Frequently Asked Questions

A few questions and answers about counselling

If you don't see an answer to your question, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss with you.

When we experience difficult emotions, it can be helpful to talk to someone about what we're going through. While we may turn to friends or family members for support, we may also worry about burdening them with our problems, or feel unable to open up to them. Similarly, it can be challenging to share our feelings with a partner, especially if we fear it might upset them or strain our relationship.

That's where counselling comes in. Counselling is a type of therapy that provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk through your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional. Unlike speaking with friends or family, a counsellor is a neutral party who won't judge you or offer advice. Instead, they're there to offer support and guidance as you explore your emotions and find your own answers.

During a counselling session, your counsellor will work with you to understand why you're feeling the way you do, and help you develop strategies to manage your experiences. They won't tell you what to do or how to feel, but rather empower you to make your own choices and decisions.

Counselling can be an incredibly valuable tool for anyone struggling with difficult emotions or life events. By providing a non-judgmental and supportive space to process your feelings, counselling can help you feel more in control of your life and better equipped to navigate whatever challenges come your way.

During your first counselling session, we'll start with an initial assessment where I'll answer any questions or concerns you may have about the counselling process. From there, we'll focus on what brings you to counselling and work together to gain a better understanding of your current life circumstances and what you hope to achieve through our sessions.

If you choose to continue with counselling after the initial assessment, we'll meet regularly - typically on a weekly or fortnightly basis - to continue our work together. During these sessions, we'll explore your thoughts and feelings in greater depth and work collaboratively to understand the root causes of your emotions. Together, we'll identify strategies to manage these feelings and develop a plan to move forward.

Throughout our sessions, we'll move at your pace and focus on the topics that are most important to you. Whether you want to work through a specific issue or explore more general concerns, I'll be there to support you every step of the way. Ultimately, my goal is to create a safe and non-judgmental space where you can process your emotions and work towards the positive changes you want to see in your life.

Counselling is a valuable tool for anyone who needs help processing their thoughts and emotions in response to challenging experiences. By providing a safe and non-judgmental space to talk, counselling can empower individuals to take control of their lives and work towards positive changes.

During counselling sessions, you'll have the opportunity to speak with an unbiased and supportive person about your experiences and how you're feeling. Together, we'll work to identify the root causes of your emotions and explore strategies to manage or overcome your difficulties.

Through counselling, you'll gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your emotional landscape, and develop tools to help you navigate your experiences more effectively. During your initial assessment, we'll explore how counselling can specifically help you and ensure that you have a clear understanding of what to expect from the counselling process.

Ultimately, the goal of counselling is to empower you to take charge of your life and find the support and guidance you need to overcome the challenges you're facing. With the help of counselling, you can start feeling better and more in control, and move towards a more fulfilling and positive future.

People attend counselling for a wide variety of reasons. Some common reasons for seeking counselling include:

  • Low mood or depression

  • Anxiety or stress

  • Bereavement

  • Experiences of racism or discrimination

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Bullying or harassment

  • Family difficulties or conflict

  • Experiences of abuse or rape, whether in adulthood or in childhood

  • Struggles with mental health, including conditions like anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia

  • Coping with illness or disability, either personally or in a loved one

  • Exploring issues related to gender or sexuality

  • Navigating the intersection of religion and mental health

  • Recovering from past trauma or abuse

  • Struggles with self-esteem or body image

  • Eating disorders or other disordered eating patterns

Attending counselling appointments on a weekly or fortnightly basis can be an effective way to work through challenging emotions and experiences. It's difficult to predict exactly how many sessions you'll need, as everyone's journey is unique and will progress at their own pace.

Throughout our work together, we'll regularly review your progress and the areas you'd like to focus on in future sessions. This will help us ensure that we're making the most of our time together and that we're providing the support and guidance you need to make meaningful progress towards your goals.

It's important to remember that counselling can be an emotional process, and it's normal to feel upset at times during our sessions. We'll be working through challenging and difficult aspects of your life, and it's natural to feel strong emotions as we do so.

In fact, tears can be an important part of the healing process. Crying can be a powerful way to release pent-up emotions and let go of pain and hurt. It's a natural and healthy way to show yourself compassion and self-care.

Please know that you are always welcome to express your emotions in our counselling sessions, including tears.

 

To ensure that our counselling sessions are as effective as possible, it's generally best for friends and family members not to attend. This allows us to focus our time together solely on your needs, and provides you with a safe and confidential space to share your thoughts and feelings.

