julia tolley psychotherapist and counsellor, halesowen, west midlands
Psychoterapist and Counsellor based in the West Midlands

About Therapy

For many people making the decision to take up Counselling or Psychotherapy is difficult. They often feel that their issues and concerns are not important enough to warrant attention for fear of being seen as weak. Others feel that their issues and concerns are so insurmountable and overwhelming that they are impossible to resolve. And if they expressed how they feel; that they would lose themselves or never stop crying; or that a Therapist would not be able to ‘cope’ or be unwilling to help. Others feel that no one could begin to understand how they feel or be able to help, so what is the point trying to explain it? Some clients feel that their ’secret’ is so terrible or damning that they would be judged and rejected if anyone knew. Small or large; any issue or concern that is having a detrimental effect on your life or the life of your family or your personal wellbeing is worth investing in to resolve. Anything that ‘pulls you down’, depresses you, causes you stress, anxiety or fear or to devalue yourself is something Therapy can help you to overcome.

What can therapy help with?

Sometimes there is a clear issue that you may want to bring to therapy, at other times you may not be clear about why you feel anxious or depressed. Therapy can help with many different problems such as: Adults with a history of sexual abuse, Attachment and separation issues, Personal health issues, Parenting issues, Family dynamics and other relationship problems, Sexuality, Infertility, Dreams, Obesity, Bereavement and loss, Harassment and bullying, Victims violence or crime, Trauma / stress, Depression and anxiety, Dependency issues, Confidence and Self Esteem issues, Identity – who am I?

Is Counselling and Psychotherapy the same thing?

Counselling is a talking therapy that helps you address and resolve issues in a safe, supportive, confidential setting. It can involve identifying options and choosing between them, learning new skills to cope better with problems, gaining greater understanding of what is occurring, or being supported while recovering from some significant life event.

Psychotherapy is a longer-term process of healing and change which offers the opportunity to look more deeply into your life, exploring your feelings, beliefs and thoughts, and often, their roots in your past. Together we would work to uncover the underlying causes of your difficulties in order to gain deeper understanding. As we work through this process I will support you to make the positive changes in your life that arise from your discoveries.

How does it work?

How we work together will depend on what's best for you, but both types of counselling are ways to help you to discover new choices, focus on change and find clarity. The aim is to help you develop insight into your own problems and discover your own resources to draw on. The process of counselling can help you to feel more in control of your life choices and increase your sense of empowerment. The first session involves an assessment of your situation and how we can best work together. We also discuss and agree important issues such as a commitment to privacy and confidentiality. Generally I work with a initial 6 session contract, meeting regularly, once a week/fortnight, over a period of weeks or months depending on the arrangements you prefer. In our sessions you can explore various aspects of your life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment could become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them safely, understand them better, and resolve or transform them in a positive way. I don't impose limits on the number of sessions you may have, though most clients know themselves when they are ready to end. Many people who have completed counselling come back, either for an occasional "top up" session, or to deal with new issues or life events which arise.


Our counselling sessions are face-to-face, the occasional appointment by telephone can be arranged once a client has begun to experience some development and growth in their therapy.
Telephone therapy is useful when diaries are busy, when clients are away and in between sessions, when appropriate.

How often would I need to come?

Sessions are regular and frequent so as to give as much continuity and support as possible. They last for 50 minutes and take place over a period of weeks, months or, in longer-term work, a few years. Whilst the regularity of sessions is agreed from the outset (i.e. once or twice a week), the length of time that we work together will largely depend on you – the issues you bring, your motivation and other commitments.
There will be plenty of opportunity for us both to explore how things are going.

How can counselling/psychotherapy help?

• Talk to someone in complete confidence
• Work with problems related to your relationships, job, life changes, bereavement or other difficulties and choices.
• Explore long-term feelings of depression, anxiety, stress or dissatisfaction, and find ways of shifting them
• Understand yourself more deeply and find your own way forward
• Discover more effective and satisfying ways of living

Couple counselling

You may wish to come as a couple to work on problems you are having in your relationship. Counselling can help you understand the underlying problems as well as the more obvious difficulties. This understanding can help to reduce the power of past and present hurts and disappointments, and find more satisfying ways of being together.