"How can counselling help me?"
A counsellor can:
- help you to enhance your problem-solving skills, coping strategies and resilience
- offer a fresh perspective
- work with you to improve your interpersonal relationships
- sign-post you to other services that may help you in addition to counselling
"How confidential is counselling?"
There are a few limits to the confidentiality I offer to people using my services. I am legally required to report acts of terrorism. It is also possible for a judge to demand access to the confidential information I hold.
If you disclose that there is a serious risk to your own or someone else’s life, I have a procedure to evaluate the risk with the support of other professionals and would wish to support you in acting to remove that risk. In any case, I will inform the authorities if the risk is evaluated as serious, but will discuss this with you first.
If you disclose that a child is currently experiencing or is in danger of experiencing abuse, as defined by the Child Protection Act, I would wish to support you in acting to protect that child. If the abuse is serious I have procedures to act for the benefit and protection of the child that do not necessarily require the source of the information to be revealed.
Whenever possible, if I feel that we need to suspend confidentiality for one of these reasons, I would discuss the matter with you and arrange appropriate support before any action was taken.
I will also discuss our work together with my supervisor. A supervisor is a counselling and psychotherapeutic mentor, and all counsellors and psychotherapists have one who they talk with on a regular basis. This is an extra measure of safety for clients to ensure that your counsellor is doing the best work they can for you.
"How long does counselling last?"
I can offer single sessions, short-term work, and long-term work. I assess the length of work that best suits you and the issues you are bringing when we begin our work together.
"What can I talk about?"
Anything you like. Sometimes a session that you attend without a set plan for what you want to discuss can be one of the most effective sessions you can have.
"I tried counselling before and it didn't work. Why should I try it again?"
A few elements can impact the effectiveness of counselling. Counselling is the most effective when a client and counsellor feel 'right' together. It works best when you are open to the possibility of change, and are willing to participate in your own healing.
Counselling is more effective when done at the right time, and the right time is when you feel ready to grow. If not, then you may not be ready to commit to the work necessary on your side of the relationship for counselling to be effective.
If you feel that you did not have good chemistry with your previous counsellor, try switching to another one.
"Can I contact you between sessions?"
Counselling isn't an emergency service, and I generally ask for clients not to contact me in between sessions. If you are in need of extra support, please let me know, as I can offer up to two counselling sessions per week and help you plan the extra support you need. Beyond this you will need to seek further support via your GP, a psychiatric crisis unit, the NHS (111, option 2), or the Samaritans (116 123).
"What if my financial situation changes so I can't afford counselling any more?"
Changes to a person's financial situation are a part of life, so please let me know if this happens, and we can arrange to change together to change our terms. While I can only reduce my prices a certain amount, I will do my best to meet you on a price that works for both of us.