Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between Counselling, Therapy and Psychotherapy?


We hear this question asked often, which is why it feels important to include it here, but unfortunately there is no easy answer. There is currently much debate on this subject, even within the Counselling/Psychotherapy profession, and the answer may vary depending on who you ask, so it's not surprising that both clients and therapists alike sometimes feel confused. Our short answer . . . At Diverse Lives we have a Masters Degree in Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy, so we are qualified to practice using both the terms 'Psychotherapist' and 'Counsellor'. More important to us than any title, however, is the way in which we respect the client's unique needs, and work hard to provide an accepting and empathic environment, in which the client feels safe to explore and reflect on their individual challenges, at their own pace. Our work together can be short or long-term, depending on the needs of the client, and we can work through events from the past, or those that are happening right now in your life. In our opinion it's not the title which determines whether the Therapist is right for you, it's the connection you feel, both with the Therapist, and with the way in which they work. Any professional Therapist will be happy to explain their therapeutic approach to you, free of charge, before you decide whether you would like to work with them. And for those who would like to understand the current debate a little more . . . . ​Within the Profession, the terms 'Counselling', 'Psychotherapy' and 'Therapy' are often used interchangeably to cover all types of emotional support provided by a qualified professional. Emotional support for children and young people, is often referred to as 'Counselling', rather than ' Psychotherapy', as in the case of School Counselling, for example. Some professionals explain the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy as being related to the number of sessions involved, with ' Psychotherapy' often being described as more long-term work. Some professionals explain the distinction as being related to the amount of direction given. ' Counselling' is often considerend to involve more direction from the Counsellor, for example, whilst ' Psychotherapy' is described as involving more self-direction and personal discovery. Some professionals describe the difference as being related to the type of issues discussed. ' Psychotherapy' is sometimes described as a therapy which is only concerned with past issues, and ' Counselling' as being more in the present. In the case of our work as Person-Centred Counsellors/Psychotherapists, it is true to say that our approach is less directive than many other approaches, supporting the client to discover their own way of moving forward. We do, however, offer both short and long-term work, and the issues discussed are whatever is on the client's mind at the time of the session, which could be an event from the past, or an issue that is very recent. Our professional regulating body, The BACP (The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) says this: ​“ Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing”. (bacp.co.uk; 2020) Unfortunately this statement does little to remove the ambiguity, and so the debate continues!




What is Person-Centred Therapy?


Person-Centred Therapy is one of a number of therapies which come under the umbrella term of ' Humanistic Therapies'.
The Person-Centered Approach is based on the theory that within every human-being is the desire and motivation to develop and grow, towards reaching our full potential for psychological and emotional fitness. Life's challenges get in the way of that development and growth from time to time, and can knock us off course. When this happens, we can often find our own ways of coping, with the support of friends and family for example, but sometimes we need that little bit more. It is at times like these when Person-Centred therapy, with the support of an accepting and empathic therapist, can offer the opportunity to explore the unique way in which you experience your challenges, empowering you to move beyond them, towards psychological and emotional wellness. The Person-Centred Approach places the expertise with the client; you are the expert on you, and you are the expert on how the challenges you face affect you. As such, we believe that you can become the expert on finding the best way to move forward towards leading your best life. This type of therapy can be long or short-term, and can also be hugely beneficial as a preventative measure for all age groups, helping to maintain positive mental health and emotional fitness. Taking good care of your mental and emotional health is a sign of strength, and essential for a happy life. The Person-Centred Approach, was developed by prominent Psychologist, former President of the American Psychological Association and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Carl Rogers, in the 1950s, through to his death in the 1980s. The positive effects of Person-Centred Therapy are both widely recognised within the Profession, and supported by continuing extensive research.​




Do you offer any other types of Therapy?


At Diverse Lives we offer Person-Centred Therapy, incorporating Play Therapy and/or Creative Arts Therapy if this is something in which the client would like to participate. Young children, in particular, often use play and creative arts (music, drawing, dance for example) to communicate, although clients of all ages have benefited from having the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions through their creativity.




When might Mentoring be more appropriate than Therapy?


There are times in life when we could all use the support of a Mentor.

Children and young people in particular, often tell us that they need support with their organisation, study or communication skills, rather than psychological support.

Working with an empathic and accepting Mentor can help the young person to build self-reliance and confidence, empowering them to identify study methods which work best for them, and to take responsibility for their own learning and self-awareness.




What can Person-Centred Therapy help with?


Person-Centred Therapy can help you to recognise, and reflect on, the way in which different challenges, both past and present, have impacted your life, and to identify ways of moving forward towards leading your best life. This type of therapy can also be hugely beneficial as a preventative measure for all age groups, helping to maintain positive mental health and emotional fitness. Taking good care of your mental and emotional health is a sign of strength, and essential for a happy life. We have experience of supporting adults, children and young people through a diverse range of issues; here are just some: - anxiety - low mood and depression - school pressures and exam stress - the effects of bullying at school, at home, or in the work place - problems around eating - relationship difficulties - sexual and gender identity questioning - illness and bereavement - difficulties with expressing emotions - substance abuse - self-harm - suicidal thoughts - anger management - trauma associated with sexual abuse, neglect and domestic violence For an informal chat to find out whether Person-Centred Therapy might be right for you, or a member of your family, please Get In Touch.




