WHAT IS COUNSELLING?
Conselling is basically a talking therapy. Its premise is that through talking with another person with whom we have a trusting relationship, we can discover ways to unravel problems and move forwards in our lives.
DOES IT HELP?
Research has shown that counselling is effective. This may seem odd for "just talking", but it is much more than this: at its best, counselling is being with another human being who seems to "get you" and fully accept you, helps you accept and understand yourself, and empowers you through the relationship and through their expertise.
In fact, the most powerful thing in therapy has been shown to be the quality of the relationship. So, I would always recommend you try a few counsellors and continue with the one you get on with the most.
You will, of course, find that some sessions are less helpful than others, or that change may take time. I'm afraid there is simply a balance here of "trusting the process", even if it's not evident every session, whilst also talking about your concerns with your counsellor and reviewing what may have been helpful, less helpful, or unhelpful. You should expect your counsellor to be open to, and even encourage, such conversations.
IS IT SAFE?
I would always recommend that you go to a counsellor who is registered with a governing body. For me, this is the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). This will help ensure your safety as the counsellor will be properly trained and abide by an Ethical Framework (BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions). You should, for example, expect a high value placed on confidentiality and boundaries to the relationship, which should be agreed from the outset.
You should also expect the counsellor to take your lead in many ways: while they may challenge you at times, you are in control, e.g., over how many sessions you have, what to focus on in sessions and how you may want to work. You should also expect the counsellor to accept what you bring, without judgement or telling you what to do.
Nevertheless, counselling is also a process that can be difficult. It can uncover things forgotten or ignored that may take time to work through once disturbed. The counsellor should be there with you, helping you through the process and out to the other side.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The fee for each session is £75. I also have a limited number of slots each week at reduced rates should this be helpful.
HOW DOES ONLINE COUNSELLING WORK?
I offer counselling via the video call platform Zoom. You will book a session time with me and receive a link for the session by email. You just need to click on the link and this will lead you to the meeting.
In the event that we lose our connection due to technological difficulties, I will always attempt to re- establish the connection. If this is not possible, I will contact you by an alternative method (eg email or phone) to either continue the session or reschedule.
IS IT CONFIDENTIAL?
Your confidentiality is highly valued. I will not disclose anything discussed unless I have good reason to believe you or something else is at risk of serious harm, or where I am obliged to do so. Wherever possible, I will talk this through with you beforehand.
As a member of the BACP, I am required to have regular supervision and will need to discuss our work with my supervisor from time to time. All of our discussions will be treated with the same confidentiality by my supervisor.
You should do all that you can to find a private and undisturbed place for our sessions. If you feel confident that you cannot be overheard, you will be able to engage in the session more fully.
We will both agree not to make any kind of recording of sessions conducted by phone or video-link.
You are responsible for the security of your devices, employing password-protection, having regularly updated virus-checkers and firewalls installed etc. (Please discuss any concerns with me).
I will ensure that my devices are secure at all times as above.