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About Therapy

+ What is the purpose of the Introductory Meeting?

It is important for both client and counsellor to feel able to work together in exploring the issue(s) presented by the client. The counsellor will discuss how he works (the approach(es) used by the counsellor). The client may discuss what his/her expectations of counselling may be and provide an overview of the issue(s). The terms of the counselling agreement are explained to the client. The counselling fees are discussed. The counsellor will explain the terms of confidentiality. Session appointment details are discussed.There is no obligation at this stage.

+ What is the counselling agreement?

During discussions at the introductory meeting both the client and the counsellor will have the opportunity to decide if they wish to work together in a therapeutic relationship. If they agree on working together an initial counselling agreement will be made.

The initial counselling agreement is intended to provide a period of mutual assessment to enable us to see if counselling could be of benefit to you.

+ How long will I have to wait for an Introductory Meeting?

My aim is to respond to an initial e-mail or telephone message enquiry within a day or two.

An appointment for the Introductory Meeting can usually be arranged within a few days, subject to being able to arrange a mutually convenient day and time.

+ How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions required will depend on the nature of the issue(s), the client(s)willingness/ability to engage in the session or readiness to be counselled.

+ Is it possible to try a few sessions initially?

Often a minimum of 4 to 6 sessions is advisable to assess matters or enable the process of counselling to begin to take effect.

The initial counselling agreement is intended to provide a period of mutual assessment to enable us to see if counselling could be of benefit to you.

This is reviewed at the 4th session. At this point we would agree to end or continue for a further number of sessions to be agreed.

+ How often will I need to have sessions?

Counselling usually takes place weekly, on the same day, at the same time each week initially, to ensure continuity of the therapeutic relationship. If this is difficult due to a reason that both the client and counsellor agree is unavoidable, then some flexibility can be exercised. This will be discussed at the introductory meeting.

+ How difficult will it be?

The process of counselling is to support the client in alleviating the psychological suffering that is encountered and which contributes to the decision to have counselling. Often, to achieve this a change in behaviour, thinking or feelings may be required. The consequence of change is such that it may feel uncomfortable, sometimes scary or risky. Every effort is made to enable the client to feel safe in the therapeutic environment while exploring the client(s) issue(s). The pace at which the therapy proceeds is monitored and reviewed with the client on a regular basis during therapy, always working toward client autonomy.

About Me

+ Why do you have Supervision?

As a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), supervision is a prerequisite of my membership, which I adhere to for the following reasons:

1. The supervisor, through discussion with me on the way I am working, has an interest in you the client to ensure I am working ethically, and morally within the BACP code of practice. (The BACP code of practice is available to be seen on www.BACP.co.uk).

2. If an issue presented by you, the client, is proving difficult as we explore for alternative means of dealing with the issue, the supervisor can explore my techniques with me and help search for alternative approaches to best support you and further my knowledge. Your anonymity is maintained throughout the supervision process in the interest of confidentiality, other than a few exceptions which will be discussed with you at the Introductory Meeting.

+ How do you work?

I listen empathically, without judgement, enabling you to express yourself in a ‘safe’ environment, encouraging a trusting therapeutic relationship. This experience may be new to you and help you recognise any perceptions you may hold that are unrealistic or negative affecting how you feel. Your awareness to these may in itself allow you to release them and move forward in your life with a more positive approach.

Dependant on your needs we may explore more deeply from your past life or unconscious thoughts, in the present time in the therapy room this may be beneficial in facilitating a better understanding of yourself, how you have developed your current beliefs and feelings and whether these are still serving you well, providing you with the awareness and potential for a change if that is what you want.

We may work using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (C.B.T.), looking at your issue in terms of how you think, how you behave and how you feel. In a very simplistic view changing one aspect, i.e. how you think will cause a change in behaviour and feelings.

In working with you my first interest is in your feeling held in a ‘safe environment’ and working at a pace that you feel manageable, although it may feel challenging in enabling any change in your way of ‘being yourself’ in a way that you want.

Use of different approaches provides flexible ways of exploring your issue(s) helping us to understand them and establish the best way forward for you. During the course of the therapy it may prove beneficial to ‘integrate’ the approaches at different stages of your therapy.

It is my view that every client is unique and requires therapy tailored to their needs. My aim is to offer this using an integrated counselling approach.

+ What experience have you had?

I have trained as an integrative counsellor. This has provided me with an insight to different counselling approaches. The most common are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Humanistic and Psychodynamic. I have also had some experience and training in Art and Play therapy which, subject to the client’s willingness to work with it, may also be beneficial to the client intherapy.

Prior to my training as an integrative counsellor, my experience in a professional capacity and on a personal level has been varied, meeting people of differing social backgrounds and of many cultures. This has provided me with an appreciation that every client is unique and requires therapy tailored to their individual needs.

+ What other therapy related work is undertaken by you?

Relaxation technique: sessions which can be supportive for a number of counselling issues related to stress, anxiety, panic attacks, loss, and anger management. This is usually four to six weekly sessions of one hour duration. It is for individuals, couples or small groups (maximum of six people). Fees are; £40.00 for Individual sessions, £50.00 for couples, and £15.00 per person for groups of 4 to six people.

Pre-marital facilitation: for couples considering getting married. Affording couples greater insight to their marriage in practical, social, sexual, extended family, and financial matters that are often glanced over during courtship and during co-habitation. This is a course consisting of four sessions of 1.5 hours per week at £50.00 per session. Contact me for more information.

Positive Thinking: for individuals wishing to improve their levels of confidence, increase self-esteem and assertiveness. (This Is Not Counselling!)It is based on management techniques, in self-presentation, problem solving, solution focussing, and affirmations. This course consists of six sessions of 1.5 hours per week at £40.00 per session for individuals. Group sessions for 4 or more people (max 6), fees discussed on enquiry.