Private counsellors and psychotherapists in and around Oxford see a number of students. Unlike the University and College Counselling Services, the student has to pay for sessions. Individual practitioners employ different psychological approaches. The main focus may be on:
- linking past experiences with present experiences
- considering established patterns of thought and behaviour
- problem-solving techniques
Some counsellors and psychotherapists combine approaches depending on the person and their situation. Often the key to success is the quality of the relationship between client and counsellor. So if a student tries one counsellor and is not happy with their approach, they should not be afraid to try someone different.
Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist so it worth looking out for practitioners who are professionally accredited. The main accreditation bodies in the UK are the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Confederation of Psychotherapists (BCP). Psychologists have their own professional body the British Psychological Society (BPS)
Lists of private counsellors are usually available from GPs, advice centres and university counselling services.