DOES COUNSELLING REALLY WORK?
Absolutely! Of course it depends on what the problem is, the length of the counselling process, and a range of factors such as the strength of the relationship between you and your counsellor and other things going on in your life. I believe we can’t underestimate the power of being understood and respected by another person, unconditionally.
There is plenty of evidence to support the benefits of counselling e.g. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) research showed counselling is an effective treatment for depression in adults.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FEEL BETTER?
The number of sessions varies enormously and depends on what issues you bring - we will discuss this at your first session. Some people feel the benefits straight away. For others it can be a lengthy process. Many factors can affect the outcome - the reasons you are seeking counselling, the relationship between you and your counsellor, how ready you are for counselling.
Counselling is really hard work and requires commitment and dedication.
I work ethically so will never encourage someone to stay in counselling longer than they need to. We review regularly and this might give us an idea of how many sessions you will need.
WHAT IF IT ISN'T WORKING?
There are many reasons why you might feel this way. Maybe counselling isn't what you expected. Possibly the prospect of lifting the lid on an emotional issue is too daunting at the moment. You may not feel that you have 'clicked' with me as your counsellor. It is up to you to decide whether you want to book in for another session or not.
AS A COUNSELLOR, DO YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS?
I wish I did, but no, I don't. In fact, I will not tell you what to do. I believe this would be a waste of your time and potentially quite damaging. We are all individuals. Only you know what you are experiencing and how this feels. I can, however work to understand this as closely as possible and help you to understand yourself better.
HOW IS COUNSELLING DIFFERENT TO CHATTING TO A FRIEND?
Chatting to a friend or relative can be very therapeutic and uplifting. But it isn't counselling. Friends and family have preconceived ideas about you, and you may feel the need to put on a brave face. They can't be really objective or neutral.
I can offer a safe, supportive, empathic space to explore the aspects of yourself you may not be willing or able to explore within the context of friendships or other personal relationships.
As a counsellor, I focus entirely on you and what you tell me is confidential. We set out clear boundaries for our working relationship from the outset.
As a qualified counsellor, I have trained for several years to work with clients using skills and the theories that underpin them. I work professionally, according to the BACP ethical framework which includes a commitment to ongoing professional training.
IS EVERYTHING I SAY IN COUNSELLING CONFIDENTIAL?
Trust is the absolute cornerstone of the counselling relationship. What you share in a counselling session is confidential between you and your counsellor.
However, as counsellors we do have to work ethically and within the law. If confidentiality needs to be breached, I would usually discuss this with you, for example where I had concerns about the risk of serious harm to you or others. There are also incidences where I would be legally required to disclose for example to comply with the Terrorism Act (2000), Road Traffic Act (1991) and Children Act (1989).
This would all be discussed with you in the first session, giving you an opportunity to ask questions.