Individual counselling session normally takes place once week on the same day and at an agreed time, and usually lasts for an hour. The length of therapy is different for everyone – it can take a few sessions or many months, depending on your situation and your needs.
During that hour, you will decide what you want to talk about – it is your space and you are in charge of the process. My role will be to hear and understand what is going on for you and help you find a way forward by reflecting back, asking questions and sometimes, making suggestions.
Everything you say to me will be completely confidential with the exception of situations when I am worried about your harming yourself or someone else, or if there are concerns about the welfare of a child. Cases of breaking confidentiality are extremely rare and I will always raise the concern with you first if possible and before taking any action. I regularly discuss my work with a clinical supervisor, which is an ethical requirement for all professional psychotherapists. This will involve talking about some issues that may have come up for you (without identifying you in any way) with the objective to ensure that I am as effective as I should be while supporting you.
If you are going through a particularly challenging and tough time and need to talk to me outside of the session time, I will be available to speak to you on the phone, free of charge. Typically, I will ask you to text me or to leave me a voicemail and will return your call as soon as I am able to.
E-mail contact will never be a substitute for a counselling session, but can serve to provide you with information between sessions, brief support or be a way to make, change or cancel arrangements.
When people come into a group and interact freely with other group members, they usually recreate those difficulties that brought them to group therapy in the first place. Under the direction of the group therapist, the group is able to give support, offer alternatives, and comfort members in such a way that these difficulties become resolved and alternative behaviours are learned. The group also allows a person to develop new ways of relating to people. During group therapy, people begin to see that they are not alone and that there is hope and help. It is comforting to hear that other people have a similar difficulty, or have already worked through a problem that deeply disturbs another group member. Another reason for the success of group therapy is that people feel free to care about each other because of the climate of trust in a group.
One person cannot be an expert on all topics. This principle also applies to therapists. If you approach me for support with an issue which lies outside of my area of my training or experience, I will make every effort to help you identify an appropriate alternative source of support and suggest an individual or organisation better equipped to effectively support you. This may be instead of, or in addition to our individual arrangement.
What it costs
A full 60 minutes therapy session is £50. I offer some concessions to counselling trainees.
Your first session – an assessment – is £25. It will last for an hour and will be an opportunity for both of us to decide if we can and want to work together. Anything I do to support you outside the sessions’ time, such as researching resources to help you, referrals, producing training and information sheets, communication on the phone and e-mail support will be free of charge.