WHAT IS COUNSELLING/PSYCHOTHERAPY? HOW DOES IT WORK?
Counselling/psychotherapy is a process where you have an opportunity to talk to someone who is professionally trained to listen attentively and with empathy about your struggles. It is carried out in a confidential, safe and non-judgemental environment. Usually you talk about anything that is on your mind and anything can be a suitable subject for discussion in the consulting room. The aim of a counsellor is to facilitate the exploration of the troubles and issues brought by you in such a way which allows you, the client to get a greater understanding of your struggles. Provide an opportunity to try things in a new way in a safe and confidential environment, increasing the capacity of choice which can further lead to growth and change.
Counselling involves a working contract where we agree to meet weekly, on an ongoing basis. It is an important contract and forms the basis of the counselling.
The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) provide a helpful explanation of counselling and what you can expect. If you want to find out more just click here.
WHY GET COUNSELLING? IS MY PROBLEM BIG ENOUGH? WILL IT HELP ME? WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE COME FOR COUNSELLING?
Usually people feel unsure about whether they need counselling. In my experience, I find people struggle to ask for help and question if their problems are significant enough in comparison with others.
People commonly think that in order to seek counselling you must be going through crisis or through a major life event. This may be true for some people but in reality most people come for counselling for a range of common issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, relationship problems, family problems, lack of self-confidence or a general sense of dissatisfaction with life.
Whatever your problem, dilemma or issue is, it deserves attention, consideration and understanding.
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT STYLES OF COUNSELLING. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM? HOW DO I KNOW WHICH COUNSELLOR IS RIGHT FOR ME?
The initial session will give you a chance to see how you feel about working with me.
This will be an opportunity for you to ask me about my style of work or any other queries that you may have about the therapeutic process in general. It is very important that the therapeutic space we create, makes you feel safe. We have to be mindful though, that often this takes time.
Counsellors work in very different ways from one another. There are so many different approaches, for example:
Psychodynamic Approach looks at deep rooted issues which have a link to your past, to your childhood and family patterns. It gives you a sense of what may be happening now, linking past patterns to the present, making sense of it all and moving ahead with change.
Cognitive Behavioural Approach: this can be a shorter term therapy programme with the focus being on building coping strategies to manage your presenting issues.
The British association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) have an A-Z of the different counselling techniques that are used so if you want to find out more, then just click here…..
FOR HOW LONG WILL I NEED COUNSELLING?
The number of sessions that you can have are not fixed. It depends entirely on your issues, your situation and the type of changes that you want to make in your life.
Some people may decide to use counselling to support them in their daily life. It can encourage reflection and learning from life experiences, family dynamics and relationships. Others, come into counselling with a clear goal and leave once they feel that their goal has been met.
Whether you come for counselling because of a major life event, with a specified goal or as a support for personal reflection, learning, change and growth, the counselling process takes time. It moves according to your own pace.
I am experienced in working long term with individuals, which can be for a number of years. Equally, I work short term (6-10 sessions) for more focussed work.
How many sessions you want to have is entirely up to you
CAN I TRY A FEW SESSIONS BEFORE I DECIDE WHETHER I WANT A LONG TERM COMMITMENT?
Yes, after our initial free introductory meeting if we decide to work together, we contract for 6 paid sessions. At the end of that we have a review and together we discuss and decide whether counselling sessions with me could help you or whether it is better to end there.
HOW I OFTEN DO I ATTEND SESSIONS?
Sessions are offered weekly, on the same day and at the same time. That means that we meet for one session a week. If required I am also able to offer sessions twice a week.
In my practice, I have seen that counselling is most effective when it takes place regularly.
Longer gaps between sessions can reduce the therapeutic effectiveness of the counselling process. Counselling is an ongoing process which involves working on the self and it needs continuity which becomes difficult to achieve if sessions are infrequent.
DO I PAY IF I MISS A SESSION?
I charge for missed sessions unless I receive 48 hours’ notice. This is because your session time is reserved solely for your use and I do not offer it out to another client if you cancel your session. The cancellation fee effectively holds your space for you. In the event that your plans change and you can attend your session after all, I will still be able to see you.
Cancellation of less than 48 hours’ notice will incur the full cost of the session.
Failure to attend a session without notifying me will incur the full cost of the session.
If I need to cancel a session with you, no charges will be incurred.