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FAQ’s

shutterstock_85508146There are many different therapies on offer and it would be beneficial for you to know what each therapy offers and try to match up with your own personality and expectations. Research has shown that regardless of the theoretical background of the counsellor, the most important thing to effect change is the relationship between counsellor and client. Therefore I would urge you to do your research and contact a few different counsellors until you find one with whom you are most comfortable.

What is counselling?

Counselling is a “talking therapy” that derives from the psycho-analytic tradition started by Sigmund Freud. Counselling has evolved into many forms, some of the therapeutic models are Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Humanistic Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I will give some brief descriptions of each of these below and I hope that they will help you to decide what kind of therapeutic style matches your personality and current needs.

I was trained in a range of theories taking the best elements of well-known counselling and psychotherapy models and put them together in a tried and tested approach, called psychotherapeutic counselling. This allows you to help with a range of common human problems. I am focussed on you as a whole person, that I believe you have the desire for and the capability of achieving your best possible life, and that together we can work towards achieving that life for you. I will help you by focussing on what your experience of life means to you, exploring how present feelings and behaviours are influenced by past events and relationships.

What Conditions Can it Help?

Counselling can usually help most people. The main thing is having the motivation to explore yourself. There may be some issues more helpfully dealt with by specialist organisations, e.g. active substance dependency or a severe and enduring mental health diagnosis. If I feel that your needs would be better served with a specialist organisation, then I would discuss this with you in the initial session

What to expect from an initial session?

An initial session is an exploration of who you are and what you would like to discuss or work on in future sessions. It is usually a time to see if you are comfortable working with me. There are usually discussions about what your expectations are/ would be of the process, you can ask as many questions about this as you like.

Then, if you are comfortable, we contract for however many sessions we both think is appropriate in order to carry out the work you have identified. We would also talk about confidentiality, supervision and professional ethics and boundaries. This is also the time to talk about costs and concessions.

Will my sessions be confidential?

Under normal circumstances, your right to confidentiality will be completely respected. You need to be aware that, like all therapists I discuss my work with a qualified supervisor. The only time I would consider breaking confidentiality is if I am concerned about your, or other peoples’, safety. In such cases, I would always let you know beforehand that I intended to contact the relevant people.

How much is this going to cost?

I charge for the first session ₤65 for 1.5 hours, following appointments £45 per 50 minute session. I sometimes have a few concessionary places open so if you are on a low income, please ask about availability of these at first contact. I also offer an incentive for block bookings – book and pay for six weeks in advance and the seventh session is free.

How long will I need to come for?

The amount of time spent in therapy will depend upon several factors, the most important being the nature and complexity bringing you to counselling. At the initial consultation, we can discuss whether it would be more appropriate to have short term focussed work or more longer term therapy.

What if I can’t make an appointment?

Please call 07734104421 to cancel as soon as possible. If I can reasonably offer an alternative within the same week, there will be no additional charge. If you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment, unfortunately I will have to charge for a missed appointment.

How does therapy end?

Usually we decide on that together, sometimes even building that into the initial contract if we decide short term work is more suited to your needs. When you are satisfied that you have gone as far as you want to for now towards your goals, we have an ending session to celebrate all your achievements, look at “what next” for you and share what the professional relationship has meant for both of us.

Is counselling regulated?

Yes. Since 2013, the Professional Standards Authority (the Authority which oversees statutory registers such as the General Medical Council and Nursing & Midwifery Council) regulates counselling. The Authority uses a scheme called the Accredited Voluntary Registers (AVR) scheme. Only registers of counsellors which meet its very high standards of public protection and who have completed a rigorous application process are awarded AVR status.

What is an AVR?

An AVR is the register of counsellors held by a professional association such as the National Counselling Society. Accreditation of the Society’s register by the Authority means that the Society has met the Authority’s demanding standards in the following areas: governance, setting standards, education and training, managing the register, providing information and complaints.

Counsellors on an AVR demonstrate to the public their commitment to ethics, standards and good practice. Opportunities for counsellors on an AVR, both in private practice and in employment settings, will far outweigh those for counsellors not on an AVR. being on the AVR requires me to keep up with practice in terms of things like supervision and CPD (“continuing professional development”).  In addition, if a client makes a complaint, this will be investigated by the AVR using a rigorous and independent process with the aim of public protection in mind.