Some frequently asked questions...
~I've never had counselling before, what can I expect?
We have fifty minutes in each session to talk about whatever you would like to discuss. The first appointment would be an assessment for us to look at what the issues are for you and if private counselling would be appropriate. There may be times when it would be more helpful for you to have support from the NHS rather than private counselling. This is to ensure you would be getting the best support available and is something counsellors at times do to ensure ethical practice.
There isn't a set structure to sessions, although the first session is largely about establishing the things in life you want to change. It's common to set goals depending on what the issues are and what you would like to achieve.
~How many sessions will there be?
This depends on what you feel is right for you. You don't have to commit to a certain number of sessions at the beginning unless this is something we agree would help you. I have worked with clients from a few weeks to a number of years.
~What should I expect from my counsellor?
Qualified and experienced counsellors are non-judgemental and practise in an ethical fashion. Being a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I am bound by their code of ethics. I maintain confidentiality and work in the best interests of clients.
~Which kind of talking therapy do you do?
There are a number of schools of thought in counselling, each with their own methods. I trained in and practise an integrative approach which comprises a range of these well established methods, so I am able to employ a variety of therapeutic techniques.
With some clients, looking at aspects of childhood greatly enhances their understanding of current relationships. Which methods I use depends on your needs, meaning that sessions are tailored to you and the particular challenges you are facing.
~Would you ever discuss our sessions with anyone else?
Supervision is where counsellors discuss their client work with another qualified and experienced counsellor. This is in order to help the supervised counsellor to reflect on sessions with the client, so as to further enhance the therapeutic process. Only first names are used in these sessions when referring to clients, and the colleague acting as supervisor is bound by the same ethical code as me. Regular supervision is standard practice for all professional counsellors, and means that clients have the best possible experience of talking therapy.
As therapists we are bound by an ethical framework, therefore if I feel you are someone else may come to serious harm, then I will have to inform a third party. However this would be the only time this would happen and is something I would speak to you about.
~How do I pay you?
You can pay by cash on the day or bank transfer before the session. Please see the appointments page for fees and my availability.
~What if I can't make it to a session?
You can send an email me if you are unable to attend a session, but this must be 48 hours before the appointment time otherwise the full fee applies.
~Can I bring someone with me?
This is not usually done for confidentiality reasons and it is best for the session to be yours alone.
~Do you do telephone sessions?
Telephone sessions are available and are useful for when attending in person is not possible. Please see the appointments page for more details.
~Should I tell anyone that I am having counselling?
Only if you wish to; some clients tell others while some choose to keep the things entirely private.
~What if I have other questions?
Feel free to get in touch!