How long will I need to come for counselling?
That will be up to you. I am able to work in a short term way which can work well for people with issues that have developed recently or are very specific. I am also able to offer long term work for people who need support for longer, this is particularly useful if you want to change deep seated patterns of behaviour or long term problems. We can discuss what you want in our first session together and will have regular reviews of how the counselling is going once we have started. You can finish counselling at any time.
What times are you available?
I work in private practice at the following times:
Wednesday: 7.30am to 1.30pm
Thursday: 12pm to 9pm
Friday: 12pm to 9pm
Saturday: 7.30am to 11am
Do you offer home visits?
Yes I'm happy to come to your home. For it to work well we would need somewhere where we wouldn't be disturbed. I am allergic to cat hair so am not able to come to your house if you have cats. I do charge an additional amount for home visits. This is to cover my travel time and petrol costs. Please give me a call if this is something you are interested in.
Are the sessions confidential?
Your confidentiality and right for privacy is of utmost importance to me. I will keep what you say to me confidential unless you ask me to share it with someone. I have legal and ethical obligations to pass information on if I think you or someone else is at serious risk of significant harm, if you tell me you are involved in serious crime, terrorism or money laundering.
Do you take notes?
Yes, I take brief, factual and anonymous notes. I keep them securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1980) and my private practice is registered with the Information Commissioners Office. I do not keep them electronically, instead I keep them securely locked away. Only I have access to them. I destroy my notes 7 years after I have finished working with a client or 7 years after my client has turned 18. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act you have the right to see your notes. Please let me know if you wish to read them.
The only times I would share your counselling records is if you gave me written consent to do so or if I was compelled to by a court order.
My loved one needs counselling but doesn't want to come. What can I do?
Please get in touch if this is the case as I do have some strategies that might help them to access counselling, depending on the reason that they don't want to come. For example, you and your child might benefit from a short appointment to have a look around the room and briefly meet me without any pressure to talk. If they still don't want to come it might leave you feeling very frustrated and worried about them, if this is the case it might be useful for you to have counselling yourself until your loved one is ready to get help for themselves.
What type of counselling do you practice?
I am a Humanistic-Existential counsellor. I work with you as a whole person; your physical, social, psychological and spiritual sides. I see you as a unique individual so don’t make assumptions about you. It aims to help support you to explore your anxieties and face them rather than avoid them. Ultimately though what we talk about in sessions will be led by you and what you want to get out of the counselling.
I have also been trained to use elements of Transactional Analysis, CBT, Mindfulness, Attachment Theory, Systemic theory and a phased approach to working with trauma. I will tailor my approach to meet your needs.
How do you counsel children and teenagers?
I have had specialist training to counsel children and teenagers. I needed to do this because children and some teenagers aren't able to communicate what they are thinking and feeling in the same way that adults can. This is to do with their cognitive and emotional development. I use play, art and creative techniques, as well as talking, to help them to express themselves and to help them to process any difficult life events. If it's appropriate I can teach them useful techniques to cope with difficult feelings. The most important thing I have learnt is that each child is unique, no matter what their age or diagnosis. I adapt counselling sessions to suit their individual needs and interests and hope to provide them with a positive experience of counselling where they feel really heard.
Will you tell my doctor that I'm coming to counselling?
Your counselling sessions are private and confidential. That means that I will not routinely contact your GP to let them know that you or your child is having counselling. The only time I would consider contacting your GP is if I thought you were at serious risk of harm. I would aim to do this after talking to you about the best way of getting you the support you needed.
The notes I keep are not shared with your GP and are not part of your medical records.
If you would find it helpful I could help you to write a letter to your GP explaining the difficulties that you are having so that the GP can offer you medical support alongside counselling. Some clients find this very useful as they find it difficult to talk to their GP but would like to rule out medical causes of their symptoms, explore the use of medication or access other support offered by the NHS.