Psychotherapy is a talking process in which a therapist uses his or her understanding of psychology and interpersonal dynamics to enable people to move on from troublesome aspects of their inner and outer lives. Psychotherapy uses analysis, interpretation, and suggestion in such a way that clients can achieve enhanced personal effectiveness - personal growth.

There are many views on this. Ours is that psychotherapy is not like going to the doctor - to get cured. Psychotherapy with us is more to do with finding out how to manage the past and reduce its power in your present life. The scars and influence of past experience cannot be removed but we can make all of that less relevant in the here-and-now. That is done by gradually separating out who you really are - aside from all your conditioning - by creating a boundary between your past and your present. We see psychotherapy as working to illuminate and expand people's possibilities.

Not usually. However, being a one-to-one process it cannot create the kind of context that is found in groups. We suggest to some clients that they round off therapy by taking a large-group awareness training.

Most people can benefit - after all, no one goes through life without some emotional or psychological predicament. If there is something that regularly interferes with the proper enjoyment of your personal, social or work life, or if you feel you have some psychological difficulty, then therapy would probably be fruitful. It is also appropriate to consult a psychotherapist simply to have your life be more as you want it.

The UKCP was formed to help with this problem so their list, which is geographic, makes the choosing much easier. Ask how long the person you are considering has been working as a full-time therapist - the longer the better. Surprisingly few therapists work at it full time. Having made your shortlist then ask for an initial interview so you can see if you are likely to get on with the person.

That is quite usual. But people generally find counselling and psychotherapy a positive experience. Some aspects may be challenging, but meeting challenges usually makes people feel better. Seeing a therapist does not mean that a person is weak, stupid, inferior, bad or crazy - but people often use such imaginations to put off getting into therapy.

Yes, unless something arises which has a medical or legal bearing. Also, just like doctors, we do discuss some cases with professional colleagues, but always in the context of work and with your permission.

Yes, and our clients have come from many cultures. In a sense, everyone we see is from a culture different from our own- after all they grew up in a different family in a different town. It is part of our job to be fully aware of clients' cultures and what they mean to them. Everyone is welcome whatever cultural background, religion, age, sex, race, or situation. We share a common humanity.

We have practitioners from a variety different therapeutic backgrounds. We see people as clients inhabiting unique personal worlds - not as patients with standard diseases for which there are standard treatments. We use a synthesis of processes that we have found effective. That means we can tailor our work to individuals' needs, and do not have to follow one orientation to the exclusion of others. We align our work with what clients want to achieve.

Please see our "Fees, payments and cancellations" page for current rates. Workshops and Training prices are available on request based on requirements. We do have some therapists who keep places available at special rates for those on restricted incomes. Please ask for details. Please contact us for an exact figure based upon your situation. On the "contact us" page, you will find our email address, phone number and an online contact form.

Not unless a client feels fearful or untrusting. However, eventually it may be very useful for people to work with a therapist of whichever sex may be problematic now. We have both male and female therapists working at Crescent Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Apart from progress with specific issues, important gains are to be had in confidence, self-esteem, insight and self-awareness. These provide favourable conditions for shifts towards positive patterns of behaviour; viewing issues differently; becoming calm and peaceful; having improved quality of relationships; becoming generally more effective; and finding life more meaningful and fulfilling. Many clients find that their range of possibilities expands.

If you have a difficulty like one of those mentioned in our website then counselling or psychotherapy should lead to resolving it. If you've lived with it for a while and it hasn't got better, then now could be a good time to get to grips with it.

Not easy to answer. Some people find that a few sessions make a real difference - just by gaining some new perspective about a problem. But most people find it more productive to be in therapy for quite a few months of weekly sessions - that is more the psychotherapy mode.

UKCP stands for The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. It is the nearest thing we have to the BMA (in England). Like the BMA the UKCP lists people qualified to practise, they will strike off unprofessional practitioners about whom complaints are upheld.