What are Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Counselling?

I offer counselling and psychotherapeutic counselling in Leeds and in  Morley. Both counselling and psychotherapeutic counselling offer a safe and confidential space in which to consider your life and anything which may be confusing, uncomfortable or painful. Through talking with someone who is trained to listen attentively, with respect and without judgement, you can be helped to make sense of your experience, to come to your own conclusions, and  to make improvements in your life. They are not magical cures, but rather, are collaborative processes which help you to find the capacity for change or  healing within yourself.

Making a commitment to engage in therapeutic work involves making a powerful and life-affirming choice. In sessions you will be looking at yourself, your relationships and your life in general.  The process is not always easy or comfortable, and perhaps the most difficult thing to come to terms with is that you have to do the work yourself, with the support of your therapist. One of the first things to learn is that it is healthy to experience feelings; in working with me you will be encouraged to think about and  express your feelings in safe and appropriate ways, rather than acting them out.
Although there is no clearly defined difference between the terms,  "counselling"  is generally used to refer to short-term work which is focused on specific difficulties in relation to recent events, whilst "psychotherapeutic counselling" is concerned with work of a longer-term nature, which might address more enduring and broad-ranging problems, such as one's whole way of being in the world or the impact of early events one's life. In my work as a therapist, both involve a collaborative relationship between myself and my clients in which we work together to explore the meaning and impact of my client's thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Whilst I use a combination of knowledge, skills, personal qualities and experience to help my clients, they, in turn, in addition to bringing their difficulties, also bring their own resources and range of experience which form the basis of the changes which they seek.


Counselling can help you to deal with specific problems, cope with crises, improve relationships, and develop better ways of living. It is generally of a relatively short duration of a few sessions. You may come to counselling because of difficulties which you are experiencing in relation to specific life events such as relationship breakdown, bereavement or redundancy, or, on the other hand you may seek help in dealing with feelings of sadness, anger, depression, anxiety or low self-worth which do not seem to be related to any particular experience.

Initially you will have the opportunity of exploring the nature of your difficulty and what you would like to achieve within the counselling experience. It is often useful to agree a clear focus for the work, since short-term work is usually solution focused in nature, considering a specific area which they would like to resolve. Counselling offers the opportunity for you to consider your life, thoughts, feelings and actions in an open and honest way which may not be possible with family and friends. A counsellor listens without judgement or advice, but might work in partnership with you to develop appropriate strategies for change. My task as a counsellor is to provide a proper balance of support, encouragement and challenge in order to help you to make progress towards insight, healing and resolution, or towards the changes which are right for you.

Having problems which feel overwhelming can make our lives and relationships difficult, causing us to feel isolated or alone. It is not necessary to struggle without support.

Contact me to discover how counselling can help.

Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Psychotherapeutic counselling  requires a longer term commitment, as it involves the exploration and resolution of deep-seated issues through:
  • Helping you to gain insight into your difficulties or distress
  • Enabling you to find more appropriate ways of coping
  • Helping you to develop a greater understanding of your motivation
  • Clarifying your view of what is meanginful
  • Supporting you in bringing about changes in thinking or behaviour
  • Transforming your relationship with yourself
The list above is not exhaustive. People seek psychotherapeutic counselling for many reasons; perhaps you have been depressed for a number of years; perhaps your relationships with friends, partners or family are problematic and it is difficult to see a way forward. It may be that you are unhappy or anxious without knowing why. You might have experienced trauma or abuse which continues to have negative effects long after the event.

Psychotherapeutic counselling helps to identify the issues which get in the way of having happy and fulfilling relationships, or of enjoying life to the full.  It is not simply about removing symptoms and restoring you to your former way of being however; my  hope is that , in offering you a new way of understanding your relationships with yourself and with others, the therapeutic approach can be assimilated into your ways of viewing life. In this way, your capacity for reflection on, and care of, yourself, are strengthened.

Psychotherapy is not simply about understanding what has made us who we are, but also about developing new tools with which to tackle the future. Insight can be transformed into healing and the ability to make sustainable changes to improve our lives and to develop a new way of being. We are helped to recognise that, what we have always assumed to be the way that life is, doesn't have to always be that way. We come to realise that our life is our own and we are responsible for the way it develops. When we recognise this we can liberate ourselves from old restraints and become the person we would like to be.
Carol Lightowler BA (Hons)-Graduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling-Reg  MBACP(Accredited)- Integrative Counsellor -  Mobile 07931967109 -  Counselling in  Leeds  -  Couples Counselling - Counselling in Morley - Rewind Therapy - Counselling For Young People