What is counselling?
Counselling offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be painful, confusing or uncomfortable. It allows you to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things.
Counselling is not about telling you what to do or solving your problems for you. A counsellor supports you to work out what you need to do for yourself. To help this process a counsellor provides a safe environment, free from distractions, in which you can explore your emotions. Thoughts and feelings such as anger, guilt, fear and jealousy may be acting as an obstacle in your life. These can be acknowledged and then explored so that you can take back control of your life.
What will counselling be like for me?
Counselling is a very personal process. Sometimes it is a short term need for a very specific problem and only a few sessions are needed. Sometimes it may be necessary to talk about painful feelings or difficult decisions, so you may go through a period of feeling worse than when you started. However, therapy should enable you to feel better in the long-run. Usually it will take a number of counselling sessions before therapy starts to make a difference.
If you do experience a period of feeling worse, talk to me about it to ensure you get the best out of your therapy.
Is all counselling the same?
No. There are different methods and approaches to therapy.
In my work, I draw on many different psychological theories and techniques so that I am able to tailor my work to an individuals needs. Of all the different theories and approaches a common principle is the development of a particular kind of therapeutic relationship. By offering a safe place of understanding and empathy we build a therapeutic relationship based on trust which allows the necessary work to be done.
I believe that we all have the ability to solve our own problems but it sometimes becomes difficult to see how this is possible. Working with me, I can help to uncover issues that prevent you from making changes or seeing the choices that life has to offer. Together, we can explore and understand your self.
How long is a session?
Each session lasts for 50 minutes. People usually attend once a week at an agreed day and time. Some people attend for a very small number of sessions to address a specific problem. Other people may attend for many months to support themselves through life crises such as bereavement, divorce, job loss, injury, retirement or past issues such as adoption or abuse.
What will my first session be like?
At your first session, most people tell me why they have come to counselling at this stage in their life. I explain the way I work and what confidentiality means. Towards the end of this session, we will decide whether or not we want to continue working together and if so, will plan the frequency and aims of your counselling.
For children under 16, I ask that a parent or guardian attend with them for this first session so that I can seek consent from that person to offer counselling. The parent/guardian leaves the room before the counselling begins. This will only happen with the child’s consent.
Does counselling work for everyone?
Counselling doesn’t work for everybody. Because you may be talking about very personal and often painful things, it can sometimes be difficult to keep going. Despite this, it is often worth the effort as you can be helped to work through problems.