I offer an initial session of 30 minutes by telephone, free of charge, as an opportunity to explore this. We will discuss how we will work together, e.g. the number of sessions, confidentiality, fees and any questions or concerns you may have. You will also have the chance to talk about the circumstances that bring you to counselling and your hopes and expectations. At this point there is no commitment and you can take time to think about continuing with counselling. What have you got to lose ?
Is counselling right for me?
A counselling session takes place in the same place each week, usually at a mutually agreed time. The session belongs to you, the client, to talk about what is important in your life. I, the counsellor, listen to what you have to say and will gently help you find the best way through. We work together using the relationship we build. I endeavour to create an environment where you will feel at ease and able to be part of a collaborative process. Not a patient/doctor type of relationship, but one where I have expert knowledge of relationships, but you are also respected as being expert in your relationships. I ensure you are informed about the counselling process and given opportunities to give feedback as to what is helpful and useful to you. Therapy can sometimes feel challenging, and there maybe times where you feel outside your usual comfort zone, but I try to make sure you feel supported and safe within the counselling environment.
What happens in counselling?
The choice of things you talk about in a session is completely yours. It may be something that confuses you, is painful, a secret you have been holding, relationship difficulties, health problems, trouble at work, identity dilemmas, grief, abuse, anxiety or depression. I understand it is not easy to talk about painful things, and will strive to build a relationship with you where you do not feel judged.
What sort of things are talked about in a session?
Sessions are usually weekly and last for one hour. Sessions may become less frequent as therapy is coming to an end. I try to offer regular weekly slots, but understand that people have busy, complicated lives and will try to be flexible wherever possible. I offer both daytime and evening appointments.
What about timings?
It is very difficult to put an exact number on the amount of sessions you will need. Everyone and every situation is different. Some people only have a few sessions, whilst others may need longer term support. I would generally advise that we meet for an initial session and see how we get on; from then on we can plan for six further sessions with regular reviews. Planned endings are always preferable but of course you can finish counselling whenever you wish; breaks in counselling can be useful too
How long will I have counselling for?
If you need to change an appointment I will try to accommodate you where possible. I appreciate at least 24 hours’ notice of cancellation. If this is not provided a charge of half the session fee will be made and you will be asked to pay at the beginning of the next session.
What if I miss an appointment?
In accordance with the BACP ethical framework my work is supervised each month. With my Supervisor I discuss my clinical practice and receive both guidance and support. The purpose of this is to ensure that I practice safely and that I am continually improving the service I offer to clients.
What is supervision?
The trust between client and counsellor is important and I will treat all that you share with me as confidential. However, there are times when I have a duty to breach confidentiality.
These times will be:
• when a crime is disclosed
• when I deem a client is at risk from harm to themselves or others