What is counselling?
An experienced therapist can provide you with a safe, confidential, non-judgmental space in which you can come to understand and accept yourself and your feelings more fully, and in which new insights and possibilities for the future can emerge.
My role as a counsellor is to facilitate exploration and processing of your own inner experience, which often leads to change and growth. You won’t ever be given advice or be pressurised into making changes that don’t feel right for you, but you will be challenged to consider new and more empowering ways of thinking and behaving, which can lead to constructive changes and/or a greater acceptance of the way things are.
What problems can counselling help with?
In counselling, you can talk about anything that is bothering you, however large or small the problem seems to you. Your concern may be about something that happened years ago, or you may need to talk about a particular problem in your current life. It may be that you are not aware of a specific problem, but are aware of underlying feelings of unease or sadness that you’d like to explore.
Some of the issues and concerns people bring to counselling are:
- Depression and anxiety
- Difficulties in expressing or controlling anger
- The impact of bullying or abuse
- Relationship difficulties
- Affairs and betrayals
- Separation and divorce
- Gender and sexuality
- Facing difficult decisions
- Addressing unwanted patterns of behaviour, eg. addictions, unhealthy eating habits, self-harming
- Trauma symptoms
If you are experiencing emotional pain that just won’t go away, or if you feel you need a bit of help with finding a way forward, it is worth talking it through.
What to expect
The first appointment
If you are interested in having counselling, the first step is to contact me to book a session so that you can decide whether you would like us to work together and consider whether counselling is the most appropriate form of help for you at this time. If you decide to continue, I will ask you to sign a contract which outlines the boundaries within which the counselling will take place.
Getting the most out of counselling
Counselling is not a quick fix, and gaining the maximum benefit from the process demands commitment. You will therefore need to meet with me on a weekly basis at first, in order to sustain momentum and progress.
Counselling will make demands on your time, energy and finances. It is therefore important to consider whether you are in the right place in your life to embark on a course of counselling and whether you have the financial resources to sustain the process for as long as it takes for you to feel that your issues are sufficiently resolved.
You are asked to commit to six weekly sessions at first, which will allow sufficient time for us to develop a working relationship and for you to get a sense of whether you want to continue with counselling.
It is not possible to tell at the outset how many counselling sessions you will need. Some people need only a few weeks of counselling, others months or years, depending on the complexity of the problem, amongst other things. However, you will never be pressurised to have more sessions than you actually need or want, and you are free to leave counselling at any time.
All information disclosed during the counselling process is held in the strictest confidence. There are one or two exceptions to this, which will be discussed with you during the first session.
48 hours’ notice is required in order to cancel or rearrange a session. Cancellation charges are as follows:
24 – 48 hours’ notice – 50% of the session fee is payable.
Less than 24 hours’ notice, or if you fail to attend a booked session – the full session fee is payable.
Normally the counselling process will end when we both feel that the time is right for you to move on. However, you are free to end counselling any time you like.
Wanting to finish counselling without notice may be part of a pattern of avoiding dealing with conflict, anger, sadness or other feelings. It may be really helpful for you to have the opportunity to process this before ending counselling.