FAQ

FAQ2019-07-15T09:59:24+01:00

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Chance Meetings2018-06-05T17:13:30+01:00

Sometimes we may ‘bump into’ each other outside of the Counselling room.  Your confidentiality is very important, so unless you acknowledge me first I will not acknowledge you. This will avoid us both having to make any explanations to family/friends we may be with at the time.

Coronavirus Therapy2020-03-31T15:52:06+01:00

Coronavirus (Covid-19) therapy is aimed specifically at helping you to manage and eliminate some of the difficult symptoms that are being caused by the current situation. Coronavirus therapy can be delivered via video or telephone and can cover a range of issues from emotional and psychological difficulties through to relationship and parenting problems.

What is Coronavirus Counselling?

There are some specific psychological, emotional and relational problems that have developed since the Coronavirus outbreak.

Working with the issues resulting from the pandemic and its impact on you can help to reduce symptoms and provide a support structure that can make life feel far more bearable.

What are typical psychological and emotional reactions to pandemics and quarantine situations?

You may be struggling with some of the following:

• Anxiety
• Stress
• Loss – loss of normal life; loss of contact with friends/family, loss of job or income
• Financial difficulties
• Relationship difficulties
• Fear of the unknown and the future
• Existential fear – the pandemic is making us think about death
• OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• Anger issues
• Hypervigilance
• Bereavement

It is important to bear in mind that all of the above reactions are normal and counselling and psychotherapy can be enormously helpful in managing difficult emotions and psychological difficulties. Online counselling can help make sense of how you are reacting by looking what is causing the emotions listed above.

How can Counselling or Psychotherapy help me?

Counselling and psychotherapy can help in dealing with, managing and working through a wide range of difficult emotional and psychological symptoms:

• Helping you to manage difficult thoughts
• Teaching you to better regulate feelings, so that you do not feel overwhelmed
• Providing you with a support in dealing with isolation and quarantine
• Working with you to manage relationship stress with family members
• Providing you and your partner with couple counselling where you are both feeling stressed
• Working with you to implement parenting strategies with children who are unable to go to school or leave home
• Helping you in managing and in treating anxiety and depression
• Helping you to work through loss, including bereavement
• Calming and reduce the intensity of intrusive thoughts and OCD symptoms
• Providing you with an ongoing supportive relationship in which you can work through all your thoughts and feelings in a relational context.

How can I access therapy when I cannot leave my home?

We do not need to meet in person. Therapy can be delivered online or via telephone, so I am able to offer online therapy whereby you can be seen in the comfort and safety of your own home.

We are all in this together!

Usually the therapist does not share exactly the same issues being discussed by the client, but tries to imagine the clients circumstances and what they may be feeling in order to help.

With the outbreak of Coronavirus and the ongoing government response, the existential reality is that we are all in the same situation and are all having to manage difficult feelings, massive changes to our lives, but without knowing when it will all end and we will get back to normal – if indeed we ever will.

The key to coping with the psychological and emotional impact of this situation is in being able to hold onto a thinking mind and in learning to regulate emotions, both of which are cornerstones of good therapy. Counselling will help you do just that while also looking at your surrounding issues, worries and fears.

Whilst I may not be able to do anything about the virus itself, I can help you to find your way through the situation we are all facing.

More Information

If you are interested, please get in touch.

Please observe the government guidelines if you can, stay safe and remain positive: things will get better in time.

Counselling Contract2019-05-24T07:00:36+01:00

A ‘counselling contract’ (or a ‘counselling agreement’) is a mutual agreement between the counsellor and the client in which sets out the way we will work together. All counsellors (should) use a contract with their clients as part of their ethical process.

A counselling contract ensures that the counselling process will be performed in a safe and professional manner and highlights the responsibilities of the counsellor towards the client, as well as the responsibilities of the client towards the counsellor.

I will go through the contract with you at our first session. This is an essential part of the process and no counselling will take place until you have agreed to sign the contract.

Discounts2020-07-28T11:32:18+01:00

I offer a ‘bulk session’ discount if you decide to purchase 6 sessions in advance. Please contact me for details.

