Freqently Asked Questions...

How do I know if I need counselling?

First of all, remember that seeing a counsellor doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you. Many people choose to see a counsellor just so they can 'off-load' the events or feelings of the week. Others may bring a specific issue that they need help in understanding or resolving. When thinking about whether you need counselling, it might be helpful to ask yourself a number of questions. If you can answer 'yes' to one or more it may indicate that counselling could help:

  • Are my relationships beginning to suffer?
  • Do I feel anxious/depressed/troubled for a significant amount of the time?
  • Do I often feel like or find myself crying?
  • Do I often feel overwhelmed by life or the particular problem I have?
  • Do I often feel confused and find making decisions difficult?
  • Am I drinking more to help me cope with things?
  • Do I often have trouble sleeping or often wake up in the early hours of the morning?
  • Is my eating affected? Am I eating less/more than normal?
  • Do I feel my head is racing and it difficult to relax?
How do I know which counselling approach is most suited to me?

There are a number of established therapeutic approaches to counselling work. These include humanistic counselling (also known as person centred), psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. You may have an idea that a particular approach may be suited to you and that can be discussed at your initial assessment with your therapist.

How long should I expect to have to continue counselling?

The number of counselling sessions depends on you as an individual and your unique presenting issues. A first consultation will enable you to see if counselling is indicated. Usually you will start with 6 sessions and review after that. Cognitive behavioural therapy is designed to be short term and lasts 6-20 sessions. Psychodynamic and existential therapies tend to be longer term and may last for many months or even years. Since I work privately you are not limited in the number of sessions you can have.

Will my counsellor be available for me in a crisis?

I will be available to you at your scheduled appointment time. I am not able to provide an emergency service to you, and you will need to seek other resources for help during a crisis. In such cases you should contact your GP, the Samaritans or if necessary, emergency services.

Is the counselling confidential?

Yes it is. What is discussed within the counselling sessions stays in the counselling sessions. The only circumstance where confidentiality might be broken is if the client poses a serious risk either to him/herself or someone known to the client. I would always try to discuss the need for a break in confidentiality with the client first and the reasons for this.

Can I use my Health Insurance to pay for Counselling sessions?

At this time I am not able to offer this facility.

What kinds of people seek Counselling?

Many types of people can benefit from counselling. Therapy is frequently conducted on a face to face level with individuals. My client group spans across culture, gender (male, female), sexual orientation (straight, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual), and religion and employment groups. I welcome diversity and as a discreet and professional Counsellor can accommodate a wide client group.

Can a Counsellor prescribe medication if I need it?

The Counsellors do not prescribe medication. This should be discussed with your G.P.

Why do I need to attend weekly sessions?

Regularity is important for productive therapeutic work. The standard format for weekly sessions helps you make gradual and steady progress.

Why do I have to pay for missed/cancelled therapy sessions?

If you proceed with therapy sessions after the first consultation, I will reserve the same time slot (of 50 minutes) for you each week. Any missed sessions or cancellations will be charged at the full fee. This is so that we can set aside the same time for you each week. I have a particular set of terms and conditions (including cancellation policy) which will be shared with you during your first consultation.

How can I pay for a therapy session?

I will take payment in full at the end of each session by cash or cheque. We do not have the facilities to accept debit or credit cards.

Can I speak to my counsellor before my appointment?

I do not make myself available prior to your appointment. The first consultation will give you the chance to bring in any questions to find out more about how you will work together and to discover if you connect. Whilst the majority of first consultations will proceed to a full course of treatment, neither you nor the therapist are committed to continue beyond the counselling consultation session.

What happens in a counselling session?

There is no typical counselling session. The counselling session is time set aside for you and what you talk about will vary according to your goals and needs. You are free to discuss what you wish to, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, thoughts, memories. I will provide a safe environment in which to explore your issues and work towards self-improvement. If you wish to approach your issues in a more practical way, then cognitive behavioural therapy may be a good choice.

What issues can counselling help with?

Clients present with wide- ranging problems including anxiety(panic attacks, agoraphobia, generalised anxiety problems, social anxiety), stress in the work place, relationship issues, depression(including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal) phobia’s and fears, addiction, low self esteem and confidence issues, substance misuse, grief and loss. The most common reasons for searching for a counsellor are stress, anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties.

What if I have a complaint about my counsellor?

Complaints should be raised with me directly. If you are still not satisfied that the complaint has been addressed then you should take this up with the counsellor’s accredited body. Each therapist will have professional indemnity insurance as well as a certificate to practice.

How much will I have to pay?

I currently charge £45 per session

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