Portsmouth Brief Counselling

In tough economic times, an alternative to long-term therapy could be what you need.  Brief Focal Psychodynamic Counselling with Dean Richardson is a non-religious, fixed number of counselling sessions, focusing on your choice of important matters.

Brief counselling combines your motivation -plus- brief psychodynamic counselling -plus- the counsellor’s skills and support -plus- the incentive of limited time.

Gain relief – and no waiting lists.

Overview of Brief Focal Psychodynamic Counselling.

In general, brief focal psychodynamic counselling (also called “time-limited counselling”) offers the same effective therapy as long-term/open-ended psychodynamic psychotherapy but with the added benefits of it working to a fixed number of sessions (usually six or twelve sessions … agreed and set between counsellor and client at the start), focuses upon with one particular personal matter, and can be quite stimulating & targeting toward the patient’s problem.

For brief/time-limited counselling to be effective, both the client and the therapist must be able to be engaged with each other, and motivated to work on the focal problem.  This usual is not so much of a problem when therapy starts as both therapist and patient are aware that time is passing and the end of the therapy is already in sight the moment it has begun.  This awareness can be quite motivating to stay focussed on the presenting issue.

Brief focal psychodynamic counselling is available for Individuals Only (not for couples) and in Portsmouth (Southsea coast), Hampshire or Online via Skype.

Fixed number of sessions = Fixed budget.

We will discuss and set the number of sessions when we have met for an initial 50-minute assessment session in my Portsmouth & Southsea consultation rooms.  We might, say, agree six sessions of focal psychodynamic counselling (or more or fewer) – but whatever we agree we will aim to stick to that set number.  Working towards the end of counselling can be a struggle and confusing if the end is a moving target!  At the same time, though, we can be flexible enough and considerate to accommodate fewer or more sessions as the therapy seems to demand.

Having set the number of sessions, we will meet weekly – same time each week – to focus on the presenting issue that we discuss in the first session.

Staying focussed means that less “interference” may come into the counselling work.  Whilst in open-ended work, inviting you to freely associate and talk about anything that comes to mind, working to a brief-focal model suggests that anything that comes to mind (that is not part of the original assessment focus) may be invited to wait until a time after the time-limited work is completed.

Why “Focal” Counselling?

Dripping Tap Analogy.

Let me give you an analogy to think about … imagine that you have a dripping tap at home.  You don’t attend to it.  You put off repairing the drip or calling a plumber.  You usually manage to put the dripping tap out of your mind and get on with your life.  You don’t think about it – it doesn’t bother you.  But … occasionally something occurs or you find yourself in a place where you are reminded: drip… drip… drip…!  You find yourself in a minor battle between knowing you can do something about the dripping tap, but put effort in ignoring the problem.

Now, focussing upon getting the tap repaired may take some effort from you.  It will take some time (finding a plumber you trust, evaluating them through newspapers and adverts etc) and it will cost you some money.  The work being done may make the bathroom (say) untidy for a bit and there may be a spray of water (if not careful) that requires some mopping up.  You might not be able to use the bathroom for a bit.  You might find you get on well with the plumber … or he/she may be someone you’d prefer to avoid.

However … once the job is done it’s done.


Over with!!


Brief Focal Psychodynamic Counselling.

Brief Focal Psychodynamic Counselling can be through about dealing with an emotional dripping tap.  It may be painful and a little scary to begin with when dealing with an emotional problem head on – but you’re not on your own when the counsellor is with you on the journey.  The “job” is done in a known/set amount of time.  The counselling may be, like the tap repair, a bit messy sometimes and may be a little bit water-spraying sometimes, but once it’s done it’s done.


Over with!!


Is Brief/time-limited Therapy Right for You?

Brief focal psychodynamic counselling can be ideal for those that it works for!  But this is unfair to say if it will or won’t work for you on a web page. So, we’ll talk together about what the work may consist of – particularly with the emotional problem you bring to talk with me. We’ll aim to keep the counselling brief, and the problem addressed.  And if things seem not to be going as well as we’d hoped, we’ll talk about that too and find a way to address this also (which might suggest longer term therapy, a referral to another form of therapy or saying ‘fair well’ for now).

Contact me…

(image (c) Fran Tapia / Flickr)