WHAT IS COUNSELLING?
Counselling is a talking therapy that allows you to discuss your problems and difficult feelings. It is a private, safe and confidential place to explore any issues you may be facing. Needing help is a normal part of being a human and asking for support shows courage and strength in taking the difficult step in resolving a problem.
We will not tell you what to do, we will encourage you to tell us what is troubling you so we can understand any root causes and identify your specific ways of thinking. We then may create a plan of action to help you find ways of coping or reconcile your issues. If at any time we feel we can no longer help you, we will offer to refer you to someone who can.
Counselling can be useful for anyone who wants to explore they way they are thinking or feeling, or if anyone has a problem they want to resolve. Sometimes it is difficult to speak to family and friends about personal issues and a professional may offer an objective viewpoint.
What happens at the first session?
You are welcome to come into the waiting area and take a seat. We will greet you at your appointment time and welcome you into the therapy room where you will be offered a drink of water. The first session is the assessment session where we will gain an idea of what is going on for you at the moment, what you want to gain from counselling, what is your current situation and personal history and what symptoms you are experiencing. It is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have and to decide if therapy is going to be for you and if you are ready to make a firm commitment to attending regularly.
If you do decide counselling is for you and you would like to book an appointment then we will cover the agreement of how we will work together. This includes: confidentiality, dates and times of our sessions, our professional relationship and how and when contact can be made between sessions.
Therapy aims to provide a safe and supportive place to explore your issues which at times can be demanding, frustrating, emotional and difficult. It requires you to discuss painful emotions and memories which may make you feel worse at the beginning. This has to be done so that you can gradually process and understand them and in time feel better.
How many sessions will I have?
This will depend on your motivation and commitment to therapy and how much work and practice you do in between sessions and the nature and complexity of your problem.
How often are appointments?
Sessions will be 50 minutes long and at the same time, every week (unless otherwise agreed). However if you need to change time and frequency we will try and accommodate you.
Contact outside of sessions?
The contact details provided are for use in the case of cancellations and alterations. We understand there are times when contact may be required outside booked session times. We strongly advise that the contact details provided are not always manned and messages will only be picked up on an irregular basis throughout the working day. Therefore, in extreme situations, you are advised to call for medical help/advice. We will however reply to all messages as soon as possible.
We shall not meet and/or have contact outside of the Counselling/Psychotherapy relationship. We shall not otherwise make contact with you or recognize you in a public place. Our relationship will remain a professional Counselling relationship.
At times Counselling can be very demanding, frustrating, emotional and plain difficult so there can be a real reluctance to attend. We would ask you to make a firm commitment to attend regularly and keep absences to a minimum; too many gaps will slow down the progress of our Counselling work.
Wanting to book for someone you are worried about?
If you are worried about someone else’s mental health the best thing to do is to talk to them about it. This may be difficult as people do struggle to talk about mental health issues. Mental illness is a natural part of being human and one in four of us will have some mental health issue at one time in our lives. When things do go wrong in our lives, such as bereavement or divorce, we expect to feel distressed. However if this goes on and doesn’t seem to settle, it may develop into a mental health issues. Listen to your instincts if you feel something isn’t quite right as mental health problems show themselves in differing ways.
Chose the correct time to talk to the person you are worried about, when you are calm, when the time is right, be forthright and honest, listen carefully, ask open-ended questions, give them hope, be supportive, give them resources and keep supporting them.
Unfortunately you cannot access counselling for someone else, this has to be their own decision. Counselling can be a difficult journey and they have to be ready to commit to this process for themselves.