What you can expect
Counselling can take different forms depending on your needs. Research suggests that the therapeutic relationship itself is more important for a good outcome than the theories your counsellor favours. It is therefore important for you to choose a counsellor that makes you feel safe, accepted and treated with respect and perhaps also challenges you in a positive constructive way. I offer a free 30 minute consultation, to help you decide whether I am the right counsellor for you.
At this consultation session, we will introduce ourselves. I will spend a few minutes introducing myself and how I work and you can introduce yourself and tell me why you are seeking counselling. You can ask me about my qualifications and experience, and anything you’re not sure about. We can then discuss how we would work together, should you decide that I am the right counsellor for you, we can make an appointment for your first session.
The assessment is to gather information about the problem(s) that you are experiencing. It is an opportunity for you to tell me what is troubling you. I will also need some contact and other basic information to keep you safe. We will also sort out a few basic things like where you would like to sit, and whether you use first names or are more formal.
We will formally agree the terms of how the counselling will be provided. Most counselling takes place in planned, regular sessions which last for around 50 minutes. How often you see me and how many appointments you have will depend on your individual circumstances, and will be agreed between us in this contract. The contract will also provide details of confidentiality and how I store your personal information.
I offer short term counselling (6-12 sessions) as well as open ended counselling. However, you can end counselling at any time.
You’ll get the best results from your counselling if you’re open and honest and say how you’re really feeling. Our relationship is very important and if we are to work effectively together, you should feel safe and able to take risks by disclosing and discussing sensitive issues. That includes being able to give me honest feedback on how you feel about your counselling and how we’re working together.
During a session, I may guide you through specific exercises designed to help with your problem, or we might have more general discussions about how you're feeling. What you talk about will vary depend on what you want help with.
What is counselling?
Counselling is a type of talking therapy that provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk to a trained professional about your thoughts, feelings and issues. A counsellor will not give you their opinions or advice, instead they will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and of others.
The key to effective counselling is providing you with a professional therapeutic relationship based on non-judgmental respect and offering empathic understanding. Counsellors may employ a number of additional ways of working to further support your healing and development, helping you find your own solutions, whether that's making effective changes in your life or finding ways of coping with your current situation.
How can it help me?
Counselling can help in many ways. It can help with many difficult situations, from coping with traumatic experiences and events, to dealing with depression and anxiety or managing harmful emotions and behaviours. It can help with positive events such as choosing a direction in life or reaching your full potential.
Perhaps you are feeling a ‘bit stuck’ and would value the viewpoint of a counsellor. There may be things from your past that you would like to tackle or there may be things in the present that you want to try and change. Perhaps you are experiencing significant events in your life such as getting married and starting a family, leaving home for the first time or coming to terms with the death of a loved one.