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.

What happens during counselling sessions

NO!

The image of the client recumbent upon a couch whilst their therapist sits behind them scribbling notes dates all the way back to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.  He had his reasons for working this way and I believe that some psychoanalysts still operate this way.

However, this is not how I or most counsellors work today.  I practice from counselling rooms in the centre of Exeter and for the most part we will sit facing each other in comfy chairs.  However, I am always open to changing things around where it might be helpful.  This might include sitting or lying on the floor, standing or moving around during sessions. Whatever works best for you.

Then the session will have been a success because you will have made the right decision for you. There are many, many reasons why a particular counsellor might be right for you and another just isn’t.

If you don’t want to work with me after meeting me I promise I won’t take it personally. I will never ask you to explain your reasons if you don’t want to but I welcome constructive feedback if you wish to share with me.

You can read more here about how to find a counsellor.

Talking about painful experiences is often the first step towards moving on from them but I will never make you talk about anything you don’t want to. You will always be in control during your sessions.  This means you get to choose what areas of your life to talk about and what not to.

If you feel like you do need to talk about traumatic events in your life my job is to guide you through a safe and therapeutic way to do this.  This is likely to require a patient, gentle approach in which we slowly  build up to you talking about traumatic experiences.

The aim, always, is to re-process the experiences you’ve had so you can move on.

It is not possible to bring a friend or partner into the counselling session.

This is because you will need to be able to speak freely about whatever issues you want to talk about.  However close you might be to the other person you might find you have to censor yourself  in order to protect their feelings or to hide aspects of yourself from them.

However, I recognise that for some people, coming to see a counsellor for the first time might come with a lot of anxiety.  Under these circumstances, it will normally be OK for you to bring along someone for moral support on the first time we meet if that feels important to you.  They will be able to join you for the first part of our initial session while we talk through the preliminaries and I will be happy to answer any questions they might have as well.  However, I will have to ask them to leave when it is time for you to start talking about yourself.

Please note that in the rooms where I normally practice there will not be anywhere for them to wait inside the building.

I do not offer couples counselling at this time but this may change in the future.

For some people this can feel like the most mortifying thing in the world. However, crying is a normal, healthy response and letting the tears out can be a necessary precursor to change.

As a counsellor I see people crying everyday. I will not be embarrassed and I will not judge you or try to stop you.  I will be comfortable with your tears and stay with you whilst they flow.

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