Useful information/FAQs

What is psychotherapy and how does it differ to counselling?

This may seem like a very straightforward and reasonable question for anyone to ask, especially if you’re coming into therapy. The reason it’s not as straightforward as you might think is because there isn’t actually a definitive, widely agreed upon answer that all practitioners agree with. The table below summarises the key/typical differences between a psychotherapist and a counsellor (Trauma Practice), which I have found helpful.



Works with conscious processes and thoughts

Works with the conscious, subconscious and unconscious processes and thoughts

Less in-depth training with a possible area of specialism

Extensive training with personal development
component and possible psychiatric placement
with areas of specialism

Might be focused on one particular difficulty which is
caused by current circumstances

Focused on a number of difficulties originating
from past and present life story

Here and now focus

There and then, here and now

Helps with more surface difficulties and current problems

Psychotherapy helps with current and past difficulties which require in depth processing and psyche changes

Emphasis on current difficulties

Helps to uncover foundation of difficulties with a
reflective emphasis

Counselling skills

Specialist techniques as well as counselling

Counselling is usually a short to mid term process

Psychotherapy is usually a medium
to long term process

Why would seeing a therapist help me?

Most of the relationships we have in life come with certain expectations, responsibilities and are part of a role that we play. We often get locked into patterns of being with the people in our lives, ie ‘the big sister’, ‘annoying little brother’, ‘the pleaser’, ‘the good/obedient/compliant boy/girl’. We are often unaware that we have these roles and even if we are aware feel unable to step outside temporarily or permanently. In addition, we have learnt ways of coping which may well have worked for years. But what happens when the roles that we play and the expectations that we have of ourselves or that are placed on us by others become burdensome or we just don’t want them anymore? What happens when the things that we have usually done to help us cope no longer seem to be effective? Working with a therapist can help you figure out what is going on and why. This is a relationship with someone who cares about you, just you, not the roles and responsibilities that you have. Being able to talk with someone, who has a vested interest in you, who wants to see you, not just the versions of you that you present to the world and is equally not a part of your world on a day to day basis, allows you to talk freely and honestly about the things that are important to you and how you feel about them.

How often will I see my therapist?

Most therapists see their clients on a weekly basis. This isn’t an absolute rule as different schools of therapy work in different ways and there are occasions when a client may need to see their therapist more frequently.

At E-J Psychotherapy we will see you on a weekly basis. Your session will be on the same day/time every week. You will be advised if your therapist taking a break or is unavailable, outside of the stated holidays periods of E-J Psychotherapy.

How many sessions will I need?

This is something that you will agree with your therapist. It will be influenced by the reasons you have for wanting therapy, whether you want counselling or psychotherapy and if you want to do open ended work or time limited work.

Do you offer face to face therapy or a combination of f2f and online?

E-J Psychotherapy & Counselling offers both face to face and online psychotherapy & counselling.

Our in person practice is based in the centre of Liverpool (Castle Street) and has good transportation links. There are a number of public car parks available should you wish to drive into the city centre. Our practice is well served by a number of bus routes in particular and trains services.

We will agree with you how we are going to work together - either virtually or in person. Consistency is an important element in a therapeutic relationship, so we will agree how we are going to work together (in person or online). This will not vary except by prior arrangement in exceptional circumstance.

How do I stop my therapy?

In order to confirm the booking of your initial session you will need to pay for the session in advance and confirm receipt of and agreement to the terms in the Client Agreement. If you do not do both these things, then your initial session will not go ahead.

The Client Agreement is a contract between you and E-J Psychotherapy that covers the key aspects of the relationship including the ending of therapy.

In summary, if we have agreed to work on a time limited basis then we will work towards the ending of your therapy in line with what we have agreed. For open ended therapy, clients are required to give a notice period of no less than 4 weeks. Endings are an important part in the psychotherapeutic journey and need to be worked towards and processed together. This timeframe allows us to reflect on the ending, its reasons and our respective felt experiences of it together.

What types of clients do you work with?

E-J Psychotherapy works with a range of adults (over 18s only) from many different backgrounds, life experiences, culture, ethnic and racial heritages. I am particularly interested in working with people of colour and those for whom heritage, race or ethnicity has an impact on their day to day felt experience. I am also interested in working with leaders, managers & business owners as I can offer a unique perspective on their world without being part of it.

Are there any people that you won’t work with?

E-J Psychotherapy does not offer crisis emergency care, so if you are in crisis, and/or need emergency medical or mental health care and support then it is unlikely that we will be able to work with you. One of the things your therapist will reflect on as part of the initial session is whether or not therapy is appropriate for you at this time. Equally, if, whilst we are working together, you become seriously ill, physically or mentally, or you become a danger to yourself and/or others, it may be that therapy is no longer appropriate. This is something that your therapist will endeavour to discuss with you before any decisions are made.

You must be registered with a NHS practice and have a named GP and provide E-J Psychotherapy with this information. If you are unwilling to consent to E-J Psychotherapy contacting your GP, or are not registered with a GP practice, then I will not be able to work with you.

Where can I get help urgently?

If you need to talk to someone, depending on your level of urgency, you should contact your GP/primary health provider or call 999/go to A&E if you a danger to yourself and/or others. The Samaritans are also available 24/7 and can be contacted on 116 123.

How long will each session be?

At E-J Psychotherapy each session is 50mins.

Do you offer any concessions on your session fees?

E-J Psychotherapy does not offer any concessions.

Limitations to confidentiality

Whilst what you talk to your therapist about is confidential there are some specific instances where confidentiality will not be maintained. I will discuss these with you if we decide to work together and they are also outlined in my Client Agreement which you be asked to read & confirm in writing that you have ready & understood. This avoids any surprises or ambiguities.

The key areas where confidentiality will not be maintained by E-J Psychotherapy & Counselling are;

  • Where E-J Psychotherapy & Counselling has concerns about your harming yourself or a third party.
  • In line with any statutory requirements
  • If subpoenaed by a court to disclose information

As part of accreditation requirements all therapists at E-J Psychotherapy & Counselling are required to have regular supervision, where all aspects of their practice may be discussed. When discussing any client material, clients are referred to by first name only. Supervisors are also bound by a Code of Ethics governing the confidentiality of supervisory relationship.

Can I take mood altering substances before my therapy session?

E-J Psychotherapy & Counselling reserves the right to terminate any therapy session where it becomes evident that a client is under the influence of alcohol or any other non-prescribed drug.

Any further questions?