What happens at our first session?


Initially you will be offered a free consultation in person, online, or by phone, for us to talk through how we might work together, and answer any questions you might have. This usually lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes, and is optional. Our first full session together will be your opportunity to talk about what has brought you to therapy, at your own pace, and in an warm and accepting environment.




How long is each session? How often would we meet?


We aim to be as flexible as we can, to enable you to fit sessions around your lifestyle. Sessions usually last for 50 minutes and are held weekly. This is flexible, however, with some clients preferring to book longer sessions, at shorter or longer intervals.
We also offer telephone and online counselling if this is something you would prefer, or if you're unable to attend in person due to travelling, for example.




How many sessions will I need?


Person-Centred therapy can be long or short-term work. As every person is unique, it is impossible to say how many sessions we would have together. This decision would be led by you, so that when you felt ready to finish, or to take a break from sessions, that's what we would do, with the option to re-start sessions if you decided you would like to continue.




What if therapy doesn't work for me?


The positive effects of Person-Centred Therapy are both widely recognised within the Profession, and supported by extensive research, and we believe in its potential to benefit all of our clients. Unfortunately it is impossible for any Therapist to guarantee that therapy will have the effect on your life that you are hoping for, and It's important to know that therapy can sometimes be tough, demanding and frustrating. It's quite common, for example, to experience difficult feelings and emotions before beginning to feel that you are moving forward. Together we can sensitively work through this process, at your own pace. It's our hope that should you have any concerns or reservations about our work together, you would feel comfortable sharing this with us. Through open and honest communication, you can assess whether our sessions together feel beneficial to you, and if this is not the case, we may be able to recommend a different kind of support.




What are your working hours?


We have daytime, evening and weekend appointments. Please contact us to check our availability. You can reach us by phone, text, or e-mail, using the information below, or by heading over to our Contact Page. Your first point of contact will be Deb.​ Phone / Text: 07907 771670 E-Mail: DiverseLives.db@gmail.com We will usually try to get back to you within 24 hours, Monday to Friday. Please note: if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please contact 999 for emergency support. Other Support Agencies listed by the NHS can be found Here :




What are your fees?


The fee for a 50 minute session is £60. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements further. Fees are payable in advance by bank transfer, or on the day of the session, by cash or by card. For telephone and online sessions, only bank transfer or card payments can be accepted.

Reduced rates are available for counselling students.




How do I book my first session?


You can contact us by phone, text, or e-mail, using the information below, or by heading over to our Contact Page. Your first point of contact will be Deb.​ Phone / Text: 07907 771670 E-Mail: DiverseLives.db@gmail.com We will usually try to get back to you within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.




What about Data Protection and Privacy?


In accordance with current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), only information that is necessary to conduct our sessions together will be retained. Full details as to what information is needed, how it will be used and stored, and when and how it will be destroyed, will be given during our initial consultation, or you are welcome to ask for this information in advance.




What is your policy on Confidentiality?


Your confidentiality is taken very seriously. It is our hope that you will feel safe enough to talk openly about any aspect of your life that is troubling you, in the knowledge that what you say will go no further. There are two limitations to this, which, in the interests of transparency, we would like to share with you:

1. In accordance with the Ethical Framework of our professional regulatory body, The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and for the purposes of the Therapist's on-going personal development, all professional Therapists are required to engage in regular Clinical Supervision sessions, with a fully qualified Supervisor, to ensure that our work with you is always of the highest professional and ethical standard. At times your Therapist may share with their Supervisor something which you have talked about during your sessions together. However no identifying information will be given, meaning that your anonymity will always be protected. In addition to this protection, we want to reassure you that the Supervisor works to the same ethical standards as your Therapist. 2. In most situations, what you talk about would remain confidential between you and your Therapist. In very rare circumstances, however, we may have to breach confidentiality, in the following situations;
  • If what you tell your Therapist, leads them to believe that there is risk of serious harm to yourself or others;
  • If you tell your Therapist of a serious crime or act of terrorism which has, or may, cause serious harm to others;
  • If your Therapist is required to break confidentiality by law, eg in the event of a court case

Again, we would like to reassure you that any potential breach of confidentiality would be considered very seriously and discussed with the Supervisor, before any action was taken. Where possible, your Therapist would also first discuss such a situation with you before taking any action.

If anything here is unclear, or if you have any concerns about confidentiality, please feel free to talk to us about it and ask any questions you may have.




Can you help me find other Support Services?


There are many different organisations offering free telephone or online support, so if our services at Diverse Lives don't feel right for you just now, you may be able to find the support you're looking for on the NHS list Here. PLEASE NOTE: for any child, young person or adult who is in immediate danger, please contact 999 for emergency support.