Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in Psychotherapy/Counselling?
In psychotherapy/counselling you are helped to explore your emotional
difficulties and concerns. You are also assisted to develop more satisfying,
creative and resourceful ways of being yourself and living your life. My
philosophy is that you are the best judge of your own life and my role is to use
my knowledge, skills and experience to help you find the answers/solutions
that are best for you. .

What is the difference between Psychotherapy and Counselling?
There is some overlap between the two and similar skills are used in both approaches. However, a great deal depends on the training, knowledge and experience of different counsellors and psychotherapists and what they and the clients hope to achieve when working together. In general, psychotherapy is usually a longer process and involves greater and deeper exploration of someone's past experiences in order to make sense of their present life. Psychotherapy is working with unconscious material (not initially apparent). Counselling is often used to resolve specific problems or concerns and may take a shorter period. I offer both short and long term counselling and psychotherapy (which is usually for a longer period of time). The approach used depends much on the client and their presenting needs and their previous therapeutic experiences.

How do I know if counselling is helping?
Generally, you will feel better for talking with someone. Initially, it may be hard to do so, but in time, you should feel quite comfortable. Sometimes, in the early stages, some clients may experience an intensification of feelings/symptoms before things begin to improve. The sessions can help you: gain insight; clarify issues; learn better coping strategies; make healthy decisions and take positive steps towards creating a happier and more satisfying life.

How confidential is my information?
Confidentiality is assured. The exception to confidentiality is when there is a danger to the client or to others. If I have concerns about the client’s safety, l would discuss these with the client and support the client to take appropriate steps to maintain their own or the safety of others. If the client is unwilling or unable to take these steps, then I would inform the client of the actions that I would need to take according to the various codes of ethics by which I am bound.

Do you take notes?
Notes are taken during sessions for keeping track of the sessions and for reviewing the work. The client is entitled to read the notes or ask for a copy at any stage. Notes are stored in a secure filing cabinet. No other person has access to these notes.

Do you tape the sessions?
At times I might tape a session. The purpose of taping is to offer the client an opportunity to review the session. Sometimes, I use the tape to review the work done or for supervision purposes (professional feedback of my work). Taping is only done with express permission of the client. All taping is wiped after use. Under no circumstances is your identity revealed.

Do we have contact between the sessions?
Contact between sessions is discouraged, unless you have a crisis or you want to change an appointment time. For alternative assistance you can contact Emergency Services on 111, Lifeline Telephone Counselling phone 577-8668 or, the Adult Mental Health Service Phone 520-9907, 520-9999 After Hours. To protect your confidentiality, it is not advisable to have any ongoing social contact between sessions or after the counselling is completed. However, if I see you at a public place or at a social event (where there are other people), I wouldn’t usually acknowledge you unless you make contact with me first.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with your service?
In the first instance, I would invite you to discuss your concerns with me directly. You could also contact my professional supervisor who monitors my work. If you are referred to me through an agency, you could communicate your concerns through the relevant authorities. If you still feel concerned about any aspect of my work, you can also forward your concerns to the professional bodies to which I am affiliated, e.g., NZAP or NZAC. 

What is Direct Reductive Analysis?
Direct Reductive Analysis is a psycho-dynamically oriented insight therapy based on the work practiced and developed by Suttie, Hadfield, Jung, Adler and others who had studied with Sigmund Freud, the originator and "father" of psychoanalysis. The model of Direct Reductive Analysis was introduced to New Zealand by Dr. Maurice Bevan-Brown in 1939. Bevan-Brown was a prominent psychiatrist who had studied with Adler, Jung etc., at the Tavistock Clinic in London. The overall long-term therapeutic goal of DRA is that the core of the client’s disorder would be resolved. My means of achieving this is by working with material that the client presents e.g. dream work, and utilizing the core concepts of DRA including: the theory of psychodynamics, free association, the need to promote insight with the client, the use of therapeutic intervention and working with repression, regression and any transference and counter-transference.

What is TA?
Transactional Analysis, or TA as it is commonly called, was devised by Eric Berne. His theory recognized the three alter ego states: parent, adult and child, and how we can move from state to state in all our interactions.

What is Client-Centred Counselling?
Carl Rogers developed the theory of Client-Centred Counselling. His principle theory holds that the therapist must have an unconditional positive regard for the client and that conditions are created in order that the client may experience optimum empowerment.

What is Rational Emotive Therapy?
Developed by Albert Ellis, Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) is a psychotherapeutic approach that proposes that unrealistic and irrational beliefs cause many emotional problems. RET is a form of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy .
MNZAP Full Member of New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists

PBANZ New Zealand Registered Psychotherapist

ACP Advanced Clinical Practice (Psychotherapy)

© Suzie Morrell