How It Works
- What is Counselling/Therapy?
- Will my Counselling be confidential?
- What can counselling help with?
- How to start and what happens next
- Fees and low cost sessions
- Initial Consultation
- Counselling Sessions
- Ending The Work
What is Counselling/Therapy?
Counselling is a ‘talking therapy’ underlined by the principle that by talking about your feelings, thoughts or patterns of behaviour in a safe, confidential space with a trained professional, you will gain insight into their causes. Therapy can be an in-depth exploration of the self with a view to long-term change or just a place to come and talk; there’s no right or wrong way to do it and the work is at whatever pace you set.
I am trained in Psychodynamic counselling. Psychodynamic theory suggests that our current thoughts and behaviours are linked to events in the past. In practice, this does not mean (as is often suggested in popular culture) that if you should come into a session wishing to talk about a stressful week that I might immediately ask you how you feel about your mother, but there may be occasion when we explore together similarities or links between current and past emotional states.
The point of my role is not to discover the source of your issues, but to help process emotions or feelings you may have been holding on to for some time.
During discussions with your therapist, they may reflect to you their thoughts, challenge what you have said, or bring to your attention repeating patterns of behaviour which they may suggest are linked in ways previously unknown to you. They will likely ask questions. You may experience difficult feelings of love, lust, hatred or apathy for your counsellor. These are a perfectly natural part of the work and rich ground for positive discussion.
Counselling is not a place where you come to be told how to resolve your difficulties. Therapists treat every client as an individual and autonomy is an important part of the process. Counsellors work to ultimately make themselves redundant in your lives and there is no guide book or manual, or programme they are trying to complete. Therapy takes on many different forms and while counsellors will let you know where their strengths lie, a key element of our training is to be flexible enough to make the counselling work for you.
I offer counselling as weekly individual sessions either over a structured programme of 12 weeks or as ‘long term’ therapy which is periodically reviewed. I do not offer group or family, couples, or ‘drop in’ sessions.
Will my Counselling be confidential?
Everything that happens within our therapy sessions is strictly confidential. I aim to provide a safe, welcoming space that is non-judgemental and where you can bring difficult issues affecting your life or mental well-being.
As a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, I am required to have my work supervised by a qualified supervisor. This means I may discuss our work in a supervision context, although your identity will not be disclosed.
I may be required to break confidentiality in the event your life or the life of someone else is in imminent danger in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Please note that if you discuss acts of terrorism or other serious crime I am required by law to report this to the police. If you reveal information about children being at serious risk of harm or neglect I am required by law to report this to the relevant authorities.
What can Counselling help with?
- A mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or stress
- Issues in your personal or professional relationships, such as divorce, separation or career issues
- A repeating pattern of behaviour you wish to change
- A difficult life event, such as bereavement or relationship breakdown
- Emotional issues such as low self-esteem, low self-confidence, loneliness, general low mood or anger
- Addiction – from drugs, gambling and alcohol to social media/internet addiction.
- Disordered behaviour such as sex addiction, eating disorders, OCD, or self-harming
How to start and what happens next
To begin the process of counselling, please either complete a contact form with your contact details and a short message detailing why it is you are seeking counselling, or call 07901 992206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Usually within 24 hours, I will respond inviting you for an initial consultation at my practice in Whetstone, N20. The initial consultation lasts between an hour and 90 minutes and offers an opportunity for us to meet and to get a sense of each other. I may make some notes about why it is you’re seeking counselling and ask some practical questions such as GP contact details, which I am required to hold.
It is during this time you can ask any questions you may have about the counselling process. This initial meeting is when we set the day, time and costs of our future sessions and will offer you the opportunity to peruse our working contract.
Fees & low-cost sessions
My standard fee is £50 per hour, but some concessionary rates are available. If you would like to enquire about low-cost options, please send an email or call on 07901 992206.
Initial sessions are charged at £50 and discussions about subsequent fees make up part of the initial assessment process and are set for the duration of the work.
The Stages Of The Counselling Process
Finding a therapist can be a daunting and overwhelming experience and making that first step of contact can seem like a huge obstacle to overcome. The initial consultation session is for both of us to meet and decide whether we can work together. The success of counselling can depend on the relationship between client and counsellor, and there is no obligation to continue beyond our initial meeting.
A consultation lasts for up to 90 minutes and it is during this time that we set a fee for any future sessions. This initial session can also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have about the therapeutic process.
- Open-ended (often referred to as ‘long-term’) counselling, which is an ongoing arrangement without an end date although clients are encouraged to periodically review their thoughts and feelings about the work.
- Short-term counselling, which is a fixed agreement of 12 sessions and may be more focussed on a single issue than open-ended work.
Ending the Work
Endings are of particular significance in counselling, and as such should be approached with care and consideration. In the event you wish to end the counselling work, clients are encouraged to attend at least one final session to discuss their feelings around the ending of the work rather than to stop attending without notice.