What is counselling?
Counselling provides a safe, confidential space in which you can explore whatever it is that’s troubling you. It is different from talking to a friend or colleague because it is a contractual agreement that sets out times, dates, costs and number of sessions etc and counsellors work within an ethical framework which guides and informs how they practice. The sessions are protected by rules around confidentiality meaning you can feel safe talking about anything without worrying about people around you finding out. Counselling also differs from talking to a friend because as counsellors we don’t give advice or come up with solutions. Counselling assumes that the client is the best person to decide what’s best for them but it does provide the space and support to uncover what this might be.
What is the difference between psychotherapy & counselling?
Counselling is usually shorter term and is often more solution focused. Psychotherapy is longer term and looks in depth at the underlying patterns in your current life relationships. What you choose depends on your specific needs and what you would like to achieve from the work.
How does psychotherapy & counselling work?
Research indicates that counselling and psychotherapy is effective for depression, anxiety and stress-related ailments by focusing on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. It involves self-reflection, self-examination and the use of the relationship between therapist and client as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient’s life. Inner contradictions and emotional blind-spots are gently revealed and resolved. Psychotherapy sets in motion psychological processes that lead to ongoing change even after therapy has ended.
What happens at a first session?
Once we have introduced ourselves, we would discuss together what’s brought you to counselling at this time and what you are hoping for from attending. I would then discuss with you my approach and the way that I work. Through that, we would both get a sense of how we might want to work with each other.
If we decide to work together we will also agree a regular structured time, which will become your regular weekly hour until our work comes to an end.
How long are the sessions?
As a practitioner, I work face to face with adult individuals who are 18 and above. Each session is fifty minutes long.
How many sessions will I need?
It’s difficult to say how many sessions each person may need as everyone is unique. However, at the first session, we will agree to an initial number of sessions and then review as we go along. Normally, three sessions are planned initially which will be followed by a review, when the decision is made to book further sessions as appropriate. The process is collaborative so we will decide together what feels right.
Are sessions confidential?
All sessions are confidential which means whatever we talk about remains between us. Any notes or personal information I hold is kept securely locked away, and only I have access to these records.
The only time I may have to break confidence would be if I become aware that you may be a threat to yourself or to those around you, but I would discuss this with you beforehand.
It is a requirement for UKCP registration that all trainee counsellors and psychotherapists have regular supervision. As a psychotherapeutic counsellor in training, I will need to audio tape our sessions. This will help me prepare my work for supervision. During supervision, I may talk about our work together but the focus will be on my work rather than what you bring to sessions. My supervisor will not have access to any personal information about you.