GROUPWORKS: Counselling, personal development, group therapy, coaching and councelling supervision

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be sure that counselling or therapy is for me?

Well, at the beginning, you can’t be sure. We believe in taking things slowly so that you have time to make an informed decision. We always start with a one-to-one consultation, without obligation.  We will think with you about what is best for you and whether we are the best people to help you.  Even before that, to discuss any questions or concerns you have, you can contact us on 01962 620573 or by email.

What is the difference between counselling and therapy?

Counselling originally developed as a relatively short-term means to help people make sense of particular life challenges, whereas therapy was a longer-term approach to help people overcome longer-standing issues, often rooted in traumatic childhood experiences.  Training is generally longer for therapists than for counsellors, particularly for those with psychodynamic or psychoanalytic training. However over time the boundaries between the two have become more blurred, as we have found that people can be helped by a variety of approaches.  Groupworks’ fully trained therapists can offer short-term assistance, and also have the capacity to help with longer-standing problems if the need arises.

How long will I need?

Everyone is a unique individual with different needs.  If you have recently had difficult experiences which have ‘thrown’ you, shorter term counselling may be enough.  Where these link up with familiar difficulties, it will probably take longer to change things – to dismantle the ‘habits of a lifetime’.  If you are in crisis or at risk, more intensive therapy may be best for you.

How can I be sure that I am in safe hands?

Groupworks is directed by Christine Thornton, a UKCP-registered psychotherapist and qualified group analyst [M.Inst.G.A.] with many years’ experience in therapeutic and clinical management roles.  All therapists and counsellors linked to Groupworks are thoroughly experienced and fully qualified, with many years of training. Our reputation rests on keeping you in safe hands, so we would never suggest that you work with someone in whom we are not fully confident.

What is best — one-to-one or a small group?

The decision is up to you. We listen carefully to you and what you say about your needs, and then advise on your options and their pros and cons. Every person is a unique individual, so we never make assumptions about what is best, and the decision rests with you.

We believe in the power of small groups to aid personal [and professional] development in a deep and rich way, while recognising that they are not for everyone. They are more cost effective than one-to-one, typically costing about half as much.

Where are you?

Our Winchester SO22 5HJ consulting rooms have excellent road, rail & air links in Southern and South Central England, and free parking.

Our London consulting rooms are at 1 Daleham Gardens, NW3  5BY, 5 minutes’ walk from Swiss Cottage tube and close to Finchley Road and Belsize park tubes and various bus routes.  Parking nearby on meters.

If you are interested in the approach but live in another part of the country, get in touch anyway.  We have links with experienced therapists in many UK locations. If we cannot provide what you need, we will try to put you in touch with a trusted colleague nearer to you.

What does it cost?

[Updated September 2014]

An initial short consultation [half an hour] is completely free and without obligation to continue further.  This allows you to decide if you like our approach.

We normally then agree to meet over a short period, typically once a week for six weeks, to get a fuller picture.  For some people this by itself will be enough.  This initial work is offered at a special rate of £50.00 per session for six sessions, invoiced in advance.

Our normal fee for one to one therapy going forward is £65.00 per session, with some reduced fee places available at £50.00 per session.

Our normal fee for group therapy is £97.00 per calendar month for all sessions in that month, with some reduced fee places available by negotiation.

I just couldn’t be in a group.  Will I be under pressure to join one?

No. The decision is yours.

Why small groups?

Well-led small groups offer a unique opportunity to develop self-awareness, tackle challenging life situations and come together with others to ‘give and take’ at every level. In small groups people realise that many of their deepest problems are shared, which brings a profound sense of being ‘OK’; each person’s uniqueness comes to be recognised and valued. The experience of reflecting with others over time is life-changing for many people.

I am interested in a small group but don’t understand how it would help me – I’m basically fine, just some particular issues at present?

Small groups can benefit anyone who is struggling with relationships, feeling isolated or stressed, with particular challenges or feeling low. In the consultation before joining a group, we consider with you what is best for you; each small group is balanced with people who are likely to work well together.

I’m afraid that in a group my time would be taken up with other people’s problems?

The process of give and take in a small group is very important, and so some of your time would be spent listening to others, just as some of their time would be spent listening to you.  Everyone gains over time; the conversation about a particular problem benefits everyone, not just the person who brought the problem forward.

If you are a person who too often finds yourself in a ‘helping’ or ‘caring’ role, with too little time or attention for yourself, this is something small groups are especially good at tackling.  It can take time to change the ‘habits of a lifetime’, but you will get help.

What is the theory underpinning these groups?

Our groups are run on the principles of a reputable form of psychotherapy, group analysis.

What is Group Analysis?

Our discipline is Group Analysis, a well-established, internationally reputed method for working with groups. It was founded by SH Foulkes in the UK and has been used as the basis for group therapeutic training throughout the UK, Europe, and many parts of the world.

Group analysis first developed as a therapy of individuals via group interaction. It focuses on the relationship between the individual and the group, emphasising the essentially social nature of human experience, and aiming at a healthier integration of the individual in her/his network of relationships. It is a democratic and interactive discipline, and has many applications in psychotherapy, training, professional development and organisational consultation.

Group analytic theory has developed over the last sixty years from a foundation blending psychoanalytic insights with gestalt, systemic and other social-scientific perspectives on healthy personal functioning and interpersonal relating. The development of group theory is still a live, dynamic process in the international group analytic community, reflected in the journal Group Analysis. For more information, visit these websites: http://www.groupanalyticsociety.co.uk and  http://www.igalondon.org.uk

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