People seek counselling and psychotherapy for many different reasons. You may be experiencing a crisis or there may have been a build-up of stressful events in your life that are making it difficult for you to cope. Perhaps you recognise that you are engaging in repetitive patterns of behaviour that are sabotaging you. Having a safe space to explore your concerns in confidence, without feeling judged in any way, gives you an opportunity to stand back and reflect upon the nature of your difficulties. Whatever your reasons for seeking counselling, the process can help you to shift your perception of your problems, build up your own coping resources and to make choices which are more empowering.
The first step is to arrange an initial session, which usually lasts about an hour and a quarter. In this session we explore in some depth what has brought you to counselling at this particular time and identify underlying issues that may have a bearing upon your situation. This also gives you an opportunity to consider whether you feel comfortable with my way of working. During the initial session we discuss the contractual and ethical aspects of the therapeutic process. We also look at your expectations in relation to counselling and you will have an opportunity to ask questions that may help clarify any concerns you have.
Subsequent counselling sessions last 50 minutes. If you decide at this point that you would like to go ahead, I will ask you to commit initially to 8 sessions. In the seventh session we engage in a review, which will allow you to reflect upon what the experience has been like for you and to decide whether you would like to engage in longer term open-ended psychotherapy or if you wish to end in the eighth session. Once sessions have been arranged, there is a cancellation policy of 24 hours’ notice for cancelled or missed sessions. If this notice period is not given, the full session fee is payable.
Sometimes it can be difficult to attend counselling or therapy regularly. This may be due to a number of reasons, such as health or mobility issues or geographical location. For this reason I offer short-term counselling (up to 8 sessions) on a telephone basis.
Telephone counselling may not suit everyone, but if you feel this would be helpful for you, the next stage is to give
me a call. We can then arrange an initial 15 minute discussion on the phone to explore whether telephone counselling would work for you. If you feel comfortable with the process and we agree that it would be helpful to continue, I will ask you to commit to a minimum of 4 sessions at weekly intervals. As with face to face counselling the sessions last 50 minutes at agreed times.
Before proceeding you may find it helpful to take some time to read through some of the issues that are frequently raised by people considering counselling or psychotherapy.
If you would like more information, go to FAQs