I've heard that there are different types of counselling. What kind of counselling do you do and how do I know if this is right for me?
That's right. Different counsellors approach their sessions from different counselling theories. For example, you may be familiar with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and may have accessed this kind of counselling before.
I work from what is called a humanistic integrative perspective, which sounds a bit long winded, but basically means that I believe you have the capacity to find your own answers and solutions to your difficulties (after all, you are the expert in yourself), but that you may need someone to help you to find them. I have training and experience in using different counselling theories which I draw on to help me help you. I tailor sessions to meet your own individual needs and your preferred ways of working together.
I understand that finding the right therapist and kind of counselling for you is most important. This is why I offer a free 20 minute no obligation consultation to help you decide if you want to go ahead with a counselling session.
I notice that you charge the same fee for face to face, online and telephone sessions. Also, do you offer a reduced rate for the first session?
All counselling sessions are charged at £45, regardless of how or when they take place. The reason for this is that, whatever mode of counselling you choose, you can be sure you are getting the same level of service from me in terms of time, input and expertise. I do not consider one method of accessing counselling to be better than another, rather that it offers you, as the client, more choice and control over how you want to use your time. Having choice also means that counselling is a more available option for you if you work, have childcare or caring issues or you have difficulties getting to a counselling session. The exception to this is that email counselling is £40 per email, which reflects the fact that I am able to work more flexibly in terms of time and you have not booked an actual time slot for us to work together.
Similarly, I don't offer a reduced first session because our counselling work together starts from the first moment we meet. Many clients say they feel better just from knowing they have started their journey to make things better and they have found a safe, non-judgemental place to talk about whatever they need to and be heard, even after the first session.
What will happen at the first session? I'm a bit nervous because I have never had counselling before.
That is perfectly understandable. It's only natural to be a bit anxious about something new, especially when you are finding life tough anyway just now. At our first session, I will explain all about counselling and go though our counselling contract to make sure you are happy with it and want to go ahead with the session. I also will ask you a few simple questions about yourself, just to give me a bit of background and help me understand you and your difficulties better. I will then invite you to tell me something about what has brought you to counselling, and what you hope to get out of it. This will help me decide which ways of working may be most helpful to you. You are free to bring anything you want to the session, or even to be unsure where to start. The main purpose of our first session is for us to start to get to know each other and to begin to form our all important counselling relationship. I want you be able to feel you are in a safe enough place to talk about whatever is troubling you, even if it is difficult, but I recognise it takes time to build that trust in your counsellor. Hopefully, the first session will begin to put you at ease, so that counselling feels a little less daunting.
I have had counselling before and I didn't find it very helpful. How do I know this time it will be any different?
Quite a few clients come to sessions saying they have had this experience, and it can be quite off putting. Sometimes it can be that the type of counselling they accessed wasn't the right kind for them, or that they didn't get on with that particular counsellor. Sometimes it can even be that it wasn't the right time for them to be able to engage properly with counselling. Maybe there were too many other things they need to deal with, or they just couldn't fit in regular appointments so that it was difficult to make or see any useful changes. Of course, I can't guarantee that this time everything will work perfectly first time or that all your difficulties will be overcome in a couple of sessions. They probably won't. Counselling isn't a quick fix and it isn't an easy thing to do. You are welcome to contact me for a chat beforehand to see if you want to go ahead if you need to get more information or voice your concerns, and remember you are under no obligation to continue with counselling. You can end the sessions anytime you wish to, you are in control. However, perhaps the fact that you are looking at my website suggests you think it may be worth giving counselling another try!
How many sessions do you think I will need?
While it isn't possible to say exactly how many sessions you will need, remarkable progress can be made in a relatively few number of sessions. I am experienced in working in both long and short term counselling and much depends on what difficulties you want to work on, and how much time you are willing to commit to it. We will decide the best way to work for you at our first session, taking these things into consideration. The ideal time to end is when we both feel you are ready and you are happy you have achieved what you wanted to. Remember, you are in charge of the sessions and it is always your choice. Also, the number of sessions isn't set at the beginning, we can be as flexible about that as you need to be, adding more if you think it would be useful to you.
How do I pay for my sessions? What happens if I need to cancel?
Payment can be made by bank transfer and is requested 24 hours before the session. If you need to cancel, please give 24 hours notice, then no payment will be due. Cancellations within 24 hours of the session will be charged at full rate. If I need to cancel a session which has been paid for, I will endeavour to rearrange the session as soon as possible.