I sometimes offer discounts to counselling students (proof required); please ask.

I do not offer other discounts or concessions, or provide a low cost counselling service.

Drugs & Alcohol2019-06-14T09:16:29+01:00
For counselling to be effective it is helpful to be in touch with your feelings and emotions, which becomes very difficult when under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol.
Clients who arrive under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol may be asked to leave. Please note that a charge will be made for the cancelled session.
It goes without saying that you must not drive to a session having consumed alcohol or any drugs which could affect your ability to drive within legal limits. I would not want you to drive home in these circumstances and I would be obliged to contact the authorities in order to preserve your, and others, safety.
Holidays2020-07-28T11:29:55+01:00

Like everyone else, Counsellors need to take breaks from work. This means that there will be times during the year when I will not be available, or contactable.

I do not work over the Christmas holiday, from Christmas Eve to the first working day of the new year.

Our sessions will be carefully planned to minimise disruption.

How long do the sessions last?2020-09-14T17:38:55+01:00

My counselling sessions last for 1 hour in total.  I will alert you when we have 10 minutes remaining, so that we can make sure the session ends safely, and to allow time to arrange your next session.

It is really important that you arrive on time (in person, on Zoom or on the phone). Your session will begin at the agreed time even if you are late.  I will always try to finish the session on time. This will be fully discussed and agreed as part of our contract.

For Zoom, please join the waiting room before the session start time and I will admit you at the start time.

For phone sessions, I will usually call you at the start time. Please make sure you are ready in an area with a good signal if using your mobile.

If, for any reason, I am delayed in starting the session, I will add extra time to the end to make up for it.

How many sessions will I need?2018-09-28T14:20:44+01:00

This is a very difficult question to answer.  Everyone is different.  I do not place a limit on counselling sessions (unlike some other agencies). I believe that the counselling process needs to take as long as it takes, and this depends on what the client brings.

That said, there will come a point when it becomes obvious that we should end our sessions; this may be your decision or mine, but usually we will reach a mutual agreement. We will discuss endings well in advance of your final session, so this will never come as a surprise.

It is very important for you to know that you are always in control – you can stop whenever you like; I am also ethically bound to bring our sessions to an end when it becomes clear that there is no more therapeutic benefit being achieved.

Of course, you can take a break from sessions if you feel this would help, and come back in the future. Your records will be securely stored in the meantime.

I need urgent help2020-07-28T11:31:32+01:00

I offer a private counselling and psychotherapy service, not an emergency service.

Should you feel you cannot cope and are considering harming yourself or somebody else, you should contact the Samaritans on:

116 123 (from any phone, at any time)

or visit: www.samaritans.org

Under these circumstances please DO NOT call me, or leave me a message, either text, answerphone or email, or use the contact form on this site, as I may not get these until the next working day.

If you are struggling, you should also consider seeing your GP (tell them it is urgent).

 

Initial Interview2020-09-14T17:29:59+01:00

I offer an initial interview free of charge. This is an opportunity for us to meet and for you to decide if you want to use my services. The services will be described, the way counselling and psychotherapy are used in my practice, and any questions you have will be answered. This session lasts for 30 minutes; it is important to understand that this is not a counselling session.

If you decide that you want to start counselling sessions with me – great! We will get our diaries out and book your first session.

If you want to think about it, thats fine. You can get back in touch when you are ready to arrange your first session.

If you decide that I am not right for you, then that is also fine – at least you took the massive step of trying to find the right Counsellor, and crossed me off your list.

Note: if, during the initial meeting you decide you want to begin counselling with me immediately, then as long as you have agreed to the counselling contract we can begin and the session will become chargeable, either individually or as part of a bulk session plan.

 

Insurance2018-09-28T14:21:37+01:00

I have comprehensive Professional Indemnity Insurance provided by an industry leading company.

Mobile Phones & devices2019-03-26T07:29:54+00:00

I ask that all mobile devices, including smart watches, are turned off (airplane mode, not vibrate) during the session to avoid distractions.

In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to keep phones on – waiting for a call from children etc.  In this case, please let me know.

