How do I know if I need counselling?
If you are finding it difficult to function in everyday life (at work, in relationships, in your social life, for example), then it is possible that some of your thought processes are hindering you: A general sense of discontent can be a good indication that you may need to change things to better enjoy your life. Counselling can help identify what may be holding you back and to explore ways of finding a path to a greater sense of well-being.
What type of counselling do you offer?
I am a qualified integrative counsellor, which means I am experienced in using a number of different tools and psychotherapeutic theories so I can tailor my approach to suit your individual needs.
What will happen in my first counselling session?
Our first session is a chance for us to find out how we can work together and whether you feel comfortable talking to me about the personal things that may be affecting you. We will also talk about the terms of our counselling arrangement, so that you know what to expect from the future of our work together.
What happens in subsequent sessions?
If you decide to commit to counselling with me we will have a brief period of assessment (1-2 sessions), which will enable me to better understand you and your reasons for coming to therapy. We will continue to talk about any issues that are affecting you in future sessions: I hope to be able to provide you with different ways of understanding what is going on for you, and throughout this process look at the ways in which your thoughts may be affecting your emotions and what can be done to help.
How long do sessions last?
All sessions are 50 minutes long.
Do I have to see you on the same day each week?
Ideally yes: meeting on the same day and at the same time each week is important to provide you with a sense of security in our counselling relationship. Dedicating this regular time slot for you is part of my commitment to your therapy and your agreement to this is also part of your own commitment to your counselling. There will be occasions when this is difficult, such as during holidays, and we will manage these together.
Do I have to pay if I miss sessions?
As part of the commitment I have to your therapy and your particular time slot, there is a need to charge for any missed sessions (usually the full session fee for less than 48 hours notice or half the session fee for more than 48 hours). This is standard practice amongst counsellors.
How long does counselling take?
This varies for each person and is something we will discuss at the beginning of our time together. We may agree to meeting for a set number of sessions to start with, or you may just want to see how you feel on an ongoing basis. I generally recommend that we commit to at least 6 sessions together, but the decision is ultimately up to you. There will always be an opportunity for us to discuss your progress during our sessions.
Will you give me a medical diagnosis?
No. There will be parts of the issues that you bring that I may be able to give a name to (eg. depressive symptoms, anxiety, etc), but I cannot give you an official diagnosis as I am not a doctor.
Will counselling "cure" me?
Counselling is a treatment for mental illness, but not a cure. My aim is to help you understand some of the possible causes of how you feel and equip you with the tools to deal with these emotions and any contributory experiences or circumstances. The goal of counselling is to find and strengthen your internal resources to enable you to navigate problematic circumstances and some of your natural tendencies, which may, until now, have left you feeling unable to cope.
What qualifications and experience do you have?
I hold a Masters Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy from Roehampton University and am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I work as a counsellor in private practice and have experience in the charity sector and with the NHS.