What Conditions Can Counselling Help?
Counselling can usually help most people. There are some issues that may be supported more effectively by an organisation or practitioner who specializes in that field. If I feel that I am not able to provide the appropriate service to meet your needs I will discuss this with you during our initial session.
What Should I Expect From An Initial Session?
Most people feel a little anxious about starting counselling and the first meeting can feel quite overwhelming. This is perfectly normal.
You can contact me by phone or email. Initially I find it is helpful to speak to you to get an idea of what you are looking for and to answer any questions you have. If you email, we can arrange a time to speak. The length of a call varies, but it will take less than 20 minutes. I do not charge for this call.
If you decide you would like to meet with me, we will arrange an appointment. This is likely to become your regular counselling slot, so it needs to be a time that will suit you on an ongoing basis.
An initial session is an assessment, not a regular counselling session. I will ask you questions which are likely to include aspects about your childhood, relationships, significant people through your life and significant events and losses. You will have the opportunity to get to know me gradually. We will discuss what you expect of me and of counselling. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
The initial session is about exploring what has brought you to counselling and what you may like to work on during our future sessions together. I find it is helpful if I can get a broader sense of who you are, who is in your life and any major events that have taken place. As the session goes on I hope you will begin to feel more relaxed and comfortable with me.
We can begin our work at this point, or, if you prefer to have time to consider, you can contact me when you are ready.
You will never be committed to continuing our work, beyond the next session that is booked.
Will Our Sessions Be Confidential?
Yes! Your right to confidentiality will be respected in our sessions. The only exceptions to this are if I am seriously concerned about your immediate safety or that of other people or if I am required by law to disclose something specific. Wherever possible I will discuss the circumstances with you before contacting the relevant professional person.
You should also be aware that in line with the ethical framework of my professional body, like all counsellors, I take part in regular supervision. During these sessions I will share the way I am working with my supervisor but I will not disclose identifying details.
How Long Will I need To Come For?
Sessions last for 50 minutes and generally take place on a weekly basis. To get the most from your counselling, it is important you come on a regular basis.
How long each person needs in therapy varies considerably. We can discuss at the initial appointment whether it would be best to work on a single issue in a short focused way, or if you would prefer to explore wider, deeper issues on a longer term basis.
What If I Can’t Make an Appointment?
I understand that life sometimes gets in the way. If you are not able to attend a session please call to cancel as soon as you are able. Wherever possible I will try to offer you an alternative appointment in the same week.
Appointments cancelled more than 24 hours in advance will not be charged for. I will have to charge for any cancellation with less than 24 hours notice.
How Does Therapy End?
You can decide to finish at any time. For most people it is when you feel you have gone as far in your therapy as you wish to.
Some clients choose to agree a set number of sessions in advance, but most work with me on an open-ended basis tailored to their individual need. As part of our work together we will review how things are going from time to time. Part of this may include deciding when it is right for you to finish counselling. If you initialy choose a set number of sessions and then change your mind, that is fine too.
Once you have decided to finish counselling we will plan an ending session to celebrate all you have achieved and look at how you plan to manage challenging situations in the future.