I have a question...
Q. What type of counselling do you do?
A. My counselling and psychotherapy training is rooted in what is called 'person, or client centred' theories. This approach, grounded in humanistic psychology theory, is based on the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change, given the right conditions. In this, the therapist aims to provide the right conditions to help you come to terms with any negative feelings and to change and develop in your own way. Because of my nursing background, further training and military experience, I tend to work in more of an 'integrative' way. Integrative counselling looks at the whole person, and takes into account your mental, physical and emotional needs. I aim to bring a range techniques and tools from different therapy types, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to meet your individual needs.
Q. How many sessions will I need and how often?
A. The first part of the question is very difficult to answer. It very much depends on the nature of the issues that you bring. I have had clients who have felt much better after just a couple of sessions and others for whom satisfactory resolution takes longer. After the initial session or telephone call, it might be possible to determine an estimated time span. With regard to how often, I see most of my clients every two weeks.
Q. How long are the sessions?
A. A typical counselling session is 50 minutes.
Q. Will my sessions be recorded in any way?
A. I keep brief, handwritten notes that I make after the session. These are to help me to help you. I do not need or keep detailed personal demographic or medical notes. Occasionally sessions have been audio or video recorded, with client consent. This is usually for safeguarding purposes when a specific vulnerability has been identified. This is something which we will discuss at the start of therapy, if appropriate. From time to time clients come to me via a third party such as a solicitor, insurance company or trades union, for example. Organisations such as these often require assessments and reports so of course a written record would need to be made. We can discuss this if this applies to your case.
Q. I am concerned about confidentiality....
A. Confidentiality is crucial to the quality of therapeutic relationships and I take it very seriously. I will not discuss you or your therapy with anyone unless you give permission. Counsellors and therapists often receive clinical supervision from a suitably trained and experienced colleague. This process is designed to protect the interests of the client and the therapist In these instances, I anonymise my client with my supervisor.
Q. I'm ready to give it a try. What's the next step?
A. Either call or email me so we can arrange an initial chat at no cost to you. Please note that if you call, I might not answer straight away. Please leave me a message and I'lll call you back.