What is Counselling?
A counselling session provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk to me, a trained professional, about your issues and concerns, however small or large they might seem. You do not need to be in crisis to come to counselling. I will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to help you develop a better understanding of yourself and others.
It is important to recognise that I will not give you opinions or advice, but help you in finding your own solutions. After all, only you know what makes sense in the context of your life. Together we would work on what effective changes you might make or look at ways of coping with your problems from different perspectives.
What happens in Counselling?
We would plan a therapy session at a time that works for you on a regular basis. It is usual practice to set aside a regular time each week (or every two weeks depending on what you feel works for you) to allow you to prioritise yourself and minimise the chance of other events and people getting in the way.
A session lasts last for 50 minutes.
Therapy sessions can be with me in person in a private therapy room in either Hove, Brighton or Haywards Heath or, if you can ensure a quiet and confidential space, from home or your office online or over the telephone.
My training means I will listen to understand, without judgment and focusing on helping you explore your thoughts and emotions. We will agree together a way of working: some people want to be challenged to shift their thinking or consider a different perspective, others want a safe and supportive relationship in which simply to be heard. Everyone is different and nothing is too small or too big to bring to the right therapeutic relationship.
In therapy I would work to build a relationship with you that allows connection and trust, with warmth and usually some humour in there too. Talking to a stranger about things we might find hard to talk about to those close to us is something most of us understand the benefit of, but it can be difficult so I would always be mindful of the pace set by you.
What to expect in your first counselling session:
After initial contact I would set up a 15-minute telephone or video call (this is free of charge) to talk about what you are bringing to therapy and to see if we both think we might be suited to working together. I will always be clear about the boundaries of my experience and would refer you on to the best service or therapist for you if I do not feel I am the best person to meet your needs. Even if we don’t work together I will usually be able to point you in the right direction.
During the call I would introduce myself and explain how I work. You can ask me about my qualifications and experience, your therapy or anything else you’re not sure about. It is very important to me that you feel at ease during the setting up process, which might mean getting the smallest details right to enable you to feel comfortable enough to benefit from therapy sessions.
If you decide you might like to work with me we will then arrange a 50-minute session in person, online or on the telephone, during which I will ask you if you would like to give a history of the problems you’re experiencing. I do not write notes during the session – at this point it is about hearing your story and for you to get a better understanding if I am the best person to work with you.
If we agree we are a good fit, we would then discuss or contract how we would best work together. This means making sure we are both clear about practicalities, such as how long you might want to work together, whether you want to have a time limit or work in an open-ended way, as well as what can sometimes be trickier details, such as how payment and cancellations work. I work with a printed document for us both to sign before we take the next step into therapy work.
You can always change your mind at any point if you decide I am not right for you or simply that now is not the right the time for you to have therapy.
How to get the most out of therapy:
You’ll get the best results from therapy if you are able to be open and honest about how you’re really feeling or what would be helpful for you to talk about.
The relationship we build is very important. If we’re to work effectively together, you should feel safe and able to take risks by disclosing and discussing sensitive issues with me. That includes being able to give me honest feedback on how you feel about therapy and how we are working together.
Do call me or drop me a line if you would like to find out more. My contact details can be found here:
Confidentiality and ethics:
I am a member of the professional body the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) https://www.bacp.co.uk which means my work is governed by a set of values, principles and personal moral qualities that ensure I practise effectively and safely. These include such things as being trustworthy, fair and sincere and treating all clients with respect, care and candour.