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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. I consider supervision as a form of ‘quality control’, The supervisor explores the way I work and may offer alternatives to ensure I offer you, the client, a professional, ethical service. 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 explore your feelings, thoughts and behaviour in a “safe” environment, encouraging a therapeutic, trusting relationship. This experience is in itself new to many clients and can help raise awareness of negative perceptions they be holding about themselves.

I believe every client is unique and therefore tailor my approach to your individual needs, working at your pace, although it may feel challenging at times, for change to take place.

I use an integrative approach – most commonly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Humanistic, and Psychodynamic approaches. I also use elements from Art and Play Therapy, if appropriate and you are in agreement, dependant on your needs.

Use of different approaches provides flexible ways of exploring your issue(s), working together to establish a way forward you consider to be most helpful.

My belief is that the therapeutic relationship is paramount for you to express yourself and be “you” which is why it is vital to find the right counsellor for you. The introductory meeting can help establish this – if not you are under no obligation to continue with me.

+ 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 in therapy.

My work has also included working for CRUSE (Bereavement), MIND (Stress, Anxiety, Depression and other Mental Health issues) and Family Matters (For Adult Survivors of childhood sexual abuse).