In the case of relationship counselling, it's important for both individuals to attend all sessions together. This allows us to work through the challenges and issues affecting your relationship as a team, and helps ensure that both parties feel heard and understood.

The BACP, or British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, is a professional organisation and registered charity that sets high standards for therapeutic practice and provides valuable information for therapists, clients, and the public.

At the core of the BACP's mission is their Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This ethical code serves as a guide for counsellors, trainers, supervisors, and researchers within the field of counselling and psychotherapy, as well as for those who use counselling skills or manage counselling services in organisations and agencies.

The framework outlines ethical principles, personal moral qualities, and professional conduct procedures for counsellors and psychotherapists, offering support and guidance on how to provide effective and ethical counselling and psychotherapy services. 

For more information on the BACP please visit their website or view the Ethical Framework here.

Whether face-to-face counselling or online therapy is better for you depends on your individual needs, preferences, and circumstances. Both types of therapy have their benefits and drawbacks.

Face-to-face counselling allows you to meet with a therapist in person and have a more personal connection. It may feel more comfortable and secure for some people to share their thoughts and feelings in a face-to-face setting, and it can provide a more immediate sense of support and comfort.

On the other hand, online therapy allows you to access therapy from anywhere, which can be more convenient and accessible for those with busy schedules, mobility issues, or living in remote areas. Online therapy can also be more affordable for some as it eliminates travel costs. It's important to consider that online therapy may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with severe mental health issues, such as psychosis or suicidal thoughts. In such cases, face-to-face counselling may be the better option.

Ultimately, the choice between face-to-face counselling or online therapy is a personal one and should be based on your own needs, preferences, and circumstances.

When attending our appointment I ask that you attend in an environment that is quiet, with minimal distractions. It can be best to attend the appointment when you are at home and in a comfortable room. You might also like to keep your windows and doors closed to improve sound proofing of your appointment. If others are at home with you, you might want to make them aware of your appointment so that they don’t disturb you and allow you the space and privacy to attend or if you don’t wish to disclose to others you are attending therapy, it might be best to attend the appointment when you are home alone.

When preparing for your appointment you might want to check your phone, laptop or tablet is fully charged and/or your charger close to hand. If you have weak spots around your house with your phone connection it might be best to find where is best for you to gain a good wifi signal for the appointment and attend the appointment from that room. If we continue to experience connection issues I might suggest that we try telephone appointments to help resolve the issue. If you don’t wish to try this method we may need to discuss bringing our work to an end or possibly an onward referral that can meet your needs better.

Give yourself 10 minutes before the appointment start time to get yourself and the setup ready. You may wish to grab a drink and have some tissues to hand for during the appointment. Please also consider nipping to the toilet before the appointment starts. Check the temperature of the room and grab a fan or pop a few more layers on if needed. It is also really helpful to be in view of a clock during the appointment so you are also aware of the time and how much longer you have of the appointment. When our appointment has finished you may wish to give yourself 5/10 minutes to process our work before going back into your home environment.

When attending our appointment I ask that you attend in an environment that is quiet, with minimal distractions and that you don’t take the call on speaker phone, unless attending as a couple where the phone will need to be on loud speaker. If you wish to be hands free then please feel free to use headphones connected to your phone. It can be best to attend the appointment when you are at home and in a comfortable room. You might also like to keep your windows and doors closed to improve sound proofing of your appointment. If others are at home with you, you might want to make them aware of your appointment so that they don’t disturb you and allow you the space and privacy to attend or if you don’t wish to disclose to others you are attending therapy, it might be best to attend the appointment when you are home alone.

When preparing for your appointment you might want to check your phone is fully charged and/or your charger close to hand. If you have weak spots around your house with your phone connection it might be best to find where is best for you to gain a good signal for the appointment and attend the appointment from that room. If we continue to experience connection issues I might suggest that we try a video call with the camera on or off if you wish o to help resolve the issue. If you don’t wish to try this suggestion we may need to discuss bringing our work to an end or possibly an onward referral that can meet your needs better.

Give yourself 10 minutes before the appointment start time to get yourself and the setup ready. You may wish to grab a drink and have some tissues to hand for during the appointment. Please also consider nipping to the toilet before the appointment starts. Check the temperature of the room and grab a fan or pop a few more layers on if needed. It is also really helpful to be in view of a clock during the appointment so you are also aware of the time and how much longer you have of the appointment. When our appointment has finished you may wish to give yourself 5/10 minutes before going back into your home environment to process the work.

 

I will provide you with my business bank details once you have booked your assessment appointment with me. This will enable you to pay for therapy appointments using BAC's. You may choose to make payment on the day of the appointment, either before or after attending.