By researching counselling and counsellors, you are taking the first steps towards making a positive change in your life. This can be exciting but also daunting and a bit scary. Hopefully this page will provide you with information about counselling with myself to help you make a decision as to whether to contact me.
Opening up about worries, concerns and sometimes traumatic events can be intimidating and anxiety provoking. I hope to provide a place of respect and safety where you feel able to discuss what is on your mind. My main way of working is person-centred, and as the name suggests, this means my focus is on you as the client - you choose what we discuss, and I aim to travel on the journey of discovery with you. I don't see my role as 'diagnosing what is wrong', or telling you what you need to do with your life but rather to support you in unpacking your thoughts and feelings. It is my hope that our work will help you reconnect with your true values, wants and needs and that finding these will open new paths for you to move forward with your life.
A safe environment to discuss concerns with a trained professional.
Gain closure on life events through discussion, acceptance or moving forward.
Start to create positive change in your life as you have time to consider your wants and needs.
Talk to someone with no agenda other than to help you.
Improve your mental wellbeing, prioritising what is important in your life.
Improve relationships with others and set boundaries in your life.
Change - counselling makes you evaluate your life and make changes, which may take time for you to be ready for.
Finance - you need to consider the costs included. Think of it as investing in yourself and your needs.
Time - attending weekly sessions will require your time and energy, although this is also rewarding and time for yourself each week.
The benefits of counselling
Things to consider
How does the process work & what happens during counselling?
The below information explains the process of starting counselling, your first session and beyond.
When you have contacted me and inquired about counselling, we will arrange a time to meet as an introductory session. This will allow us time to get to know each other in a small way, for me to understand what you would like help with at that point, and for you to know more about how I work. We will discuss your present concerns, and try to find out more about you such as what support you have from family and friends and if you have any worries about attending counselling. Of course, there will be opportunity throughout for you to ask questions.
Following the introductory session, you will have the opportunity to decide whether to go ahead with counselling.
Your free introductory consultation
This session is usually used to find out more about the concerns that have brought you to therapy, building on the information gained in the introductory session. We will also work through a contract together, which is important as this gives us guidelines and a common understanding at to how we will work moving forward. At the start and regular points in your counselling journey, we will also complete some evaluations - these are not a test or there to label or diagnose you, but are useful in firstly giving you a structure to considering your wellbeing and health, and also in ensuring that our work is having a positive impact.
Once we have a focus for our time together, work then starts to explore this in more detail. My style of counselling follows you in this discussion, you could see my role as guiding the conversation, highlighting important points and helping you to see things such as contradictions. You will hopefully find that you consider what we have spoken about between sessions and that with time, you will find the right solution for yourself (sometimes this is actually to do nothing!)
How many sessions will have? This depends on your needs. Some clients find that they are able to see change very quickly, for other people the process can take longer. We will review our progress regularly (usually around every fourth session), to make sure you are seeing benefits. One of the important parts of my role as counsellor is to work with you to understand where the counselling is going and to make sure that we can acknowledge when our work can stop.
Your first session and beyond
When we talk for the first time over the phone, we will agree whether we will continue to work via zoom or by telephone.
With this option, I will send you a link each week for our session via email and you will use this to join online. This means we can see each other, which for many people is a positive for counselling. Zoom is a secure video conferencing platform with many security features which means your data won't need to be stored on their servers. For this option you need two things; a strong internet connection and a webcam. In our first session, we will create a protocol for what to do if our internet turns off etc.
You may prefer to have your sessions by telephone. In this instance, we would agree a protocol for contact, for instance that I will call you at the start of the session. Our discussion will then be over the phone; this means we cannot see each other, but phone counselling is still effective. For this option, you simply need a phone, and I would also recommend some earphones although these are not essential.
In addition, all contracts and other materials I use are available to send and complete online / via email to make sure you can still access these. If you want more information about online / telephone counselling, I have created a handout you can download.