What is psychotherapy?

For many people, ‘psychotherapy’ is an unfamiliar term.  People tend to know it is part of the field of mental health but, understandably, it’s often confused with psychiatry or psychology.  When I explain what I do people often say ‘oh, like counselling’.

But, what is counselling?  It may be a term that people know, but people often don’t really understand what is involved and it is definitely one of those things which is better understood through experience!  It is such an individual experience with many different practitioners, approaches, and clients that each experience truly is unique.

Psychotherapy and Counselling are talking therapies and the terms are often inter-changed.  Typically, the training and approaches in practice are different.  There are also Psychotherapeutic Counsellors which tend to bring the two trainings together.

Irrespective of training, client and therapist generally meet weekly and the client talks through what is going on for them, what they are struggling with or what they would like to explore.

At one end of the spectrum is solution focussed short term counselling which is goal oriented, typically looking at one specific issue.  At the other end there is long-term Psychotherapy which more slowly, over an undetermined timeframe, explores the roots of a struggle and identifies themes in the bigger picture of someone’s life.  The roots can go way back, through a family history and across the generations.

There are of course lots of ways of working which sit along the spectrum and deeper longer work can dip in and out with solution focused bits along the way too.  I work in various ways offering short term solution focussed support as well as long term deeper open-ended work.  The work isn’t linear, it ebbs and flows depending on what is going on for the client.

Blog posts are shared on my website and also over on my Facebook page where you are able to comment, give feedback, share links etc.  Feel free to discuss the topics there.

Couples Therapy

It’s natural for relationship to have ups and downs.  Sometimes it can be helpful to see a therapist to work through things.  Perhaps you are finding yourselves in a repeating pattern of conflict and it feels impossible to shift out of it.  Or maybe something traumatic has happened within the relationship and you both need some support in order to talk about it.  It might be that you are thinking of furthering your commitment to one another, and you want to think it through with someone neutral first.  Maybe your relationship feels like it is ending, and you want to feel more certain in that decision or have some help to end more amicably.  It could be that you want to start or grow your family or are merging families together.  There are many reasons people seek therapy as a couple.

Seeing a therapist as a couple offers you a space together which is new to you, and it offers you a therapist who is separate to you as individuals and as a couple.  Couple therapy can offer space which enables a couple to be less defensive and more open to each other and their relationship in order to move from a position of stuckness.

Blog posts are shared on my website and also over on my Facebook page where you are able to comment, give feedback, share links etc.  Feel free to discuss the topics there.

Therapist & Client

In relational therapy the relationship between client and therapist is crucial, this is where the work is done.  Therapy is rarely ‘easy’ and it’s important that the therapeutic relationship is one of trust.  It takes a lot of courage to sit in a room with another person and share what’s going on for you.  I say share, rather than talk, because therapy is about communication and communication is more than talking.  Communication includes body language, silence, gestures, sometimes the client can use tools like paper and pens or crayons or props to illustrate and explore things.   Psychotherapy with me is about exploring together, being curious, hearing, reflecting, processing all that you share. I will be alongside you.

Blog posts are shared on my website and also over on my Facebook page where you are able to comment, give feedback, share links etc.  Feel free to discuss the topics there.

Trauma and trauma

Capital T trauma and little t trauma.  The word trauma can be misrepresented, misused, misunderstood, held on to tightly or defended against fiercely.  It’s one of those words.  It can be a very personal word; it can also be so disconnected from so much so that it is banded about without awareness of any potential trigger.

Whether you have experienced, and are living/struggling with, capital T trauma or little t trauma therapy can help.  The key is talking, being heard and processing what is going on for you.  This can take many forms, many paths, and will look and feel different for each individual.  Our journeys are unique, and I have the privilege of sitting alongside you and supporting you find your way, in your time, through it and out the other side. Working effectively with any trauma necessitates care, empathy & respect.  It can feel overwhelming or scary to share or even to say things out loud, but it can also be a huge relief and source of support to do so within the right relationship. See my other post ‘Therapist & Client’.

Blog posts are shared on my website and also over on my Facebook page where you are able to comment, give feedback, share links etc.  Feel free to discuss the topics there.

What does self-care look like?

This will be different for everyone, and often different at different times for you. It can be helpful to take some time to bring your awareness to what it is that you need to stay well.  Self-care is about physical and mental wellbeing.  It can be a simple thing like taking 5 minutes to have a cuppa or a breath of fresh air outside your door and looking up to the sky, or it could be that you need a half day, a day or even a weekend doing something for you.  Some people need space and alone time to ‘fill up their cup’ others get their top up from being around other people.  Ideally, we find ways to regularly support ourselves, for some this works as part of a routine – a regular time to go for a walk or to an exercise class, have time on your own or meet up with a friend – even that precious uninterrupted cup of tea or 5 minutes to sit down before going from one thing to the next.


