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FAQ's

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  • Can I only come to counselling if I have a mental illness or have suffered a traumatic event?
    No, whilst many people attend therapy for these reasons, there are a variety of other motivations which are equally valid. As well as being a preventative measure to avoid reaching crisis point, it can also be used to as a form of self-care. Having a regular appointment to talk about whatever is on your mind can help with managing and processing emotions to avoid overwhelm. Furthermore, having a deeper insight can support the development of healthy coping mechanisms, better relationships and greater resilience, resulting in significant personal growth.
  • Do I need a referral?
    No, you can self-refer at any time.
  • Do you give advice?
    No, contrary to popular belief the role of a counsellor is not to give advice or tell you what to do. We each have a different lived experience and our own values, attitudes and beliefs which make us unique. Whilst of course there may be parallels it would be over-simplistic to assume that what was right for another client would fit you and your needs. I would therefore support you in working through your feelings, motivations, thoughts and experiences, and guide you using my skills and expertise to achieve a deeper comprehension of yourself and your relationships. With these insights you will be able to develop coping strategies and tools to help you navigate through life's challenges and empower you to find the best way forward for you.
  • How long do counselling sessions last?
    Each session lasts 50 minutes. Please note that appointments cannot over-run to compensate for late arrivals.
  • How often will I need to attend?
    Generally sessions take place weekly, ideally at the same time. We can negotiate a mutually convenient time for this which fits with your other commitments.
  • Do you offer counselling in the evenings or weekends?
    I do not work at weekends, however I do have slots available after school and some evenings. Please let me know your availability and I will do my best to accommodate you.
  • How many sessions will I need?
    That really depends on you and what you want to get out of our time together. I offer both short-term and open-ended therapy. At your initial consultation we will talk about your needs and expectations. Together we can agree a plan to suit you. This will include regular reviews to ensure that you are continuing to get the most out of the sessions and reflect any changes in your circumstances or needs.
  • What are your fee's?
    My fee is currently £55 for a 50 minute session. This reflects my training, overheads and operational costs as an ethical and professional practitioner. My rates are reviewed annually and you will be notified a minimum of one month in advance of any price increase. A concessionary fee is available to trainee counsellors.
  • What will we do in sessions?
    Again this will depend to some extent on what you are struggling with and how you like to work. Some clients are happy to talk whereas others prefer a more creative approach. If the latter is true we may incorporate games, exercises or other creative tools into our sessions, helping you to relax, explore and express emotions with less inhibition. It might also be useful on occasion to help build your understanding by using elements of psycho-education.
  • How do I pay for my sessions?
    Payments can be made via bank transfer prior to the session, or in cash or by card when you attend (I have a contactless card reader). Online sessions must be paid in advance for the counselling session to go ahead.
  • What if I get upset?
    The nature of counselling means that there are times when we will touch on really difficult experiences and emotions. Whilst this can sometimes be hard for clients, rest assured I will never push you to go beyond a level that feels right for you. It is advisable to give yourself a little time to rest and reflect after the session before resuming your day if at all possible.
  • How accessible is the counselling room?
    Unfortunately as my counselling room is upstairs so accessibility can be difficult for those with limited mobility. There is ample parking available directly outside the building.
  • Do you offer online sessions?
    Sessions normally take place in my office, but I am happy to work online if this is your preference or your personal circumstances dictate. Please bear in mind that should you wish to do so it is important that you have a quiet and confidential space where you will not be disturbed or overheard.
  • Do you have a waiting area?
    Unfortunately not, however you are more than welcome to wait in your vehicle in the parking area if you are dropping a young person off. You are also welcome to use the toilet should you need to. Please ensure that you do not arrive more than 5 minutes early for your session to avoid client over-lap and maintain confidentiality. Parents / guardians should also be aware that I cannot be responsible for the safety of young clients outside of session times, so it is important that you are prompt collecting your young person.
  • What if I am not finding the sessions useful or no longer want to come?
    Counselling is always your choice and you can cease attending whenever you feel ready. I would ask that you provide at least one weeks’ notice if possible as ideally it is useful to have an ending session. If you are not finding the sessions useful, please raise this with me at any time so we can discuss the best way forward for you.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    If you are unable to attend due to holidays, illness or other commitments, please let me know as far in advance as possible. Cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the session will be charged. Rescheduling may be possible but cannot be guaranteed. Similarly, I will try to give as much notice as possible if I am unavailable, offering alternative slots if possible.
  • Is everything in our sessions confidential?
    I am a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists (BACP). This means that I adhere to their ethical framework and professional code of conduct, which includes my commitment to maintaining client confidentiality. Counselling is a private and confidential form of support and it is important that this is respected. This helps clients to feel safe to share personal and sensitive information and feelings. However, there are few occasions where I would need to breach this including if I feel you are at risk of harm to yourself or someone else, or if you have broken certain specific laws. In the event that this was necessary I would aim to let you know in advance. As part of my commitment to ethical practice I also review my work with a qualified supervisor regularly. Any information shared is anonymised and they are also ethically bound to uphold client confidentiality. For further information on how personal information is processed and stored, please refer to my privacy policy (which can be found in the footer of this website).
  • What happens if I see you outside of the session?
    If I meet you outside of the counselling session I will not acknowledge you in order to protect your privacy and confidentiality. Should you choose to approach me I will not discuss any private matters outside of the counselling setting.
  • Are you safe to work with children or vulnerable adults?
    Please rest assured that I have undergone an enhanced DBS check which I am more than happy to show you. I have also gone through extensive safeguarding and prevent training.
  • Can I attend with my young person?
    In our initial consultation I would ideally like to meet both you and your child / young person. This will enable us to get to know each other a little, I can answer any questions and we can talk about expectations and what you hope to gain from counselling. As a parent or guardian you may wish to share any additional background information with me separately. Sessions are normally just for the client, however it may be that your young person would like you to attend for a few minutes until they feel comfortable and this is absolutely fine. However, parents must note that thereafter what is discussed in those sessions remains between myself and client.
  • What information is held about me and who can access it?
    I will hold a limited amount of notes and information on your file. This will be kept according to GDPR legislation. Information held in no way contravenes your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access personal data that I hold about you. All records are kept securely for up to 7 years and then destroyed in accordance with protocol. In the event that I am no longer able to work due to sudden illness or death I have a living will set up with a fellow counsellor. This agreement stipulates how clients can be contacted and supported should I be unable to do so myself. For further information, please refer to my privacy policy, which can be found in the footer of this website.
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