How do I know who is the right counsellor for me?
Only you can judge this for yourself. This is why it is important to have an initial session and see how it feels, and then make a decision for yourself. There are many different types of counselling available and many counsellors to choose from, however, research shows that the relationship someone has with their counsellor is more important than the method counsellors use or the level of experience. Making your own choice based on your own feelings, is important and self-empowering.
What happens when someone visits a counsellor?
My counselling consists of one or a series of confidential appointments of 50 mins in length at my counselling room. My approach provides you with the opportunity to make sense of your unique circumstances, and then enable you to identify your choices for change. I aim to help you feel supported during this process of change and ultimately reach a point where you are better equipped to cope with the future.
Is counselling confidential?
Everything we discuss is confidential. In normal circumstances neither you nor I are required to inform your work, your doctor or your family about our sessions. I will clarify at our first session where there are certain legal exceptions regarding confidentiality and disclosure of information. I do not share your personal details with anyone and your information is held securely under the terms of the Data Protection Acts.
What happens in our first appointment?
The first counselling session gives you the opportunity to express your concerns and what it is you want to gain from counselling. It’s a talking, listening and reflective process, with some spaces for quiet without demands being made of you. It offers you a chance to ask me questions and allows you to decide if I am the right counsellor for you at this time in your life.
What should I ask the counsellor at our first appointment?
It is recommended that you ask about the practicalities – time, place, cost and durations of meetings, plus charges for cancelled appointments. I will always make a “contract” with my clients, clearly setting out these points if you decide to proceed. Feel free to ask me any questions about my experience, training and qualifications, I am aware that you have a wide choice of counsellors, so it is key you feel confident in my abilities and approach. Using the first session will ensure that we are both clear about what you want and that you feel comfortable with the counsellor you choose.
How long does a counselling appointment and process last?
My sessions last 50 minutes and I find it more effective if we meet on a regular basis. How many sessions you would need depends on the reasons you may be seeking counselling. Some people have very specific issues where a few weeks would be appropriate. Others may require a longer time-scale. We will discuss this at your initial appointment.
What can therapy help with?
There is no definitive list for how we can work together to address your unique set of circumstances, however, therapy can provide you with the opportunity to:
- make sense of your individual circumstances
- identify your choices for change
- feel supported during the process of change
- reach a point where you are better equipped to cope with the future
- empower you to deal with issues in the event they may re-occur.
Why are there different approaches to therapy – what is the best one?
Different therapies have different styles. For instance, in cognitive behavioural therapy there will be ’homework’ to do. In bereavement therapy, there would be a lot of emphasis on supporting you through some difficult emotions. A psychodynamic counsellor would look at your past while another type of therapist might focus solely on your life in the present day. Some therapies concentrate on the future. Some are more spiritual – and so on.
My approach is called “Integrative” this means I am able to use elements from many of the theoretical approaches in my model. This allows me to work with a wide variety of tools to address each client’s specific requirements
How long will it take for me to start to feel better?
That is a hard question to quantify, this is not an exact science. However, my experience has shown that just to have a person able to truly listen to you, often has an immediate impact. From this we start the real process of counselling and working towards more positive outlook and future. In some sessions you may feel you have made great strides, and during others it may be tough and challenging. I will encourage you to see this as a fluid journey, and share any concerns you have with me as we work together.
Is counselling what I need or should I seek other help?
It is human to sometimes feel overwhelmed, lacking in confidence or just low. Getting the right kind of support can be vital to your future wellbeing and many people find that giving themselves the permission to reflect and unload helps them see more clearly to start concentrating once more on what lies ahead for the future. At our first meeting we will explore how you are feeling and will continue to monitor your emotional wellbeing. If at any time I believe you need additional help over and above counselling, I will refer you, with your permission, to the suitable person such as your doctor or an additional support facility.
Will I get hooked on therapy?
The goal of any talking treatment is your increased self-awareness, skill acquisition and independence. During therapy, some people may develop some feelings of reliance upon their therapist. Although a normal reaction it can, at times, feel worrying, but as a professional therapist I know exactly how to handle these feelings and I am genuinely only interested in helping you make progress.