FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT SESSION?
The first session you attend is known as an 'Assessment Session'.
During this session I will ask you questions about you, your history and what brings you to Counselling. I will give you the opportunity to tell me your story and to ask any questions that you may have. We will discuss what you would like to talk about during Counselling and what your expectations of Counselling are. It is also an opportunity for us to find out whether or not we can work together.
At the end of this session we will discuss which type of Counselling would be most suitable for your requirements and arrange continuing sessions if appropriate.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If we both decide that it would be appropriate for you to continue coming for Counselling sessions with me then we will arrange a regular time that is convenient for both of us for your sessions. These sessions will normally take place on the same day, at the same time each week.
If it becomes apparent to either of us during the Assessment Session that Counselling with me isn't the appropriate option then I can support you in finding a more suitable option.
HOW LONG DOES A SESSION LAST FOR?
Each Counselling Session lasts for 50 minutes.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO COME FOR?
This will depend on what you want to achieve from Counselling. We would discuss your requirements during your Assessment Session.
Some people come with a specific problem that can be talked about and resolved within a few sessions, some people come for a few months and some people come for years.
Some people will come for their initial Assessment Session and find the answers they are looking for an don't feel the need to come for any further sessions.
Sometimes people come to Counselling for one concern and discover during their sessions that there are other concerns that they also wish to talk about. If this is the case then the initial agreement can be re-negotiated and more sessions can be offered if appropriate.
WHAT DOES INTEGRATIVE COUNSELLING MEAN?
Integrative Counselling is a combination of the 3 main theoretical approaches to Counselling:
Person-Centred: I use this theory to building a trusting, empathic, accepting and genuine relationship between us. By valuing you as a person, without judging you, I can help you to learn about and accept who you are.
Psychodynamic theory: I use this theory to help you to make connections between what is going on for you in your current life with past experiences and relationships. By helping you to bring unconscious thoughts and feelings into your conscious mind you will able to understand patterns of behaviour and any defence mechanisms you are using.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy): I use the theory of CBT to help you to identify and challenge any self-defeating or irrational beliefs and behaviours. I will also use CBT theory to help you to cope with problems such as panic attacks, anxiety and phobias.
Being trained in Integrative Counselling gives me the flexibility to be able to offer a different approach to Counselling according to your specific needs.
WILL YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO?
No. Counsellors aren't there to tell you what to do. They're there to encourage you to explore your options and to come to your own decisions.
WHAT IF I'M LATE FOR A SESSION?
You will be given a start and finish time for your sessions. If you arrive late the session will still end at the finish time and you will still be liable for the full fee.
I WORK SHIFTS SO WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO COME ON THE SAME DAY EVERY WEEK.
I do have a certain amount of flexibility in the days and times of appointments I have available each week so may be able to accommodate you.
Please let me know when you come for your Assessment Session and we can discuss this then.
WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE A SESSION?
As your session time is set aside for you I do require at least 24 hours notification of cancellation otherwise I reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee.
I do understand that there may be times when you are unable to make your regular time and can sometimes offer an alternative appointment, depending on my availability.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
My fees are £45 per session.
The fee for the Assessment Session is also £45.
I offer a limited number of reduced fee appointments. These are reserved for those on a low income and for Student Counsellors. If you think this may apply to you please contact me.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY FOR COUNSELLING?
There are free Counselling services available, either on the NHS as part of their IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) scheme or by charities. However, there may be a long waiting list, you will normally be only offered 6-12 sessions of therapy based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or online therapy and you wouldn't have much choice as to who you see or when the sessions will be.
Seeing a Private Counsellor gives you the opportunity to take control of who you see, where and when you see them and for how long. It also gives you the opportunity to decide which type of Counselling is right for you.
OTHER COUNSELLORS OFFER A FREE ASSESSMENT, CAN YOU DO THIS?
I don't offer a free Assessment or any free Counselling Sessions.
However, if you are unsure whether Counselling is right for you I can offer you an Informal Consultation during which I will give you more information on the approach to Counselling I would use when working with you and offer you alternative suggestions should Counselling with me not be the appropriate choice for you.
Please note that this would NOT be a Counselling Session but an opportunity to find out more information.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE CHOSEN THE RIGHT COUNSELLOR?
During the Assessment Session you will get an idea of whether or not you feel comfortable talking to me and whether or not you feel you could continue talking to me about your innermost thoughts and feelings.
If you don't feel comfortable talking to me then it is possible that I'm not the right person for you.
WHAT IF I DECIDE I DON'T WANT TO COME ANY MORE?
If you decide, for whatever reason, that you no longer want to come for your sessions I would ask that you discuss this with me during one of your sessions before making the decision to stop coming.
However, if you fail to attend 2 sessions without contacting me then I will assume that you no longer want to continue and will invoice you for the missed sessions.
WILL YOU TELL ANYONE WHAT I TALK ABOUT?
Counselling is confidential.
I am obliged to break this confidentiality if there is an immediate risk of harm to you to to someone else and for certain legal reasons. I would discuss this with you first if possible.
I have regular Supervision where I talk about the work I'm doing with my clients in order to ensure that I'm working in the correct way. I don't however disclose my clients personal details to my Supervisor and anything discussed during these sessions remains confidential between myself and my supervisor within the limitations outlined above.
WILL YOU GIVE ME 'HOMEWORK'?
Some therapies (especially CBT based therapies) involve homework as a part of the Therapy.
When working with you I believe that the process of Counselling continues naturally between sessions. I will encourage you to think about things or to practice certain techniques between sessions. I may, in certain circumstances ask you to complete worksheets but this would only be if you request a 'tool' to help you with your therapy.
Some clients chose to keep a journal or diary as they find this quite therapeutic.