Taking the first step in looking for a counsellor can be a daunting one. This page is designed to give you a good idea as to what to expect if you start the counselling process with me.
'It is good to have an end to journey toward: but it is the journey that matters, in the end.'
- Ursula K. Le Guin, B. 1929
What to expect when you contact me:
I usually find that an initial informal meeting is helpful. It gives you a chance to meet me and gauge how you feel talking to me. This meeting doesn't usually involve going into depth about what might have brought you to counselling. Instead it is aimed to give you an idea as to how I work, and for you to ascertain how you might feel working with me. If you would like to proceed following that we can arrange to meet for our first counselling session.
During the initial session I will ask various questions to give us an idea as to how counselling might benefit you, and the type of support you'll need. It will be more detailed than our first meeting and may feel quite emotional for you. Although difficult, that can also be a sign that the healing process is starting. With this in mind, I will always go at your pace, and will never purposely push you further than feels helpful.
Where I work:
I work both online and face to face. For face to face work I use a private room in All Saints Church Hall in Lightwater, and I use zoom for online meetings.
How I work:
I am an integrated therapist meaning that I draw upon a variety of different therapeutic approaches. I work creatively using art equipment, objects, toys etc as these can sometimes assist in understanding emotions when words do not feel enough, or are hard to find. I believe the therapeutic relationship to be crucial in understanding other relationships in life, so I often reflect and explore the relationship between us to help reveal what may be otherwise hidden aspects in your other relationships.
I gently challenge thinking and behaviour that seem unhelpful to you, always underpinning this with a high level of respect. I take my guidance from you as to what you feel is helpful and unhelpful, as I believe you will get the most out of the process when we work together.
People often ask how much therapy I think they will need. Unfortunately there is no one answer to this. It very much depends on you, what you bring to therapy, and how far you want to go with it. I have seen people for just two months, and also people for four or more years so it varies greatly.
Ending counselling can be significant as it can be seen as the end of an important relationship. It can also be a quick and easy process, depending on the person and the length of time that we have known each other. When either or both of us think it best to end therapy we will discuss it and decide the best way to go about it together. This might involve gradually decreasing sessions by leaving a longer gap between them or actively working towards an ending with an end date in mind. However it is done it will be decided with your best interests in mind.
My fees are £60 per session.
I have several concessionary slots that are for people experiencing financial hardship. If you would like to enquire about this please ask when you initially contact me.
Everything you say in our sessions is considered confidential. However, I will discuss some of what is said with my supervisor in order to gain and apply their wisdom and insights to our work together. In accordance with BACP requirements I would need to break confidentiality in the unusual and unlikely event of serious risk of harm to yourself or somebody else. In most cases I would discuss this with you before actioning on it.
I make brief notes after our sessions. These do not identify you by name or in any other way. They are stored confidentially for the duration of our time together, and are destroyed 5 years after we have finished working together.