Payment, Cancellation and Non Payment2020-07-28T11:38:51+01:00

I offer a private counselling service for which there is always a charge. I do not offer free sessions or low-cost counselling.

We will agree payment terms at our initial meeting, as part of our contract.

The agreed payment needs to be made at the end of each session please. My preferred method is by debit or credit card using a card reader (I can also accept remote payments).  I am happy to provide bank details.  I also accept cash for fact to face sessions.

I offer a 6 session bulk discount which is paid for in advance. Please ask for details.

Session rates will be reviewed annually.

Cancellation: Important, please read:

If you need to cancel or postpone a session, either face to face, video or telephone, I require a minimum notice of 24 hours please. Failure to do so will result in full payment for the session being due. Missed sessions without the minimum notice period will also count as a normal session within the bulk discount.

I trust that these terms are acceptable.

Qualifications2020-07-28T11:34:39+01:00

I hold an Honours degree in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, awarded by the University of Worcester.

I do lots of continuing professional development (CPD) work and am always trying to keep up to date with my knowledge.

Record Keeping2019-05-24T07:20:53+01:00
I keep brief notes of all our sessions. These notes are kept electronically and encrypted. You may see these notes on request.
I will not release these notes without your permission, unless ordered to do so by a Court.
Supervision2018-09-28T14:34:16+01:00

To maintain best practice, all counsellors should receive regular supervision (talking with another professional about our practice).  This is a vital part of counselling and helps to maintain the the high standard our clients expect, and to keep counsellors safe.

During my supervision sessions I may discuss my case load, but I will never reveal any information that might identify my clients in any way, thus preserving confidentiality.

Supervision is a means of ensuring ‘quality control’,  for learning and development, and to ensure we work ethically and within our levels of competence.

Video Counselling2020-04-01T09:27:51+01:00

Video counselling is great because you can have a session at a time and location to suit you. This is especially useful during the current situation around Covid 19.

Is it secure?

Yes. I use Zoom for video calls which is secure.  I never record my screen or audio. I can guarantee the same level of privacy at my location as we would have during a face-to-face session – we cannot be overheard or interrupted.

How does it work?

I will send you an Online Counselling Agreement by email.  Once you have returned it, I will invite you to a Zoom session by email or text, when it is convenient for both of us.  You click on the link, and (if necessary) download a free app. We then connect. It really is very simple. You can use the camera on your phone/tablet, or webcam on your computer if you have one. As long as you have a reasonable internet connection (wifi or 4g) all will be well. We will run through the contract at the start of the session, and then begin: it is just like a normal session.

I suggest you find a quiet space where you feel safe and secure. Make yourself comfortable and position the camera so that I can see your face. You will be able to see me throughout.

What if we get cut off?

Very occasionally there may be an interruption in the internet connection. If this happens we will try to reconnect. If this proves difficult, I will call you to try to reconnect, or we will finish the session on the phone.

Once the session is ended everything is closed down. Nothing is stored on my computer.

What next?

Please get in touch to arrange a session. I am happy to test Zoom with you before we have a session, to ensure everything works properly.

Please note: I an unable to provide video counselling to you if you are under 18 years of age. In that case, please contact me so I can help you with alternatives.

Will I be judged?2019-05-24T07:30:01+01:00

Quite simply, no.

I will never judge my clients or anything that they bring to the sessions. This is essential as the client must feel safe in the sessions so that they can discuss anything they need to.

Will the things I say be confidential?2020-07-28T11:41:44+01:00

Yes, absolutely.

All counsellors and psychotherapists abide by a professional code of ethics, set by our membership bodies (in my case the BACP), and this includes confidentiality. I understand and respect the need for complete privacy and discretion when looking at sensitive issues.

However, if it seems there is a high risk of serious harm to yourself or someone else, then I will usually discuss that further with you, to see if anyone else might need to be informed (such as your GP).

If you tell me something that I am required to divulge under oath in a Court of Law, then I must do so.

For those under 18, there are additional rules about confidentiality to conform to the safeguards of UK Child Protection laws.

We will talk in more detail about confidentiality at our initial assessment session, and confidentiality is a key part of our contract.

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