Taking just 5 minutes to pause can really help.  Don’t underestimate how little it can take sometimes to just help you get through the day, or the moment.  Breathe.  Pause.  Slow down.


Alongside the regular stuff sometimes we also need a bigger hit of self-care – a focus on ourselves.  ‘Self-care’ seems to be a fairly new phrase and it’s often a re-frame for ‘selfish’.  Self-care is never selfish, it’s essential to good health.  If we look after ourselves mentally and physically, we are more available, more present and better able to be there for others, so it really isn’t selfish.  It helps us and those in our lives.

It can also be surprisingly difficult to know what it is that we need or what can help us, thinking this through in therapy can help.  Often, we can get caught up in what people, or the media, tell us we should be doing but it doesn’t work and we can’t get clear on what we need.  Just a few sessions processing this can help identify what you need and get you on the right path for your own self-care routine.

The search and the work of therapy….

I’ve written about this before, but it’s back at the forefront of my mind as now I’m getting back to work I thought I’d have some therapy sessions.  Yes, that’s right, as a therapist I think it’s crucial to continue working on myself, and at times that includes seeing a therapist.  For my work I have supervision and a peer group which help me hold my clients safely.  Alongside this I get support and continue my self-development through workshops, therapy and self-care which takes many forms (see separate blog post ‘What does self-care look like?’).

It can be hard can’t it, finding someone to work with.  A counsellor, a psychotherapist?  All the different approaches – psychodynamic, Humanistic, Integrative, Gestalt, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic, Somatic and so on…..  What about location, how important is it for the therapist to be near where you work, or live, or maybe as far away from home as you can manage?  Then they’ve got to ‘feel’ right and after all of that searching, seeking and considering you have to hope they have space and availability that matches yours!  Or maybe, for some, it’s much simpler – find someone nearby, or far away, someone who has the fee they can afford, or just ‘sound ok’ on the page. Who knows, we all have our own process with this search.

What is good to know, although maybe hard to sit with, is that this is all part of the work.  If it feels like a struggle, if it takes longer than you thought, it’s all part of the work – trust it and go with it, when you find a match (whatever that means for you) then the next step of the work begins, that of being in the room with someone.  All the stuff that goes before is you ALREADY DOING IT.  You’re already working on yourself and seeking the support you need.  WELL DONE.  It’s not easy but SO worth it!



For those who suffer with depression life can be exhausting and flat.

Symptoms of depression can come and go and can feel extreme, or minor.  It can be difficult for sufferers and people in their lives to understand what is going on, why, and what can help.

This video offers a good insight into Depression, take a look:

If you suffer from depression and would like to seek help please be in touch and we can arrange an initial session to discuss therapy and how I work.


Looking for a therapist…..

It can be overwhelming searching through profiles and choosing a therapist. 

Most people aren’t aware of the safeguards that are in place to help you.  For example, the UKCP is a counselling and psychotherapy member organisation which only allows therapists to join if they have undertaken and qualified with an approved accredited training programme .

Members of the UKCP  will be listed on their site, you can see my profile by clicking the link.

Alternatively, the The Counselling Directory  also confirms therapists’ professional memberships before enabling therapists to advertise on their site.  You can see my profile here: Fiona Roskilly-Pond


Do you suppress your emotions?

“If we suppress our emotions as an ongoing strategy what would have naturally been a passing emotion, or emotional process, might be held in the body, causing us difficulties….”
Ronnie Aaronson (Addiction: This being human. Published 2006 p19)

Many of us have experiences of suppressing emotions.
There are may different ways of doing this, such as:

  • using humour to deny the emotion
  • using alcohol or drugs to numb any feeling
  • making sense of things logically, denying the emotional
  • absenting ourselves mentally (switching off/going blank)
  • throwing ourselves into something else as a distraction (work, fitness, sex, fun)

If this pattern of dealing with emotions becomes the norm, then, amongst other things, it can lead to addiction, depression, anxiety, an inability to have healthy relationships and/or physical ailments.

Often we are unaware of these patterns, talking in therapy can help identify these patterns in a way which is supportive and compassionate.  Once identified, they can be understood*, challenged and eventually reduced.  This happens as part of the process, through which connecting with your emotions becomes more bearable and defences against them are needed less and less.

*all defences exist for good reason, but sometimes the mind and body activate them when they are not needed.


Do you have any experiences of this or anything you would like to share on the topic?  Head over to my Facebook page and join in……

Love is a core human need

Love is often described in poetry, literature and song, it is depicted in paintings and art forms, visualised in films, evoked through music.

Images and messages of love fill social media, especially on Valentine’s Day – the Day of Love.

It is a core human need and most people have experiences of desire, longing, searching, seeking, finding, giving, falling in, losing, breaking and grieving for Love.

What does Love mean to you?

What are your experiences of Love?
Head over to my Facebook page to comment……