Counselling Frequently Asked Questions
Can you cure me?
I don’t believe there is anything to cure or that you are broken. What I can do is help you explore what you would like to achieve in our sessions and help you find ways to achieve them. I can help you discover your own resources that may lie hidden within, and help you to understand and heal the pain, anxiety, or any other feeling that you do not wish to carry. Sometimes you may need to revisit past hurts in order to understand and accept them, and then find positive ways to manage these feelings or resultant behaviours.
How long will it take?
Every individual is unique and even if their presenting issue is the same, their experience of the issue may be different, so this completely depends on the individual.
Are you the right person to help me?
By speaking to me initially and then coming for your first session, you will hopefully be able to answer this question. I won’t be the right person to help everybody, and this could be for many reasons. For example if I remind you of somebody you had issues with you may feel uncomfortable. It is important that you feel comfortable with me and that we can build a trusting and therapeutic relationship and a safe place where you can explore anything you wish.
Will you discuss what we talk about with anyone else?
What we discuss is confidential. However, there may be times I may have to break confidentiality, for example if you disclose anything that could pose a serious risk of causing harm to yourself or others, a proposed act of terrorism, if potential ongoing child abuse is disclosed, or where required by law. If any of these situations occur, I will discuss breaking confidentiality with you beforehand where possible. If at any point during our counselling I feel that you are in need of emergency support, I might ask for your permission to contact your GP or your emergency contact.
How secure is online counselling?
I have completed specific training in working online as a therapist, and have also worked previously in IT-related fields, so am well-placed to address computer security-related issues to ensure that our sessions are as secure as they can reasonably be. I will discuss any steps you need to take and any risks that may be involved.
How many sessions do I have to commit to?
This is entirely up to you - there is no set amount. If you have booked in in advance, all I ask for is two working days' notice of cancellation.
What should I expect from our first session?
During our first session, we will discuss what you want to achieve and I will answer any questions you may have. It will be a space for your to share anything you wish without any judgment from me. You will never have to share anything you don’t want to. This initial session allows you to see whether you feel comfortable with me and the way I work. It is also a time for us to discuss boundaries and our counselling contract. I have a standard contract for online and face to face work, but if you feel parts of it doesn’t suit you we can discuss this and personalise it to our work together.
Which approach suits me?
Finding what works can be tiring and daunting for you. In our initial session, we discuss what you would like from counselling and what you feel works for you. You may not know the answers right now, but we can work together to find them for you. This is an opportunity for you to decide if you think we can work together and whether the work I offer will suit your needs. Sometimes, what you want and what works for you will vary from session to session, so I work in a very fluid way. We can revisit this discussion at any point during therapy.
What can I expect?
I will try to contact you within two working days of your enquiry to answer any questions you may have, and we can assess together whether myself and my counselling is the right fit for you. I will also assess whether there are more suitable organisations that can better suit your needs. If we agree that myself and my counselling will be the best option, we can arrange days and times which work for us and arrange for an initial session.
What happens if I cannot attend?
I understand that there might be situations where you won’t be able to attend the session. Please give as much notice as possible if you need to cancel or postpone by texting me on 07761 489 931. Missed or cancelled sessions need to be paid in full if notice is received with less than two working days' notice.
What can I do if I’m unhappy about the counselling I receive?
I hope that you feel comfortable to talk to me about it so that we can try to address the problem together, but I equally understand this may not always be easy or possible at times, and under these circumstances you can contact the BACP and follow their complaints procedure.