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What is counselling

 

Is counselling for me?

Counselling can help with a huge spectrum of life difficulties whether that might be facing the loss of a loved one or making a decision about your future, dealing with panic attacks or feeling isolated. A counsellor can help you to find the path when you are lost in a way that isn't always possible for a friend or relative. You don't have to be in a crisis to seek counselling, it can be about wanting to live a more satisfying life and getting to know yourself at a deeper level.
I have helped people with all manner of life changes, from starting a family to children leaving home, illness, retirement, separation and divorce and of course - the effects of a pandemic!
Relationship difficulties are also very common, we are complex, social beings and our connections and communications with others are so important. However, they can also be incredibly painful sometimes and maybe even unhealthy.
Although I would not describe myself as a specialist counsellor in the following areas, these issues have often been present for the people that I work with - all types of childhood abuse, domestic abuse, trauma, self-harm, addictions and eating disorders. I work within my competency and more often than not my clients choose to see me regardless of the issue that they bring. However, if I feel that another service would be more beneficial, then I will discuss that with you and try to help you find the best service.
Counselling can be a painful process and it requires commitment. It is not for everyone but for those who find it helpful, it can truly be life changing.

What happens during a session?

Just as all clients are individual, so too are all practitioners. However, a general rule of thumb when going to a therapist is to be aware that a counsellor does not give advice or provide you with the answers. The way that I try to help you find your own answers, is firstly by building a trusting relationship and listening to your story. I need to get a picture of how you view your life and your difficulties.
I mainly work by talking with you but I often use creative methods if you are interested and find it useful. I may sometimes guide you in visualisations or relaxation and occasionally I may provide you with some information to reflect upon. All of this is done with your permission, at your pace and in your service.
Everything that you say to me is confidential and remains between us but there are some exceptions to this rule which relates to your safety and the safety of others. I will provide you with a contract and I will talk you through that in our first session. You will then have a chance to think about whether or not you are happy to sign the contract before coming back to our second session.
I am an accredited member of the BACP and as such I abide by their Ethical Guidelines. There is a wealth of information on the BACP website from finding out about different counselling approaches to how to make a complaint.

When are you available and how do I book?

I am available on Mondays and Fridays, I also have some flexibility on a Thursday. I'm afraid I don't offer evening or weekend appointments at present.
Because I work most days and due to the nature of this work, I am often not available to answer the phone, so an email is often the best means of communication.
Having said that, if you would like to find out more about me and the way that I work, please text or email me to arrange a time for a phone conversation.
If however you are sure that you'd like counselling with me and just want to get something booked, then an email with your availability is a usually a good starting point. Should my working hours not be convenient for you, I may be able to recommend someone else. I would also advise looking at the BACP and Counselling Directory websites.
I teach at the Iron Mill College on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and am therefore unavailable on those days during term-time.