Emma Willmer : Gestalt Psychotherapist in Manchester
Emma Willmer : Gestalt Psychotherapist in Manchester
Emma Wilmer: Registered Gestalt Therapist in Manchester

I work as a therapist because I am interested in learning about others, helping them understand the past and deal better with the present and future. As a therapist I accompany and direct people while they learn more about how they came to be in their present situation, what they are doing to keep things that way and how they can act differently to make real and lasting changes.

For me therapy is about facilitating others' learning and growth. In therapy we might make changes or find a way to accept what we cannot change. Therapy work, as both a client or therapist, can be painful, difficult or exciting but is always an engaging, unpredictable and inspiring experience!

I am British born but of Anglo-Indian heritage; this gives me a special interest in how, as individuals, we are influenced by social and cultural forces as well as our more immediate family. I have a background in theatre and movement work, and an ongoing practice of meditation and Yoga. I am also at the early stages of post-graduate study using philosophy to examine psychological ideas.



    What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy? There isn’t much difference. Some people say that therapy goes more deeply into the original and fundamental causes of our problems, while counselling tries to solve immediate problems. But in practice, the two are very similar. I work psychotherapeutically with clients, both long term (e.g. over several years) and using brief therapy (e.g. 6-12 sessions). I always contract carefully with clients to ensure we work at a depth, pace and speed which my client wants, and which their lives and situations will safely support.

    What’s the difference between a counsellor and a psychotherapist? Psychotherapy qualifications take longer to complete than counselling qualifications. To be a registered therapist, the trainee must have lengthy personal therapy herself, undergo a longer training and have more hours of supervised supervision. As a psychotherapist, I am interested in helping people gain a broad and deep understanding of themselves, in order to make grounded and lasting changes. The initial problem which might take us to a therapist might actually be a symptom of deeper issues; if the deeper issue is not addressed the problems will keep occurring. A counsellor, who might have a shorter time to work with a client, might focus more specifically on solving an immediately apparent problem. At the same time, if necessary a therapist can work in a way that is goal-oriented or short term.

    What is psychotherapy? Psychotherapy is an ongoing open conversation with a professional. Therapy aims to promote our knowledge of how we have become the way we are, of how we are in the world and of how we can become different. It is a way of understanding ourselves and the world better, of learning acceptance as well as how to change.

    What is Gestalt therapy? Gestalt therapy is a humanistic form of psychotherapy, in which we focus on the here-and-now to find out more about how we operate in the world, and how we can be different. Gestalt therapy is a powerful and immediate way of vividly encountering our own experience, of deepening our experience of being alive, of becoming more authentic, more energised, and more available to engage fully in life. When we enter fully into having Gestalt therapy, the experience may be painful, exciting, liberating and transformative. You can find out more by going to the Gestalt Psychotherapy and Training Institute here

    What kind of advice do you give? I don’t tell you what you should do with your life. I might have ideas within the session about how we might address or explore an issue, and may guide you about how best to do this. My work is to foster your independence and autonomy as well as your ability to be close to others without losing a sense of your separate identity - to help you to live fully and confidently and reach your full potential.

    Doesn’t therapy make you feel worse? Yes and no. If we have buried feelings over a long period, therapy helps them come out again. Because of this, we will naturally feel the unhappiness or grief we have pushed down and for a time we may feel ‘worse’ than when we started therapy. In the longer term, however, expressing these feelings will make us feel freer and more energised to live our lives more fully and independently, and to be more genuine and closer to others. Through therapy, we also may discover that we have repeated and long-standing ways of thinking and seeing things which keep us stuck in a position which we no longer want. Changing these ways of thinking is often challenging as well as liberating.

    Isn’t it simpler to take medication like anti-depressants? It is simpler to take medication than to have therapy, but not always better. If a person is in crisis and unable to cope without medicine, then consulting your GP to talk about this is an important step. However, this may be a way of simply covering over the symptoms and not dealing with the deeper causes of our problems. On the other hand, in some circumstances with some more complex or deep-seated issues, medication might be a better choice or a necessary prerequisite before therapy can take place.
EMMA WILLMER : Registered Gestalt Psychotherapy in Manchester | Tel: 0161-225 4782 or 07719 780712