Frequently Asked Questions
Is counselling right for you? Further information to help you decide:
I have been counselling people for more than 15 years and am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. In the following section, some of the questions that clients frequently asked are answered, but I will always be pleased to supply further information.
How do I choose the right counsellor or psychotherapist and what's the right approach to search for?
The research suggests that the way you relate to your counsellor or psychotherapist is the key factor when looking at successful outcomes. There are many different theoretical approaches and from these I blend a combination of the Psychodynamic and Humanist. However, the rapport we establish and the sense of good potential in our initial session, will be central. When you meet me or any other therapist for an introductory session, you will see if there is a comfortable feeling of being on the same wavelength. Do you feel listened to and do you feel understood? If I or any other therapist picks up on your cues and gets the point when you explain something, then these are signs that the therapy will be successful.
How does counselling or psychotherapy work?
We begin with meeting for a 55 minute introductory session where you talk about your reasons for coming to therapy and what you would like from having it. To start with you may decide from week to week if you want a further session; after a couple of sessions, if you choose to continue, I will recommend short term or longer term counselling, but it will depend on what works for you.
Although we talk only about you, my style is friendly and conversational. We'll explore the issues on your mind and what they are doing to your life. We'll look at the coping strategies that you use; where they keep you stuck and where they are still useful to you. We'll work through these so that you can stop repeating in a way that harms you and help you to surface from these patterns. In our search, we'll find out about your childhood experiences and how they still weigh on you, holding you back from progressing and having the life that you hope for.
Can I arrange sessions after work?
Yes, subject to availability, I offer sessions in the evenings.
What should I do in the sessions?
I shall work with you but not tell you what to do. I will find out if you like me to ask questions and be conversational in the sessions, so that you are comfortable. If you prefer to just start talking about what is on your mind, we will start with that. It takes courage to try counselling for the first time and you can trust yourself that you have contacted me because you really need to.
Trust your instinct that you need someone to talk to and that you need to be listened to. You may have had so much advice that it’s hard to ‘hear yourself think’. I will help you to talk freely about anything that has been a cause for concern or that you have strong feelings about.
What does it cost?
I charge £50 for an individual introductory session, £55 for a couples session (concessions negotiable). Thereafter sessions costs are individuals £60, couples £65, discretionary rates available.
Is there homework?
Sometimes I may suggest that you observe interactions that we have talked about, e.g. how relationship patterns may repeat. Occasionally you might practice a new strategy that we have talked about, e.g. a response when you feel you are being bullied.
How long are sessions?
Is it confidential?
Yes. The only limitation is when there exists a risk of serious harm to someone. Other than that, therapy is a place where you can talk about private thoughts or thoughts that are upsetting you. I will give you a calm setting where you can talk about and share your worries.
Is short or long term therapy right for me?
Short term therapy focuses upon recent issues or your feeling that you are not behaving or feeling as you normally do e.g. coping with a recent loss, shock or change. Highlighting and managing sources of stress, or a ‘blind spot’ in a relationship, may be things which bring people for short term therapy. Usually, there is a focus agreed upon from the beginning and this provides a framework for the following sessions.
For issues which have a longer history such as repeating patterns of behaviour in relationships, a difficult and traumatic childhood, or an established compulsive behaviour, therapy will take more time. This is partly because trust between a therapist and client(s) is not instant. It is also partly because our working relationship will need to be strong enough to become a healing resource, in itself.
Will I be told what to do?
No. While this can be what you would like to get from coming for therapy, it generally doesn’t work when other people advise you what to do or make decisions for you. Although I will not tell you what to do, I will help you to think problems through.
How often do sessions take place?
Once weekly but this is only a guideline.
Can I ask my GP to refer me for sessions?
You may be able to; though this will usually be for short-term therapy (8-12 sessions). It is worth talking it over with your GP. They often have a particular counsellor attached to their practice, but you could request counselling that uses a method of your choice.
Is there any funding available for counselling that I might be able to apply for?
Yes, funding for 8-12 counselling sessions may be offered to you by an Employment Assistance Programme, a Healthcare organisation, or a Workplace Wellbeing company and I am registered with WSM (Wellbeing Solutions Management ). Although the target may be to help you continue in your job or to get back to working, you may well find that you talk about a wide range of issues from the personal, financial or physical, to the politics of the office. Your anxieties will lead us to the sources of your depression or dissatisfaction. There are a wide range of reasons why people come to therapy, and it is you yourself that knows, when you have reached the point of asking for help.
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