Frequently asked questions
What can counselling help with?
Anything that is making you feel unhappy or unsettled such as stress, anxiety, bereavement and relationship issues is a broad answer to the question. Additionally perhaps you feel something is preventing you from reaching your full potential, be it from the past, present or something unknown, or would just like to understand yourself better.
How long will I/my child need to have sessions for?
This varies dramatically. In some rare cases a few sessions are all you need to help you see changes you want to make. It is most common to need at least 18 sessions and whilst I don't ask you to sign a contract, I would advise committing to at least 6 in order to get comfortable with me and start to see what might need exploring. With children it is common to work with them for at least 1 academic year depending on the situation.
What happens in the first session?
In the first few sessions I may ask you questions to start to uncover what has brought you to me. As time goes on the sessions will be led by you. This gives you the freedom to discuss something from years ago, what happened to you on the journey to the session or even just to have some quiet time to reflect before you begin speaking.
I'm scared there'll be awkward silences!
There will be silences but they need not be awkward. If I jump in and ask a question I would be taking charge of where your session went which is why often therapist stay silent. This quiet time allows you a chance to see where your mind takes you.
Do I have to come every week?
If we are coming towards the end of our sessions I am happy to reduce frequency, however for the bulk of our work together, meeting weekly allows us to keep moving. Lengthy breaks often result it lots of sessions spent just catching up.
How long is a session?
Session are 50 minutes, for couples this can be longer.
Is it confidential?
Everything we discuss is confidential provided I do not feel you are a danger to yourself or others in which case relevant parties would be informed. If your child discloses something that reveals they are in danger, it is my responsibility to notify the relevant authorities.
Can you prescribe medication or form a diagnosis?
This is beyond the remit of psychotherapy qualifications, however I do have a firm understanding of many pathologies and if I suspect a diagnosis is required I will refer you to the relevant specialist. I am happy to work with you on a diagnosis you have obtained.
Can I have sessions over the phone?
During the Covid19 crisis I am happy to have sessions via FaceTime or the phone. Under normal circumstances I am able to offer this in extenuating circumstances or for short periods if you're travelling.
For more FAQ's this is a useful resource https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/importantinfo.html