Are sessions confidential?
As a professional counsellor and a Registered Member of The British Association for Counselling and Psycotherapy (BACP), I offer a high standard of confidentiality. Confidentiality is a fundamental element within counselling in order to provide you with a safe and private space to talk. I will not give information to your doctor or anyone else without your permission. The only time I might break confidentiality is if there is a serious risk of harm to you or others, and in very rare cases where required by law.
How many sessions will I need?
It depends entirely on your situation, the difficulties you bring and your personal preference. Counselling does not always offer an immediate solution to long standing and often, painful problems. There is no upper limit to the number of sessions, you may continue for as long as you feel the sessions are of use to you. We will review your progress together at regular intervals, usually after every 6 sessions, to help you with this.
How long is each session?
How often are sessions held?
Weekly, at the same time and place. If you work shifts, I can offer a flexible diary where available.
Will I need to agree to a contract?
In our initial session, we will discuss your expectations of counselling and I will also discuss my confidentiality, ethics, payment, holidays and cancellation policies with you. If we then decide to work together, this will ensure we can do so within safe and clear boundaries. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions if you are unsure of anything.
What types of therapy do you practice?
I am a person centred counsellor. I also use CBT techniques and elements of Transactional Analysis (TA), where appropriate.
Person centred: A non-directive approach which believes in your ability to make the right choices and your potential to make the changes needed.
CBT: Looks at how our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviour.
Transactional Analysis (TA): Helps to explain how we think, feel and behave in the way we do.
What if I don’t like it?
Sometimes counselling can be uncomfortable to start with, as there is no magic cure. Sometimes things can feel worse before they feel better but if you are prepared to examine your feelings, it may enable you to make more sense of the world around you.
Will you tell me how to solve my problems?
No, I will help you explore different ways of dealing with a situation, but the choice of whether or not you do anything about it is yours.
Will I have to talk about things I would prefer not to discuss?
No. I will encourage you to talk about many aspects of your life, and to express your feelings. Your wish not to discuss a particular matter will always be respected.
What should I do if I feel better and don’t want to see you again?
Discuss this with me and we will arrange an ‘ending’ session. You can choose to stop at any time you like. However for the therapeutic process to be most effective, it is best to give notice and to work towards an ending. This provides an opportunity to experience a positive ending and one that will help you end relationships well in the future.
What is supervision in counselling?
Working under supervision means that I use the services of another counsellor to review my work with clients and my professional development. Most professional bodies in the UK such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) require supervision, but it is also seen by many as ethically necessary. Counselling supervision is considered important to protect clients and to improve the ability of counsellors to provide value to their clients.
What does supervision mean to confidentiality?
Client confidentiality is still safeguarded because individually identifying information such as full names is not given. Also my supervisor is covered by the same code of ethics with regard to confidentiality as myself.
Do you keep notes?
I am obliged to make some notes after sessions. These notes are brief, coded and kept in a secure place.
Continued Professional Development
I regularly undertake further learning in the form of workshops and seminars, with a view to maintaining continued professional development.
Who are the BACP?
The BACP stands for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. It is a body which has been set up to ensure that its members adhere to Ethical Codes of Practice, keep up-to-date in the world of counselling, brings together many counsellors and psychotherapists of different disciplines and is also there to protect you as a client.