- 1 How can counselling help?
- 2 What kind of issues can counselling help with?
- 3 How do I arrange an appointment?
- 4 What will happen at the first session?
- 5 What can I expect from counselling?
- 6 What are your fees?
- 7 What are your qualifications and experience?
- 8 How frequent are the sessions and how long are they?
- 9 What happens if I need to cancel a session?
- 10 How many sessions am I likely to need?
- 11 What if I decide I want to stop the sessions?
- 12 Is what I tell you confidential?
- 13 Do you keep written notes of the sessions?
- 14 What do I do if I’m not happy about how counselling is going?
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help people manage and understand their feelings better. It can be an opportunity to get things off your chest, sometimes things you have never spoken to anybody about before. People often say that it’s easier to talk to a person who is completely separate from their lives and someone who will not give advice or pass judgements but will help you make your own sense of your situation. I help clients come to their own understanding about themselves, rather than providing them with advice. Counselling can help you to explore and express your thoughts and feelings about your life. These might relate to past events as well as to current issues. For example counselling can help to bring about improvements in relationships with family, friends and work colleagues.
What kind of issues can counselling help with?
Counselling can help with issues from the past, possibly stemming from difficulties in childhood and also with current issues such as relationship difficulties, bereavement and problems at work. People who would like to work on ongoing issues relating to low self-esteem, low confidence or managing anger or anxiety also find counselling helpful.
How do I arrange an appointment?
I offer a reduced fee initial consultation which is a chance for you to ask any questions you may have and to discuss your expectations. I offer weekday, evening and weekend appointments. To arrange a meeting please contact me: by phone 07982 750069, or email, or by using the Contact Form. I will reply to any messages promptly and can usually arrange an initial appointment within a week.
What will happen at the first session?
After our first contact, by phone or email, we will agree to meet for an initial consultation session. The purpose of this session is for us to decide together whether the type of counselling I offer is likely to help you. I will ask you to give me an overview of what your difficulties are and what you are hoping to gain from counselling but we won’t be going into any depth about your issues. I will explain how I work and you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have. You may not feel ready to decide whether to start counselling with me during this session; you may need to go away and think about it, which is fine. If we agree during this session that another type of counselling is likely to be more beneficial for you I will help you to find a different counsellor.
What can I expect from counselling?
I offer a welcoming, non-judgemental, authentic and safe presence. I encourage clients to express and explore their thoughts and feelings about their current situation and also about things that may have happened in the past. Counselling is not just a friendly chat discussing the week’s events as you would do with a friend or family member. I will not be offering an opinion or giving advice as they might do (though I may sometimes provide information which I think could help you). A counsellor is an impartial professional who is trained to listen in a non-judgemental way and to work with your emotions while not getting emotional themselves. One of my aims is to help you develop your understanding of yourself and of other people in your life and to help you come up with strategies and solutions for yourself, solutions that will work for you.
What are your fees?
The fee for counselling is £50.00 payable by cash, cheque or bank transfer. I ask clients to pay on, or (in the case of bank transfer) by, the date of the counselling session. I review my fees annually, in April. The fee for the first consultation session is £30.00. See the fee pages for supervision.
What are your qualifications and experience?
I am an accredited and registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). I have a Diploma in Person Centred Counselling, I have studied Transactional Analysis for two years and I have an MSc in Counselling from the University of Salford. I undertake regular professional development opportunities (via workshops and online training courses etc.). Having worked as a counsellor for 18 years in various settings including a GP Practice, Manchester University and Stockport College, I have worked with a diverse range of clients in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability and helped people deal with a wide range of issues. I have worked extensively with young people (16-30) and with clients experiencing low self-esteem and low self-confidence, people who have experienced abuse or bullying, people experiencing relationship difficulties and identity issues. I have worked extensively with clients of all ages in educational settings (college and university). As well as helping with general life issues I supported them with study related stress and anxiety.
How frequent are the sessions and how long are they?
The sessions last for 50 minutes, and generally occur weekly at the same time and day but this is open to negotiation. This is something we will discuss at the first session and we will review it on a regular basis. Initially I usually recommend weekly sessions as I have found this works best for most people; people sometimes reduce the frequency of sessions subsequently.
What happens if I need to cancel a session?
If you are unable to attend a session my preference is for us to rebook for another time that week or the following week. A very late cancellation of a session (less than 24 hours notice) or failure to attend a session could incur the full fee (unless this is due to a family emergency or sudden illness/accident). I will inform you well in advance if I am not going to be available, e.g. due to a holiday or training session. If I am not able to make a session, e.g. because of illness, I will give you as much notice as possible and will offer you an alternative session at the earliest convenient time.
How many sessions am I likely to need?
This will be negotiated between us. It is likely to be at least several weeks. Some clients attend for a few weeks, some for a few months and some for longer. Sometimes clients have a break and then return when they feel that counselling would be useful again. We will review every few weeks, to discuss how the counselling is going; part of this will be to look at how many more sessions to have.
What if I decide I want to stop the sessions?
You are free to end the counselling at any time and there will be no pressure on you to continue counselling against your wishes. This will be discussed during our work, as mentioned above and we will work towards an ending at the time it feels right for you.
Is what I tell you confidential?
Confidentiality is a very important part of the counselling process: its purpose is to provide you with privacy which can enable a deeper exploration of your difficulties. Information disclosed by clients is kept strictly confidential; the only occasion it might be broken is if there was a potential risk of serious harm to you or somebody else. In addition to this as a member of the BACP I am required to have regular clinical supervision and I will need to discuss our work with my supervisor form time to time. However I will not disclose yourname or anything that would enable you to be identified.
Do you keep written notes of the sessions?
I keep brief notes of sessions, which do not identify you by name and which are securely stored in a locked filing cabinet. These notes are kept for 6 years and then destroyed.
What do I do if I’m not happy about how counselling is going?
If you have any concerns about our work together please speak to me in the first instance. If this doesn’t resolve the issue for you and you wish to complain this should be directed to the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) the counselling body responsible for issues of professional conduct. As a member of the BACP I adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice which is available from the BACP website: https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/