What is Psychotherapeutic Counselling?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotions or found it difficult to navigate through life’s challenges? Psychotherapeutic counselling might be a tool worth considering. But what exactly is this form of counselling, and how can it help you manage life’s ups and downs? This blog aims to unpack the mystery surrounding psychotherapeutic counselling and explore how it can lead to profound personal growth and improved mental health.

Understanding Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Psychotherapeutic counselling is a form of therapy that focuses on the emotional and psychological well-being of an individual. It differs from traditional psychiatric treatments, which often concentrate on diagnosing symptoms and prescribing medication. Psychotherapeutic counselling involves talking and working with a trained therapist to explore deep-seated feelings and address root causes of emotional distress. The primary goal of this type of counselling is to enhance one’s self-awareness and understanding of their own mind and behaviours. This can lead to better management of emotions and an improved ability to cope with life’s challenges. The core principles of psychotherapeutic counselling revolve around empathy, confidentiality, and non-judgmental support, providing a safe space for clients to open up and heal.

Types of Psychotherapeutic Counselling

There are several approaches to psychotherapeutic counselling, each offering different techniques and benefits:

• Psychodynamic Therapy: This approach focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behaviour. The goals are client self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour.

• Humanistic Therapies: These focus on self-development and growth. Techniques like Gestalt therapy and person-centred therapy encourage clients to think about themselves at that moment and reduce self-imposed limits and to work towards a future self more inline with how you want to move through the world.

• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is a problem-focused and action-oriented method of treatment that helps patients to change negative thinking patterns and behaviours that cause difficulties.

Choosing the right type of counselling often depends on an individual’s personal issues and goals. A therapist can help guide this decision based on their assessment of the client’s needs, many therapist will offer a mixed or eclectic approach dependent upon the individual client.

The Process of Psychotherapeutic Counselling

The counselling process usually begins with an initial assessment where the therapist and client discuss concerns and establish goals for therapy. Common techniques used during therapy sessions might include dialogue, problem-solving tasks, role-playing, and relaxation exercises. Sessions typically occur once a week, though the frequency can vary based on the individual’s unique circumstances. The duration of psychotherapeutic counselling can also vary, with some people attending for a few months and others for longer periods, depending on the depth of the issues addressed.

Benefits of Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Engaging in psychotherapeutic counselling can lead to significant benefits, including: • Personal Growth: Clients often gain increased insight into their personalities and behaviours, which can lead to greater self-acceptance and self-esteem. Discarding old patterns that no longer serve can open up the possibility of making positive changes. • Improved Relationships: By understanding oneself better, it is often possible to improve relationships with others, creating more meaningful connections. • Enhanced Coping Skills: Effective counselling can equip people with the skills and techniques needed to cope with stress, depression, and other emotional pressures.

Finding a Counsellor

Finding the right counsellor is crucial to the success of therapy. It is important to look for a well qualified , Accredited and experienced therapist. Recommendations from healthcare providers or trusted friends can be a great starting point. Additionally, many professional organisations, such as the BACP offer directories of registered practitioners. When choosing a counsellor, consider factors like compatibility, location, cost, and whether they accept insurance. With online therapy, the pool of counsellors available to you will be much bigger, allowing you to find the right counsellor for your needs regardless of geographical area. Most counsellors nowadays offer a free initial call or online meeting. The therapeutic relationship is as important as the approach, so it is a good idea to take these meetings up to make sure that the therapist is a good fit for you. Feeling comfortable and supported by your counsellor significantly enhances the therapeutic experience.


Psychotherapeutic counselling offers a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their mental health and emotional well-being. By understanding what psychotherapeutic counselling involves, the different types available, and the process, you can better determine if it might be right for you. Remember, taking the first step towards counselling is a step towards living a happier and more fulfilled life. If you’re considering this path, reach out to a professional and explore the possibilities that await. Every journey begins with that first step. And if you think now is a good time for you to seek help in this form, then get in touch with me today and we can set up an initial consultation to learn more about each other.

Debbie Kelly MSc is an experienced counsellor offering telephone and online counselling. She works with clients experiencing life challenges concerning anxiety, depression, work stress, grief and bereavement, relationship difficulties and miscarriage/pregnancy loss.