FAQ'sWhat is counselling?
- Counselling offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and any problems that you may be experiencing, at a pace that is comfortable for you. Counselling is an opportunity to talk to someone who is trained to listen and work with the struggles you bring.
- Counselling involves a 'working contract' where we agree to meet weekly, on an on-going basis.
The working contract is important and forms the basis of the counselling. This is different from just meeting with a counsellor once a month or every so often. This would not be termed 'counselling' as there is no regular, consistent arrangement.
- The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) provide a helpful explanation of counselling and what you can expect. If you want to find out more just click here.
Why seek counselling? What if my problem isn't 'big' enough?
- It is common for people to feel unsure about whether they need counselling; I often find that people struggle to ask for help and question whether their problems are significant enough. Whatever your problem or struggle may be, it does deserve attention and space.
- Perhaps there is still a myth that in order to seek counselling you must be in crisis or in the middle of a signficant life event. Whilst this may be true for some, in reality most people access counselling for a wide range of common issues such as; anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems or a general sense of dissatisfaction with life.
How much counselling do I need?
- That will depend on your situation & what changes you would like to make. Some people use counselling to support them in every day life & they attend weekly on an on-going basis. They have a space where they can reflect & learn from experiences that have occurred during the week. Other people come into counselling with a clear goal & will leave when they feel the goal has been met.
What I will say is that it may take time; there is no 'quick fix'.
- I have experience of working long term with individuals, i.e a number of years, where the client explores more deeply rooted problems. Equally I can work short term, i.e. 6-10 sessions of more focused work.
How often do I need to attend sessions?
- I offer a contract of weekly counselling. This means that we agree to meet weekly; I do take into account this is not always practical due to holidays, illness etc. However, for the most part we meet weekly.
In my experience, counselling is most effective when it takes place on a weekly basis. Longer gaps between sessions can reduce the effectiveness of counselling. Please note I am able to offer sessions twice a week as & when required by the individual.
- It's important for you to consider whether you can commit to weekly counselling sessions. Counselling involves taking yourself seriously & prioritising your needs. For some this may feel challenging, especially if you are not used to getting your needs met or having space for yourself.
Do I have to pay if I miss a session?
- I charge for missed sessions; this is because your session time is reserved solely for your use. Unlike a Doctor's surgery, your appointment time is not offered out to anyone else if you cannot attend. So the cancellation fee effectively holds your space for you- it also means that if your plans change & you can attend your session after all, I will still be able to meet with you.
- Cancellation of less than 48 hours notice will incur the full cost of the session
- If you wish to miss two or more consecutive sessions then I charge a retainer fee of £20 for each session missed. This fee holds your space open for you until you return
If I need to cancel a session with you, no charges will be incurred.
How do I know which counsellor is right for me? There are many different styles of counselling, how do they differ?
- The initial session will give you the opportunity to see how you feel about working with me; it's important that you feel comfortable and safe- although sometimes this can take time.
- There are a wide variety of counselling approaches and one counsellor may use a completely different approach to another. For example Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is short term and you may see a counsellor for 6 weeks with a view to finding coping strategies to manage your presenting problem. In contrast Psychodynamic counselling is usually more long term and you may spend some months or years exploring more deeply rooted problems. This approach focuses on getting to the core of a problem, making sense of it & then finding a way forward.
- The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) have an A-Z of the different counselling techniques that are used so if you want to find out more then just click here.
How much does it all cost? What if it's too expensive?
- Initial session; £20 for 30 mins
On-going sessions; £45 for 50 mins.
- I recognise that weekly counselling may be too costly for those on low income, students etc, so I offer two concessionary spaces- these spaces are available during the day only. The concessionary fee is £35. If you would like a concessionary space please indicate so when you first make contact.
- If you are unsure about whether you can financially commit to counselling on an on-going basis it may be best to consider accessing low cost counselling via services such as Network Counselling or Off the Record (for young people between ages 11-25) who offer minimum donation counselling. They have a mixture of experienced counsellors & trainee counsellors.
How I work & the techniques I useI trained as an integrative counsellor; this means that I can use a wide variety of counselling approaches. I find this to be a very flexible and useful way of working, as what suits one individual may not suit another, therefore I am able to change the way I work to best suit the person and the presenting problem.
The main counselling approaches I use in my work are Psychodynamic, Person-Centred and Transactional Analysis. If you would like to know more about these approaches I can explain at the initial meeting.
I believe it is important to build a warm and trusting relationship with the client, and I aim to do this by being empathic and non-judgemental. The relationship between counsellor and client is often a core part of the counselling process. I work relationally, which means I pay attention to the relationship between counsellor and client. I often find that relationship behavioural patterns are brought into the therapy room by the client and are evident in the relationship between counsellor and client. This can be valuable as it provides us with an opportunity to explore patterns of behaviours which may be holding you back in your other relationships.
I also believe that present day difficulties are rooted in past experiences and relationships that remain unresolved or incomplete. These experiences can unconsciously impact on us; blocking us from moving forward and reaching our full potential. So part of the way I work may involve looking at your early experiences of relationships and how these may still be impacting on you in the present day.