What sort of counselling/psychotherapy do you practice?
I am trained and accredited as an integrative therapist, drawing theory and expertise from a number of traditions. I have my individual therapist’s toolbox and this enables me use the appropriate intervention from a wide spectrum of possibilities.
How often will we meet?
Usually we will meet for an hour, once a week at the same time. It could be more frequently by arrangement depending on your needs and what we agree is best for you.
Is having therapy difficult?
Therapy demands participation but I go at your pace and you will be processing your thoughts between sessions too.
How do I know you are bona fide?
It is common sense to consult a practitioner who is properly registered with a respected and established ethical organisation. I am registered with the BACP - The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy - and work to its strict ethical code.
Can I miss sessions?
The regularity of the meetings is vital for the therapy. A client commented: "You are the first person in my life who's ever been reliable". Sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours notice are always charged.
Will you reveal anything I tell you?
No, complete confidentiality is guaranteed except in the most extreme instances where serious harm might result to yourself or others.
Do you think you are strong enough to take on my problems?
Yes. My training and my experience equips me to reliably take on your problems. One client told me she had been through years of previous therapy without daring to confront her therapist with the real problem. Not surprisingly the previous therapy was not very helpful.
Perhaps I should go the medication route?
Sometimes medication such as anti-depressants are helpful and necessary. But they are rarely the whole solution. Swallowing a pill is easy but has side effects. Basically it relieves the symptoms but does not tackle the root cause.
Will it work?
Yes, usually. I am the catalyst for changes in you and your understanding of yourself and your place in your world. Counselling is not a miracle cure. It does produce change and positive change can sometimes seem pretty miraculous!
Will my therapy effect others?
Undoubtedly those nearest to you will experience changes in you and live through your difficulties and successes as they always must.
What is the meaning of the terms therapy, psychotherapy and counselling?
Therapy means "curative powers" and "healing". Psychotherapy means "talking treatment": Counselling means the same. Counselling provides the safe, supportive space to feel our feelings and begin to understand them... and so better to understand ourselves.
At times of anxiety, stress, loss, change or bereavement the experience of being heard in complete confidence, non-judgementally, by a professional Counsellor leads to healing and resolution.
Is there a way through how I feel?
Each of us experiences moments in our lives when a particular problem seems too much... It could be a relationship, a marriage, a partnership or work/career related. It could be an event; a bereavement, a loss, a trauma or an addiction. Sometimes it is simply, “Why don’t I feel right?”, or “Why am I not where I ‘ought’ to be?”
But crisis and loss - after the pain and anguish - can be catalysts for new beginnings. Counselling can, and does, lead to uncovering new directions and fresh energy.
Is there a quick fix?
Twenty-first century capitalism invented "real-time" solutions and 'instant' communication across the globe. Such technological advances are great but human emotions work on another time-scale and we as human beings need time and relationship to live healthily and survive the crises that confront all of us in our lives. Super heroes are creations of Hollywood, we humans need time, space and often help...
For instance, sometimes a trauma may be an old one (perhaps almost or totally forgotten) that is awoken by some new similar experience that then seems to impact out of all proportion. It might be a bereavement never properly mourned, a loss too painful to acknowledge and repressed in the sub-conscious to protect the self from the pain.
Is it the therapy or the therapist?
There are many types of psychotherapy and counselling, but research shows the success of your therapy depends above all on the therapist's ability to form a 'therapeutic relationship' with you. Choosing the right counsellor(who feels right to you) is the key to a successful counselling experience. I offer an introductory 'initial' appointment so you can make sure you are comfortable with me. I may spend some time asking questions to find out about you, your medical history, your background and your family context.
How do we measure the success of counselling?
At the beginning of your counselling we will define as far as is possible what has brought you to this point, and agree on what it is you want to achieve. This will serve to guide our counselling process and sets agreed goals against which we can measure our progress.
How long will my counselling take?
It depends on you and your needs. Once we have agreed to work together, usually I will suggest we start with an initial six-session period. This allows us to forge a trusting therapeutic relationship.
You may feel relief in being able to talk about an issue after a single session. However, the issues and problems you bring have probably built up over a number of years, if not your entire lifetime. Counselling requires time to help you work through them. Usually I suggest an open-ended approach, giving us time and space to work for as long as it is beneficial.