Psychotherapy & Counselling -
Charley Shults

4th July 2022 
About Psychotherapy

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FAQ #01

We all need a little help, sometimes...

...even if it's just having someone to talk things over with once in a while. Many people can provide a source of comfort and guidance. Friends, family, ministers are just a few examples of the people that we can turn to in times of need. But sometimes these support systems fail, for one reason or another. This is where counselling and psychotherapy come in. A trained and empathetic professional can provide help in a way that no one else can. In therapy, you, as the client, can finally have a relationship where your needs are all that are important. You don't have to satisfy or please anyone else, and you don't have to watch what you say for fear of offending someone else or having them think less of you. This can be marvelously liberating, but it takes time.

How long does therapy take?

A friend of mine enjoys answering such questions by asking, "How long is a piece of string?" In other words, it all depends.

Some therapy can be very brief. One session may be all that is needed, depending on the nature of the problem being presented. For example, phobias can often be cured with one session. Or sometimes, you just need to get someone else's professional opinion of what you need to do in a given situation.

Most problems take longer, but how long depends on the nature of the problem, the goals that you want to achieve, other resources available to help with the problem, and your own personal commitment and skills in dealing with the challenges that you face.

Ultimately, you get to decide how long you want to continue in therapy. Unlike some other approaches, my attitude is that, as the therapist, I work for you, not the other way round. I recommend that in any therapeutic work you talk with your therapist in advance in order to get an idea of how long the work might take.

How much are your fees and how much will it cost?

I do have a set fee schedule that I will be happy to discuss during our first contact. Fees do vary depending on the type of therapy involved and the location, either Guildford or London. I am also available for therapy, consulting and special programs designed for you and your needs at other locations.

Even though I have set fees, I am always willing to discuss fees and sometimes to negotiate depending on need and circumstances. Keep in mind that if you are reading this on my website, you are probably looking for something special that is not readily available elsewhere. This means that I have gone to a great deal of time and expense to receive specialized training in a number of different areas. If your problem is such that I think that someone else can provide the help that you need at a lower price, I will candidly tell you so.

One final thought: if at any time, with me or anyone else, you think that you are not receiving value for the money you are paying, then discuss that with the therapist.

What kinds of problems can therapy help with?

Therapy and counselling can help with just about any kind of problem. Basically, therapy is about helping people to cope with the challenges that life has given them, and will continue to give them. The best therapy does not try to provide you with answers, but rather helps you to find your own answers by thinking about things in a different way, becoming responsible for your own emotional reactions, and developing new ways of coping with the problems that come along.

Why are there so many different therapy approaches and techniques, and which ones are best?

There really are no "best" techniques or approaches. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. The ideal therapeutic approach, I think, is one that is able to draw on each technique or approach as needed, depending on the nature of the problem and the uniqueness of each client.

All approaches to therapy evolved as a way to understand and deal with human nature. As such, they are a bit like the five blind men who went to the zoo in order to "see" the elephant. One found the trunk, another the tusks, the third a leg, the fourth the elephants side, and the fifth found the tail. When they left they began to discuss their experience with the elephant, and soon were in a heated argument as to which one had the "truth" about the elephant. One insisted that it was sinuous, like a snake. The next that it was smooth and hard. The third that it was like the trunk of a tree. The fourth that it was solid like a wall. The fifth laughed at all of them and said it was like a little fly swat. So therapy approaches are a bit like that. Each one has a piece of the truth, but it is only when you consider them all together that you begin to get a true picture of what therapy is like.

Do I have to commit to a certain number of sessions or length of time?

No, there is no requirement that you commit to a certain number of sessions or a certain length of time in therapy. However, it is important to realize that healing takes time. The commitment that I do ask for is that if and when you decide that you want to terminate therapy, that we discuss that decision and make it together. That doesn't mean that you need to have my approval to terminate therapy. It does mean that it ought to be a conscious decision that is discussed. Many times when clients want to leave therapy it is because they are getting close to some important issues, and the unconscious mind generates negative emotions, usually of fear, but sometimes of anger toward the therapist. These times present real opportunities for growth if they are discussed openly and dealt with. If, on the other hand, the client succumbs to the negative emotions and leaves by, for example, cancelling the next appointment with an "I'll get back to you later," type of message, then the opportunity is lost. That is unfortunate, because it is an opportunity that often a lot of work has been done to create, so the value of much therapy, time and money has been lost to the client. It is also a loss to the therapist because every good therapist wants to be successful in helping their clients, so that opportunity has been lost.

The point is, if you make a commitment to therapy, to yourself, stick with it. If you have negative feelings about what is happening, discuss them with your therapist. It presents an opportunity for healing and growth. And, it takes a lot of courage.