FAQs

This page is still under construction…

If you have any specific questions about my practice or counselling in general please do check out the FAQs below.

However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here please do visit my Contact Me page to see how to get in touch by phone or e-mail.

About the overall counselling journey

Even though counselling often involves you talking and me listening it is far more than that. Try it and see how you feel during and after sessions. You may feel invigorated, drained, or relieved in a way you never would after a casual chat with a friend. This is a complex subject but I have written more about how what counselling is and, in particular, how I work here.

Counselling is not a passive experience.  When you talk about stuff you are also making new connections, processing memories, identifying and changing fundamental beliefs, accessing inner resources, discovering new options and much more.  I also believe strongly that just the act of being full heard and understood by another human being can be fundamentally healing by itself.

Your feelings are probably a normal, healthy response to the difficulties of life. There are many reasons why you might feel ‘negative’ feelings – perhaps you’ve experienced loss, injustice or trauma or perhaps your life just isn’t working out the way you wanted.

If you are frequently overwhelmed by intense feelings to the point you cannot function we may have to look at techniques to help you manage and regulate your emotions but there is nothing anyone can do to take them away entirely. Similarly, if you have experienced intense loss or traumatic events in your life there is nothing anyone can do to change what happened to you or make you forget.

However, counselling can help you process what happened and to move on with your life. Ironically learning to feel our feelings rather than fighting them is the often the way to loosen the grip they have on us. You will still carry the grief and pain but it will, perhaps, weigh less heavily on you.

That’s OK.

Some clients are able to explain very clearly and concisely what they want from counselling. Others find it much harder to articulate what they need or aren’t even sure what that is.

If that last one sounds like you – don’t worry.  That’s our starting point right there.  Just figuring out what you need and what you want will be the first part of your counselling journey.  Sometimes just finding a way to frame our troubles can be a massive step towards changing our lives.

In our first session together we will enter into a business contract (sometimes described as the counselling contract) together.  This will clearly set out all of the business arrangements between us, such as how much sessions cost, cancellation charges, duration and frequency of sessions etc. The purpose of this is to foster complete transparency and trust and to ensure there is no danger of any misunderstandings once therapy is underway.  It is considered best practice for all counsellors to work in this way.

The word contract can sound a bit scary.  Please be assured that I will never try to bamboozle you with jargon or trick clauses and you will always be able to end counselling at any time without penalty.

The therapeutic contract is not a formal or legal document. It is different for every single client and sets out your therapeutic goals.  It might describe particular ways of working, or particular areas you would like to explore or steer clear of.  It might be something we put into writing or just a verbal agreement.  It is something we will keep under review as therapy progresses and may evolve over time. The therapeutic contract is how we will both know that you are getting what you need from counselling.

This will be different for everyone but endings are extremely important in counselling. In your first sessions we will talk about what you are hoping to get from counselling and how we might know when you’ve achieved that.  As your counselling progresses we will regularly review how you are finding the experience and this will guide us towards a planned ending at a time that is right for you.

This really is a ‘how long is a piece of string question?’ Some people will get what they need from counselling with just a few sessions whilst others require support over a longer period of time. I am able to work with clients on both a short and long term basis. Some clients find that dipping in and out of therapy throughout their lives as and when they need it works for them.

At the very beginning of therapy we will draw up a therapeutic contract. If you only wish to have a few sessions we will talk about what we can realistically achieve during that time. That might mean focussing on particular issues and not on others.

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