What happens in counselling?
The first session is when we find out whether we can work together. I will tell you about myself and the way the sessions work - timing, what to do if you can't come one week, for example. I'll ask you to tell me a bit about yourself and to give me an idea of what your worries are. You don't have to tell me at that first session whether you want to book a number of sessions of therapy, you can text, phone or email once you've thought it through.
How does counselling work?
It works best when you are clear about what you want from your therapy, but not necessarily why you have come. Initially, it may be that you want to feel better and more able to cope. After a few sessions you may decide that you want to make decisions or changes. Together we will review your goals from time to time to check you are getting what you want.
How long do I need to come for?
It's up to you - short term therapy is generally 8 to 12 weeks, longer term therapy can be until you decide you don't need to come any more. At the first session we will agree what happens if you want to continue for longer than planned, or to stop coming
Where will the sessions be held?
During this difficult time we can only meet online using whatever platform is easiest for you - I have worked online for many years and it provides an opportunity for people who live physically distant from my base to come alone to sessions. Physical sessions will resume when possible.
Can I come to my sessions after work?
We will arrange a time that works for you each week, which includes having after work appointments when there is availability
Can I have a gap in my sessions to go on holiday?
If we arrange for short term therapy (8-12 weeks) you can tell me about booked holiday at our first meeting. For longer term psychotherapy it's best to plan for missing sessions a few weeks in advance, if possible.
Can we meet by Skype or Zoom?
We can meet by Skype, and other face-to-face online methods are fine too - what ever works for you - Zoom, BlueJeans, FaceTime, WhatsApp video. I have been working online for many years and am sure we can work together effectively online
What is the BACP?
The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy is the governing body of the counselling profession - my profession. As an Accredited Registered Member I work to their very high ethical standards and regulations, particularly around confidentiality. The BACP also has a clear and accessible complaints procedure.
Can I pay online?
Paying online is the easiest and safest way to pay.
Is counselling confidential?
Confidentiality is fundamental to therapy. As a Registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I am bound by my profession's ethical code of conduct, including very high standards of confidentiality.
I have a supervisor as required by the BACP and discuss cases anonymously. There are specific occasions when I would be required to "break confidentiality" which include my feeling that you are about to harm yourself or someone else, otherwise I will not give information to your GP or anyone else without your permission . There are also some very rare cases when I am required to break confidentiality by law.
What if I want to stop coming?
Counselling can be challenging, particularly at the beginning and things may feel worse to start with, because there is no magic wand. If you decide you want to stop before the planned number of sessions, we will agree an Ending session.
For longer term psychotherapy agreements you can stop coming whenever you feel ready - at the first session we will agree how that would happen
Do I have to tell you things I'd rather not speak about?
You can say as much or as little as you want to - it's your time.
Will anyone else find out what I say?
I speak to my supervisor as required by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), discussing cases anonymously. I will not give information to your GP or to anyone else without your permission. However, if I think you are going to harm yourself or someone else I am required to break confidentiality and I would hope to discuss this with you first if at all possible. There are also very rare circumstances when I am required by law to break confidentiality, and again I would hope to discuss that with you first.
Do you keep notes?
I keep brief notes which are anonymised. They are kept securely
Will you give me advice?
I won't give you advice or tell you what to do. I will, however, help you to look at your life and your problems to see the options and choices that are available - it's up to you whether you decide to act
How much does it cost?
From £80 for each weekly 50 minute session.
Do I pay weekly or in advance for the planned number of sessions?
You pay weekly, preferably online the day before each session.