what is counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy that helps people who are experiencing difficulties in any aspect of their lives or with specific mental health concerns. Counselling provides a safe and confidential space to explore issues without fear or judgement. Whilst primarily focussed on talking, it can also involve drawing or using other techniques.
Counsellors do not generally offer advice, tell people what to do or solve people’s problems. However, we are trained to listen, and we can offer insights to gently help you to explore what is happening or what has happened to you. In this way, counselling can help people come to terms with difficult situations or learn to think about things in a different way.
who is counselling for?
Anyone can benefit from counselling. It can help with specific issues, with the processing of life experiences, events and emotions, or with more general feelings of discomfort.
what happens in counselling sessions?
The first session provides an opportunity to get to know each other and to discuss what you would like to achieve from counselling. We talk about your life, any existing coping strategies and resources that you might have that support you. We regularly review progress at different stages, to make sure that we’re on track and to plan to end counselling when you feel ready.
how long are the sessions and how often do they take place?
Indoor counselling sessions are 50 minutes in length. Ecotherapy sessions outdoors last for 1 hour. They usually take place at the same time each week which helps to build momentum needed for change and to help you work steadily towards any goals you might have.
how many sessions will I need?
Counselling can last for a few targeted sessions, or for months and in some cases, years. This will depend on the type of problems you have which may be complex or deep-rooted, as well as the type of support that you require and what you want to achieve. After an initial assessment or consultation, I sometimes recommend 6 sessions to start. We review progress along the way and agree whether counselling may be of support over the short, medium or even longer term.
how do I choose my counsellor?
There are many different types of counselling approaches. All are ways of supporting the process of working through issues that you might be facing. Choosing a counsellor may be linked on a particular interest in a particular model, however, for most people, the effectiveness of counselling is linked to the relationship with the counsellor themselves, and not with the ‘tool’ or approach used. Choosing someone you feel comfortable with, and with someone you feel able to talk to openly is therefore very important. An initial conversation or few meetings can be helpful in finding out whether you feel truly comfortable to be able to work freely with that person. As is, potentially meeting with some counsellors to see what fits best.
is counselling confidential?
Qualified counsellors and psychotherapists abide by a code of ethics. As a Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I work under the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions which outlines strict regulations with regards to confidentiality.