top of page

What is psychotherapy?

Image by Sarah Dorweiler

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy (also often described as counselling or psychological therapy) is not simply passive listening or advice giving, in fact it is the opposite; psychotherapists strive to empathically listen to your difficulties in a non judgmental atmosphere.  Psychotherapy works with you by encouraging you to express your feelings about the emotional difficulties troubling you that may have prevented you from thinking clearly about decisions you have to make.  In particular, psychotherapy seeks to help alleviate distress caused by your early experiences, or traumatic events that may have happened to you.


How can psychotherapy help me?

Psychotherapy can help you to express emotional difficulties without fear of judgment or criticism, allowing you to work through difficulties.  Expressing yourself in this way can help you to explore the options open to you in order to enable you to make decisions and move forward in your life.


Psychotherapy is often offered if you are dealing with grief and loss, life difficulties such as separation, job loss and other painful life transitions such as your children leaving home, caring for ailing parents, and adjusting to your own loss of health or disability.


It may be that you have experienced a psychological trauma, or a series of traumatic events. There are specialist trauma-focused psychotherapies available to help you to overcome trauma. You will find out more about trauma in the pages on ‘life’s difficulties’.


You may also have experienced difficult relationships with your parents and/or early caregivers which can have a significant impact upon your life now. Sometimes, the link to these early experiences are not always obvious to what you are experiencing now: such as relationship difficulties, low self esteem, anxiety etc.  Psychotherapy can help you to explore these experiences, and seek resolution.


If you have specific difficulties at the moment, you may find other pages on this site helpful where you may be interested understanding nore about life's difficulties. Please contact me if you have any further questions or would like to book a consultation


What should I look for in a psychotherapist or counsellor?

Choosing a therapist is a very personal process.  As an example, some people find that working with someone of the same gender is preferable. Some prefer a younger therapist, and others an older one.  We are all different. What is important is that you feel comfortable with the therapist whom you are working with, and that they are in a position to work ethically.  Qualifications are also important, counselling and psychotherapy are complex processes, and you have every right to ask your therapist to see evidence of their qualifications.  Membership of a professional body such as BACP, BABCP, UKCP, BPC, NCS,HCPC  etc is essential, as if you have any concerns about the way in which your therapist is working, or have a complaint, the therapist’s professional body is where you can take these concerns to, for investigation.  Your therapist should also hold indemnity and public liability insurance. 


I am interested in therapy, but I’m not sure, what happens next?

If you would like to discuss your needs further, or have any questions, please contact me and I will be very happy to help.


We can have a brief discussion by telephone, or by email.


If you decide you would like to proceed with therapy, we will arrange a date for you to come in for a consultation, and I will send you an appointment letter, and a registration form for you to complete and bring to the consultation session with you.  You will be required to pay for your session in full and in advance of your session, to confirm your appointment.


If you have any special requirements to help you to access these services, then every effort will be made to accommodate your needs and respond appropriately. Please do let me know straight away if you have any particular requirements.


Nicola Forshaw holds a Masters Degree in Counselling (with distinction), a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and a certificate in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.  Nicola is a highly experienced trauma/PTSD therapist and is and is fully qualified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). She is accredited by BACP (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy), and is also a registered member.  You can verify Nicola’s registration and credentials at

bottom of page