ‘no’ to requests we might have previously said ‘yes’ to, only to find ourselves feeling overloaded and resentful afterwards. We might learn to allow ourselves to be influenced by others.
Therapy is a funny old process. It rarely takes a neat, linear progression where people feel better after a few short weeks. Relationships can be messy and sprawling and difficult to pick apart and the relationship between therapist and client is no different. However, I do believe in its power to enable change and that, given the time and commitment, such changes can enrich our lives.
If you live or work within reach of Brighton and Hove and my approach to counselling and psychotherapy interests you, please contact me via email or telephone 07585 910742 for more information and to arrange an initial consultation.
Image courtesy of James Barker at

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