Frequently asked questions

What is counselling?

Simply stated, counselling is any relationship in which one person is helping another person to better understand and solve some problem.

Counselling is essentially a change (growth: healing) process in which you are helped to:
  • deepen awareness of past & present patterns and explore alternatives
  • express yourself in a safe, supportive, collaborative, non-judgemental climate;
  • identify, sort-out and clarify your attitudes and feelings
  • identify non-helpful patterns 
  • learn, where appropriate, more helpful coping skills 
  • identify and achieve goals that are important to you

 The ultimate goal for counselling is to help you to recognize and accept your own internal worth and to live in a way in which head, heart and hand work together, where your thoughts feelings and actions flow harmoniously in the world and where challenges are accepted and overcome with confidence.
How do I get started? 
Our first meeting will be a consultation in which we can explore your present situation and discuss your needs and concerns regarding therapy. You can then decide whether it would be appropriate for you to enter therapy at this time, and if so what kind of therapy and approach we can use for your specific concerns and whether or not we would like to work together.
You can contact me by e-mail or phone to arrange an initial consultation.

Do I need therapy?

Counselling may be for you if you are feeling anxious, depressed, or unfulfilled in any sense and nothing seems to help. You may have tried to cope with your problems on your own but may be finding it hard to deal with them right now. Counselling can help you develop the necessary coping skills and can provide you with a set of new strategies you can apply to make your problem manageable.

How long do I have to come for?

After an initial consultation session lasting 50 minutes you may have a better idea of whether you would like to continue with the work. This will also allow me to assess whether I feel I can help you. If we agree to continue I will suggest an initial contract of six sessions to explore the issues you want to work with and which will also give us time to build a strong respectful therapeutic relationship. Thereafter we can agree an open-ended or a more time limited contract with regular reviews of how we are progressing along the way.

I'm not sure what I want to come for. Is it still ok to come?
It is perfectly ok for you to come and explore things. I often have clients who either are unsure why they have come or have so many reasons that they cannot pin down any one issue. Part of our work would then be to explore and clarify what the issues are and discus how we might work with them. Alternatively we might decide that counselling was not appropriate at this time.

Is counselling confidential?

All personal information is treated in the strictest confidence and remains confidential to the counsellor. This is crucial for you to feel able to trust the process, knowing that it is safe to talk openly about what is happening. This strict confidentiality rule would only be broken, in most cases with your consent, should exceptional circumstances arise where you might be in danger of serious harm to yourself or others. This policy is in accordance with the code of ethics of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP.

What are the challenges involved?

One of the most difficult steps in counselling occurs before you even see a counsellor for the first time. Deciding to seek counselling is the first step in change. Once this decision has been made, the mechanics for change have been set in motion. In the process of changing the way you think, feel, or behave, you may try out new ways of doing things. This can make you anxious or frustrated. Also, in the course of counselling you may come to realize that things you once thought of only in a positive or negative way you may see a bit differently. The challenges of pushing on your limitations may also cause you frustration, but with commitment and practice, you will find that you can stretch your limits and find new and exciting aspects of your self.

How long are sessions?

Sessions last 50 minutes. Extended sessions can be accommodated as necessary.

How do I end counselling?

A good ending is an important part of the counselling process. For this reason it is advisable that we allow at least three weeks notice prior to finishing in order to explore what the ending will mean and how you can draw on support and strength both internally from your own resources and by reaching out to others. In a sense the journey continues beyond the counselling situation but now you have the insight and resources yourself to deal with the inevitable challenges of life.

What does it cost?  

There is a set fee per session. Reduced rates may be available depending on your circumstances.