Frequently Asked Questions
How long does counselling last for?
Each session is 60 minutes long and is set at the same time on the same day each week to provide a sense of stability and regulatory. In terms of the overall length of therapy, we can discuss your individual needs at the assessment stage to see what suits you best. I operate my practice in an open-ended approach. This means that we will work together until you feel that you have reached a point where you can best support yourself, and we can plan an appropriate ending. I would recommend 8 sessions as a minimum contract in order to gain a good enough sense of what you need from therapy and for the therapeutic relationship to have enough of an opportunity to flourish and be useful.
How do I pay?
I accept cash or bank transfer. I usually require payment on the day of the session.
What happens if I can't make a session?
If you're unable to make an arranged session, please let me know 48 hours or more in advanced of the arranged session to avoid the session being charged. Ideally, you'd be able to attend as many sessions as you can to allow the therapeutic relationship to develop as successfully as possible. If you're struggling to make your appointments on a regular basis, alternative appointment options can be talked through.
What should I do if I'm late?
If you think you'll miss the start of the session, please let me know as soon as you're able to by phone, text or email.
Will I have to talk about sex?
Sex can often be a difficult or embarrassing subject to explore, especially at the start of therapy. As with any subject, you only need to share what feels comfortable for you at the time. I treat all clients with respect, understanding and empathy within a confidential setting, so if the time feels right for you to share more intimate and personal reflections on your life, you'll be able to do so in a supportive and confidential environment.
Do I have to like dogs in order to visit you?
No! If you're more comfortable without Harry present, I can arrange for him to be absent from the session. Please let me know in our initial conversation if you'd prefer it.
Are you insured?
Yes. I have full indemnity and public liability insurance as well as attending regular supervision, in accordance with BACP guidelines.
What public transport serves your location?
The problems I have aren't mentioned here, am I still able to come and see you?
Absolutely! Problems or difficulties are very personal to each and every individual and my approach to all of them is with empathy, warmth and compassion. The fundamental aspect of counselling is for you to be able to speak as freely as you're comfortable with and for me to be able to hear and understand what's troubling you in a confidential and safe environment.
Do you have disabled access?
My practice room is on the upper ground floor, which means there will be several outside steps up the door and the rest of the way is level thereafter.
What makes you different to all the other counsellors?
Other than having Harry accompany me on the odd occasion, I am as individual and alike as every other human being out there. What makes us all unique is our own individuality and sense of self and my belief is that there are no two human beings alike in the world, regardless of how similar some of us may appear to be at first. I would recommend trying out several counsellors to gain a feel for who's right for you. Building a relationship with the right counsellor for you, is one of the most important aspects of successful therapy.
Can I bring a friend with me the first time?
An accompanying friend or family member is often seen as supportive and helpful for a lot of 'first time' situations that we encounter, which may otherwise seem daunting to accomplish on our own. If you need the help and support of a friend to get you here, or walk you up to the door, then I would recommend utilising that as best you can. The individual therapy session itself can only be between yourself and me. If you feel nervous about attending, then I would recommend waiting until for a time when you do feel able to manage the first session.
Will you prescribe medication if I need it?
No. Psychotherapists and counsellors are not able to prescribe medication for clients. This would be the work of a psychiatrist, which is a differently trained field of expertise. If you feel that medication is something you need for your mental wellbeing, then contact your GP in the first instance.