What is counselling?
Counselling, or psychotherapy, is a form of talking therapy. It is time in which you can discuss your thoughts and feelings in a safe, confidential space. This may involve talking about your past experiences, or you may want to talk about a present problem in your life such as a relationship, a troubling behaviour or upsetting feelings. Hopefully by exploring your issues you will be able to get a better understanding of yourself and the situation, and we will be able to look at what options you have for making positive changes in your life, and develop coping strategies if needed. Research has shown that most people find therapy very rewarding and helpful.
What sort of problems can counselling help with?
People go to therapy for all sorts of reasons. Some of the issues that I have worked with are depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, addiction, relationship issues, bereavement, stress, work-place stress, loneliness, failing health, gender issues, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts, among others. If you’re not sure, then feel free to contact me and ask. Even if counselling is not right for you, I might be able to point you in the right direction.
Will I feel better straight away?
Sometimes it is important to talk about difficult things or painful feelings which can often leave you feeling worse. It will usually take a number of sessions before you start to feel better so bare with it.
Is it Confidential?
Everything you say in therapy will be kept confidential, however there are a few exceptions such as present or future serious crimes, for instance money laundering or serious risk of harm to others. I also discuss some work with a confidential supervisor to make sure that I am doing the best job that I can for you. All BACP members are required to have supervision and all supervisors are bound by the same confidentiality rules. I also never disclose identifiable information about clients to my supervisor. I will discuss all of this is more detail with you during the first session however if you have any concerns then feel free to ask me before we arrange a session.
What will happen at the first session?
The first session is about getting to know each other. Most importantly you need to decide weather or not you feel comfortable and happy to work with me. I will also make sure that I feel able to work with the problems that you have. We will also go over confidentiality in detail and outline what we can both expect from the sessions.
How long do sessions last?
Sessions usually last 50 minutes however there is some flexibility if this does not suit you.
How much do sessions cost?
Sessions are charged at £40 per 50min session which is payable in cash at the session or via bank transfer in advance. I offer concessions to those on low income.
How many sessions are needed?
The amount of sessions we have is really up to you. Some people like to decide at the beginning how many sessions to have, and often that is between 6 and 12. For other people it is more appropriate to just see how it goes. Some problems obviously take a lot longer to figure out than others and some people may like to have a block of sessions and then take a break and come back to counselling later. We will talk about how many sessions to have during the first session and review regularly to make sure we are still on the right path for you.
How regularly will sessions be?
Often sessions are weekly, however it may be more helpful for you to have sessions several times a week or just fortnightly or monthly.
What happens if I don’t know what to say?
Some people find it difficult to start talking at first but often it gets easier as you get to know me. I do not have any expectations about what you 'should' talk about and we will go at your own pace. Often during counselling you need to be silent for a little while to think and this is ok too
Can I send my partner/child/parent to counselling?
No not really. If it's helpful to them then you can help to initiate and organise therapy, but it's important that they want to do it. If they don't really want to be there, or they are doing it for someone else, then counselling is unlikely to be helpful.
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