Why should I try counselling? People decide to come to therapy for many reasons some of which may be; Anxiety Depression Stress Grief Relationship issues Low confidence Low self-esteem Bullying in school or in the workplace Whatever your reason for seeking therapy, simply talking can be tremendously helpful. If you have never experienced counselling or psychotherapy before, you may not be aware of the positive effect talking to someone who is trained to listen and respond effectively can have. I can offer you that opportunity to talk and be listened to and explore all your thoughts and feelings and help you to discover a way through them. Through personal and professional experience I am able to understand what it is like to feel lost or troubled and that sometimes you just do not have anyone to talk to – I will help you to tell me what is concerning you by; Listening effectively and carefully without making judgements Offering empathy Helping you to make better sense of what is troubling you, your experiences, thoughts and emotions Recognising patterns of behaviour Providing you with better self-awareness When you allow yourself the time and space to be heard, and when you feel someone is really listening to you, it can enable you to have the strength to make positive and lasting changes. Therapy can equip you to move on more easily, increase your resilience and enable you to make positive changes going forward – all you need to do is take the first step. How do I know when I need therapy? The following are just a few signs that show you may benefit from talking to someone who is able to guide you through the life changes/difficulties you may be experiencing. Experiencing physical or mental abuse Feeling depressed, anxious or stressed Having relationship difficulties at home and/or work Had a bereavement or loss and you feel you are not coping Having difficulties with your sleep patterns or increase nightmares/dreams Eating too much or too little Feeling you have lost hope and/or feeling helpless Divorced/separated from your spouse and feeling lost A change in family or work circumstances Feeling irritable Loss of concentration What can I talk about? Anything! Whatever is troubling you, no subject is taboo, I am not here to judge you. How confidential is counselling? Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of counselling. You need to feel you are able to bring anything to the session and it will always be respected and treated in confidence. There are two exceptions to confidentiality, one legal and one ethical. It is a legal obligation on me to inform the police if you disclose anything covered by the Terrorism Act 2000 or anything connected to drug money laundering under the Criminal Law (Consolidation) Act 1995. In these cases, I must inform the police without first informing you. If I fail to do so then I am breaking the law. The ethical case where I may choose to break confidentiality is where I have reason to believe there is a danger of harm to yourself or to a third party or a child protection concern. In this case, I will if at all possible discuss the matter with you first and try to agree a joint course of action. I may make brief notes after each session these will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection act (1998). These are purely to help me in my work with you. They are disclosed to no one other than my clinical supervisor. These notes will be securely stored. We will discuss the disposal retention or otherwise of any such counselling notes at the end of our engagement. Supervision is mandatory by the BACP for all counsellors to see a qualified counsellor and supervisor once a month. This is to ensure I am always monitoring the effectiveness of my practice and continuing professional, personal development. In discussing clients with my supervisor, the focus is on my work as a counsellor and no details which could identify you are used in that discussion. How long does counselling last? This can be an individual requirement and depends on many factors. I have experience working on a short and long-term basis. Once we have met and we both have decided to continue to meet, we will discuss a regular meeting schedule. Usually this would be once a week but can be negotiated at the initial visit. You are free to end the sessions at any point and this can be raised at any time. What will be the best type of therapy for me? After the initial assessment session I will discuss the therapy options I am able to offer for the specific problem that brought you into therapy and the most suitable time period to deal with the specific issue. Do you need to tell my GP? We usually discuss and agree the need for this at the beginning of our work together. It may be a good idea to let your GP know if they are already involved in your treatment. I would not inform your GP without your consent. Can I bring a friend? Initially, if you felt that you needed additional support, it is possible to have a friend come with you. However, normally Counselling is a very personal experience so you would not normally have a friend stay with you though the session, though they would be welcome to bring you to your appointment and escort you into the counselling room, but would then have to leave, maybe picking you up later. How much does it cost? Depending upon your age and circumstances, each session costs between £15 and £45. All fees are reviewed annually. Do you see children/families? No, I focus on individual counselling with adults. What hours do you work? I appreciate these days that people lead busy lives and so to make counselling as flexible and accessible as possbile I offer slots on both evenings and weekends. I work some evenings during the week up until 9pm and also offer some sessions on a Saturday morning. Do you have a waiting list? Sometimes a waiting list is unavoidable. Generally though it is usual for people to be seen within a week of contacting me. Is it easy to park? Yes. Parking is available right outside.