Introduction to my service
Each and every one of us needs help and support to work through issues sometimes. My service will enable you to talk to me, in confidence, about difficult thoughts, feelings or actions without being judged.
My philosophy is that we are our own best helper. Through talking and getting to know yourself better, the process could help you to function better presently, work towards your goals and objectives and leave you in a better position to help yourself in the future. Therefore, we can work together to help you to better understand the interaction and impact of your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.
Counselling could help you to better understand how events from the past can continue to influence and impact on your life which may be detrimental to you now, and work towards changes that would be helpful.
I can help with a range of issues, such as relationship difficulties, anger, bereavement, depression, stress and anxiety, drug and alcohol issues, procrastination and low self-belief.
People sometimes tell me they think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. The reality is that we all need support at times, and it takes a huge amount of strength and courage to ask for help and acknowledge the need for support.
Through counselling, you may evoke thoughts and feelings that feel challenging at times. But this is normal, and is part of getting to know yourself better and finding a way through.
My approach to work
The relationship between us is the key factor in our work together. This involves feeling comfortable and having rapport with me so you feel 'safe' in opening up. I am approachable and friendly and will always work from your frame of reference. I am not judgmental, and will never impose my own values or beliefs onto you.
Offering A Flexible Service
For example, many of us have experienced a difficult break up, and this can be a troublesome and confusing time. Unbearable emotions may have been held in, such as feeling extremely hurt or angry. You may initially need sufficient space and time to express such overwhelming feelings, and to be heard and understood.
There may then be a readiness to reflect on specific aspects of the situation itself; or to plot a course through life again. There may be a need to resolve and find a deeper understanding of your thoughts and emotions; or explore coping strategies to help with issues such as fear, anger or weariness.
Events and experiences from the past impact on how we think, feel and behave today. It may therefore be necessary to explore this to gain understanding and clarity; and to aid better functioning in the present and future.
I work with a range of issues, including:
- stress / signs of stress (be it work related or life events
- bereavement counselling
- low self esteem
- depression and low mood
- anger management
- goal setting
- addiction and recovery (food, alcohol, drugs)
Some questions you may have
What sort of access is there for wheelchair users or for people who cannot climb stairs?
Being an old tenement building, there are a couple of steps to enter the building at the front, and then a lift to all floors. There is a lift at the back entrance which does not involve climbing any stairs. If required, I would meet you at the front entrance a few minutes before our session and escort you to my room.
What can I expect from counselling?
Our first session will give us the opportunity to:
- meet each other, and for you and ask any questions or express any concerns
- Decide if you feel comfortable working with me
- Deal with issues, such as boundaries and confidentiality
- Obtain a summary of why you are seeking help
- Begin to outline goals and objectives
After the first session, we will start to work towards your goals and objectives. Through having the space to talk and think more deeply - you may get in touch with painful thoughts, feelings or memories that may feel difficult. This is quite normal, and part of the healing process. It will be taken at a pace that you feel comfortable and safe with.
I will not normally give you direct advice, or tell you what I think you should do. Instead, I will ask questions and make suggestions and reflections that support your aims and objectives.
Counselling is never a linear process, and naturally 'stuff happens' that will take precedence in your life. So that may be a priority for you to bring to the next session.
How Long Will Therapy Last?
The duration depends on what you bring to therapy, as well as any goals you want to achieve. It is flexible, and would regularly be reviewed during the counselling process. I have worked with people who get what they need after two or three sessions: for example, you may want to talk through one issue that is causing you concern, such as a conflict with a colleague that is worrying you. The majority of people will want to look at a combination of issues, and I have worked with clients from anything between 2 or 3 sessions to well over a year.
How often do I need to come?
This is dependent on your own personal circumstances. Sessions are typically weekly or fortnightly at the beginning; however, weekly sessions at this stage are likely to be more beneficial. This enables enough time to contemplate between sessions and, and 'freshly' bring back thoughts or experiences for further reflection. Then as time goes on, many people space them out further (e.g. monthly or 6 weekly) before working towards an ending - and then maybe even check in periodically if something has come up that you want to reflect on.
Am I obliged to come after the first session?
It is really important that you feel comfortable, safe and at ease with whoever you choose as your counsellor. So there is absolutely no obligation to book any more sessions after our initial session. In fact, it is a good idea to go away for a few days and think about whether you feel that I am a good fit for you.
How much do I charge per session?
I charge £40 per session. My aim is to keep the fee as low as I feasibly can, since I realise that private therapy is out of reach financially for many people. I hope to be able to offer a concessionary rate to full-time students and people on a low income in the future.
I will never ask you to 'block book' and pay for several sessions in advance.
Confidentiality & Registration with the Information Commissioner's Office
Being the caretaker of confidential data means that I am obliged to register with the Information Commissioner's Office and follow the guidelines of the Data Protection Act 2018.
In most circumstances, everything we talk about is confidential and will never be shared with anybody else outside my room. I will never disclose your identity to anybody else. This is essential for you to have a safe and secure service.
However, in certain circumstances, all counsellors are obliged by law to break confidentiality. For example, if you disclose that you intend to seriously harm yourself, or if you tell me that you, or another person is likely to harm somebody else; or a court orders me to show my notes.
These are rare circumstances, and I would do my best to have a conversation with you if need ever arises.
I am a member of the Accredited Register of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)