What is counselling?
Counselling is a form of talking therapy where a client brings issues to explore that they are having trouble with. The counsellor helps the client to explore and understand these issues, to enable the client to deal with them in a more beneficial way.
Couldn’t I just talk to a friend or family member?
Many people do so and find it helpful. But there are situations where it is difficult to speak with people close to us because they are involved, directly or indirectly, with what is troubling us. For example, if we are dealing with a serious illness, we may not want to be honest about how we’re feeling because we don’t want to burden our friends and family any more than we already are.
Conversely, if we are caring for someone with an illness, we may not wish to add to their troubles by being honest about how hard we are finding it.
Why talk to a stranger?
People often find it easier to talk honestly to someone who has no connection to their life. A counsellor will not have any agenda – they are there purely for you. For example, if there are difficulties in a family there will also be different loyalties and viewpoints to negotiate. You may be furious with, say, your sister, but you know that talking to your brother will be difficult because he wants to keep the peace and so is not unbiased.
A counsellor will always put your needs first. Perhaps they will help you see a situation from different viewpoints, or help you understand why something is bothering you so much, but they will not try to persuade you to a certain course of action because it benefits them in some way. Your wellbeing is their highest priority.
Will what we talk about be confidential?
Absolutely. Your counsellor should never discuss what you talk about during your sessions with anyone else – doing so would be highly unethical. There are certain legal limits to this, but these would be fully discussed with you before starting counselling.
What you can be sure of is that barring exceptional circumstances what you say will be held in the strictest confidence. There should never be any chance of what you said about Uncle Albert getting back to him or anyone connected to him.
The counsellor will not discuss what you say with other people. However, you are free to discuss anything you want to about the sessions with anybody you wish. That is your choice.
Do I have to commit to a set number of sessions?
No. I have seen clients for just a few weeks or for much longer periods, but there is no minimum number of sessions you must commit to. You are free to end the counselling relationship at any time. It also isn’t unusual for clients feel like they’ve done enough and finish, then contact me a few weeks later to carry on.
How many sessions will I need?
This is an impossible question to answer, as it varies depending on the person and the issues explored. I usually suggest that we start the sessions and then we will review how well we are doing on the 6th session, to ensure that you are benefitting from our time together.
However, if after 2 or 3 sessions you feel you have got what you needed then you don’t need to wait until the 6th session to tell me.
Will you tell me what to do?
No, I will never tell you what to do. It’s your life, and it’s up to you how you live it. If you have a decision to make then I will explore options with you, but ultimately you must make your own choices.
Do I have to talk about certain things?
You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to. I won’t ever try to force you to discuss anything. I may suggest an area we might look at, based on what we’ve been discussing, but it is always okay to say no. It’s always your decision what we explore.
As with any relationship, it takes time to build trust. You may feel ready to talk abut something in the 5th session that you weren’t ready to discuss in the 2nd session, and that’s fine. Counselling is a process, a journey, and it’s up to you how fast and how far we go.
How often would we meet?
We would usually see each other weekly, at least to begin with, but there are no hard and fast rules. If you would prefer every two weeks, I can usually accommodate that. Sometimesclients will come weekly to begin with and then move to fortnightly once they have dealt with the initial issue, as a kind of ongoing “maintenance.” If you wanted more than one session per week, we could discuss this.
However, I believe the time between sessions is just as important as the sessions themselves because it allows your process to unfold naturally, and moving too fast can be counter-productive.
Cookies and Privacy
I only store your contact details for the purpose of communicating with you regarding bookings, amendments and cancellations of appointments. I only keep your name, email address and phone number for these purposes. I do not send out marketing emails or newsletters and never share your information with a third party.
By giving consent to hold this data, you will continue to receive relevant communications related to your bookings, amendments and cancellations of appointments.
Your data is stored in a password secure data filing system. Please note that we do keep information for 5 years from your last booking. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time for me to hold your data.
How Do I Get Started?
Give me a call
Contact me on the number below and we can have a brief chat about your situation.
We will meet at your preferred location to get to know each other a little and go from there.