Frequently Asked Questions
How do counselling/psychotherapy work?
Often people start counselling/psychotherapy when they have tried all other options of coping (such as speaking to family, friends, and partners) and still feel stuck about what to do next.
Counselling and psychotherapy is based on the idea that by sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences with someone in a safe, non-judgemental environment, you can begin to process them. Processing your experiences means you are staying with these experiences long enough to make sense of them. This generates insight, an internal process which can lead to change. This is why it is important that you choose a therapist who you feel is a good fit with your personality and you own way of working.
What is the difference between counselling & psychotherapy?
Some people think that there is no difference between the two and that psychotherapy is just a term more used in the past to describe the talking therapy. Others believe that counselling is often more short-term work focusing on issues caused by unexpected external events in which people need a safe space to process what has happened. Psychotherapy is often much longer-term (at least12 months) work on more deep-seated issues that are causing distress.
What should I be looking for in a counsellor/psychotherapist?
The most important part of counselling/ psychotherapy is the relationship between the client and the counsellor/ psychotherapist. Therefore you need to feel like you can connect with, and be able to build a trusting relationship with your counsellor/psychotherapist. Talking to potential counsellors/psychotherapists on the phone, or meeting them for an informal assessment will help you make your decision. Trust your instinct as every person is very different and not all counsellors/ psychotherapists suit all clients. Furthermore, it is important that you work with a counsellor/psychotherapist who is sufficiently qualified, has rounded experience and has done in-depth personal development through his/her own personal therapy.
How long will counselling/psychotherapy take?
That depends on the reason that brings you into counselling/psychotherapy. A specific problem can be processed in a short and limited period (six to twelve sessions). Some people find psychotherapy a worthwhile way of improving the quality of their life and gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and they carry on therapy even though the initial problem has been tackled. Every person is different and the length of the therapy is tailored according to your individual needs.
How much will counselling/psychotherapy cost?
Fees are agreed on an individual basis and usually range from £35 to £55 payable by cash or debit/credit card. The duration of the session is 50 minutes.
Can I talk to you before booking my first session?
Of course you can. If you have any questions before booking your first session I will be happy to answer via email or telephone.
How can I start the sessions?
When you first contact me, we will have a brief conversation by phone or correspond via email. This initial consultation is an opportunity for you to meet me and get a sense of what therapy is like. You will have the opportunity to talk about what brings you to therapy, what you hope to achieve through our work together and we will discuss whether weekly psychotherapy sessions can be helpful to you, or whether a different type of help would be more beneficial. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions or share any concerns you have about starting therapy and to decide if you like me, if you feel you can trust me and want to continue. During the initial consultation I will also gather some information from you such as contact details, brief family history, current medication, and we will talk about the practicalities of therapy (frequency of sessions and terms).
How often are the sessions?
Ideally we will agree to meet on a weekly basis, on the same day, and on the same time.
When can I book a session?
Appointments are available from 9am to 8pm. Weekend appointments are subject to availability.
What about confidentiality in counselling/psychotherapy?
Confidentiality is at the heart of building a trusting relationship. Our conversations will be confidential and this confidentiality continues to apply after you have ended your therapy. Circumstances when confidentiality may be breached will be discussed in the first session.
In my practice I use email to communicate with clients and potential clients about matters such as appointments and payments. If you are concerned about the security of emails, then please do not mail sensitive information, or choose an alternative means of communication. Call me using WhatsApp or Viber if you prefer.
Client contact details are kept on my personal computer and devices which are encrypted and password-protected. My client notes are kept, on paper, in a secure, locked cabinet. Your contact details are not shared with a third party. However, there are exceptions to confidentiality which are the same as required legally and ethically by most qualified, accredited therapists. These exceptions are explained in the first session as well as in the client agreement. You can contact me to ask for this in advance if you prefer. I follow the ethical codes of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
What happens if I need to cancel, reschedule/postpone an appointment?
If you need to cancel, reschedule or postpone a session you need to give me 48 hours notice. If not there will be a full fee charge. This cancellation policy allows me to plan ahead and maintain a stable practice for all my clients.
Do you offer couples counselling?
I am sorry but I currently work only with individuals.