Counselling is about exploring difficulties you may be having or distress you might be experiencing or dissatisfaction with areas of your life.
As a counsellor, I listen, try to understand the difficulties from your point of view and help you see things more clearly. For many people, counselling leads to positive changes in life and a stronger sense of being able to deal with problems that come up in the future.
You might have a clear idea of what you want to talk about and perhaps also what you want to get out of the counselling or you might not know exactly where to start.
Our work together might be short term, working towards a specific goal, or longer term, perhaps exploring painful issues that have been there for a long time.
FAQ Counselling involves exploring your problems, worries and concerns in a safe and non-judgemental environment. There are different types of counselling - you can get more information about the different types by contacting the British Association of Counselling and Therapy (BACP), www.bacp.co.uk.
My approach to counselling is to understand what is troubling you and help you explore your difficulties and see things more clearly, so that you feel more able to cope and move forward.
Can counselling help me?
I believe that most issues and problems we face can be helped through appropriate counselling.
Often just talking about your worries and concerns with a counsellor is a good place to start. Sometimes people don't want to bother their friends and family, perhaps you feel they might not understand, or have the time, or you don't want to worry them. Other people don't have close friends or family that they would feel comfortable talking to.
Talking to someone independent and trained in counselling skills in a safe and non-judgemental place can help you explore your concerns and this often leads to positive changes in life.
How long does counselling take?
This depends on you and what is troubling you. Sometimes a few weeks might be enough to help you see a way through a particular issue or problem. For people who perhaps have deeper problems that have been there for a long time, it might take longer to explore concerns. Some people stay in counselling for a year or two, others, even longer.
Couples counselling tends to be short-term and focussed (around 6-12 sessions maximum) and if there are deeper issues or problems for one partner, or both, we might agree to end or take a break so that either or both can receive individual support (eg from a counsellor), then we might come together again to look at the relationship difficulties as a couple.
I believe it is useful to regularly review how the counselling is going for you, and for you to decide, with my help if you need it, when the time is right to end.
How much does it cost and how often will I need it?
Each counselling session lasts 50 minutes for individuals or one hour for couples. Please see 'Appointments and Fees' for costs. Most people come weekly, on the same day/evening and at the same time each week. But I am happy to discuss variations to this. It might be that you just want to try a few sessions, or you might want much longer. I am happy to work short-term or longer, whatever feels right for you. We can regularly review the counselling to check how things are going and whether you're getting what you want out of it.
What happens when I contact you?
If you telephone or leave a telephone number, I can get back to you as soon as I am able by telephone. Or, we could arrange via email a day and time to speak by telephone. We'll then arrange a time to meet in person for a first session.
What happens at the first session?
The first session is an opportunity for us to meet and for you to decide if counselling with me is right for you. It is also for me to understand a bit about your situation and get a feel for whether I think counselling with me can help. You''ll have an opportunity to get a feel for the counselling room and see how is for you to be talking to me.
It's not unusual to feel nervous and anxious, especially when you first come for counselling. I'll do what I can to help you feel more at ease.
If you want to go ahead, we can agree to meet for further sessions. We can agree what you'd like to get out of counselling and when to review how the counselling is helping.
Please do get in touch by telephone or email, and I'll try and answer your questions.