Frequently asked questions
What is counselling and how can it help you?
Life can be complicated and many of us have times when we feel we aren't coping. Sometimes we can lose a sense of ourselves, finding it difficult to see a way forward. Talking to someone who is trained to listen to you and who is not directly involved can help you to begin to make sense of your feelings and relationships. Counselling can give you space and time to explore things that may be uncomfortable and painful helping you to make informed choices, working out what is going on for you. Counselling can also help you see things from a new perspective and help you make changes.
What issues can counselling help with?
Counselling can help with a wide range of problems and it is often difficult to put some feelings into words or work out where they have come from. Counselling can help make sense of how you feel by talking to someone who is trained to listen to you.
Some areas that I have worked with recently are - abuse, addiction, anger, anxiety, ageing, bereavement, career changes, depression, divorce, domestic violence, health related anxiety, loss, menopause, mental health problems, redundancy and retirement, relationships, self esteem, self-harm, sexual abuse, sexual orientation, spirituality, stress, trauma, work and study related problems.
Is counselling confidential?
Everything you tell me is held in confidence, I take your confidentiality very seriously and will only consider speaking to someone else if you tell me you there is a significant risk of harm to you or someone else.
There are some legal exceptions to confidentiality, such as child protection and the protection of vulnerable adults where I have a duty of care to report any risk of abuse. Wherever possible, I would discuss this with you before talking to anyone else.
What will the first session be like?
Generally, we will have chatted on the telephone before we meet face to face. In the first session we will be talking through the personal contact form, confidentiality policy as well as your own goals and hopes for therapy. We will make a contract and working agreement for meeting times and expectations. We will start to explore what has brought you to counselling. There will be time to ask questions to ensure you fully understand what counselling offers and how it could be helpful to you.
In addition, if your first session is online we will have spoken on the telephone before our first session and arranged an initial online appointment. Prior to this session you will have received an initial details form, a contract and in a separate email a link to our first appointment via a Zoom link. In the first session we will talk through these forms and how we will manage online working, specifically we will look at what happens if we lose internet connection and keeping you safe online.
Timing of Sessions
Each session will last 50 minutes and is normally weekly or fortnightly at the same time every week. It is entirely up to you how long you come to counselling, some people find the support they need in a few sessions and other people like to come for longer. Short term work can help with a specific issue or simply offer some support in a time of crisis. Longer term work can lead to more profound changes.
What is expected of you?
Counselling can feel difficult and uncomfortable emotions may arise for you during the process. It is important that you understand this and let me know what is going on for you so I can support you to a more comfortable place in line with your expectations of counselling.
If we meet and you do not feel that you would be able to open up to me, I can suggest other counsellors or directories where you can find someone who you get on with. I will be asking you regularly how you feel the work is progressing.
Should you become unable to make an agreed session I would appreciate as much notice as possible so we can rearrange the session.
What precautions are being made to keep clients safe against Covid infection?
At present all sessions are being held online. It is expected that face to face counselling will resume for some clients at the end of July 2020 (date to be confirmed). This information area will be updated with specific information at this point regarding starting face to face sessions, please feel free to message me if you have any queries about this.