You may seek counselling because of a crisis, or you may be encouraged to seek counselling by family members, friends or colleagues. Whatever your reason is for seeking counselling below are some frequently asked questions to help the process of starting easier.
Frequently asked questions
How confidential is counselling?
Being able to trust your counsellor and know that he/she can keep confidence is a significant aspect of counselling. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as harm to yourself or vulnerable others, that it would ever be necessary for me to share information. If I felt that I had to break confidentiality to keep you or another safe, I would always have a conversation with you first.
How many counselling sessions do I need?
This would depend on you and what you bring to therapy. Counselling is a process and it is not easy to guess how many sessions are required for every individual. The length will very much depend on your unique circumstances, needs and what you want to get out of your sessions. Keep in mind that once you start sessions, new issues and angles can arise that you were not aware existed which may lead you to want to explore more.
How long does each session last?
Sessions are for 50 minutes adults one to one, 40 minutes under 18 and 60 minutes for couple counselling.
What happens in a session?
Sessions are client-led and there is no typical counselling session. In the first session we will go through our contract, discuss your expectations and what you would hope to achieve from counselling. I am interested to know what it is like being you, your life and your story. This might mean talking about your current self and how issues may be affecting you in the here and now or delving into past experiences and how the past is still be impacting you. We may discuss certain behaviours in a way that you have not previously been able to before. Whatever happens in therapy, you won't be judged. Instead you will be listened to in an encouraging way where you and your experience and choices will be treated with respect and positive regard.
How do I know which counsellor is best for me?
I feel it is vitally important you work with a counsellor that you feel you can trust, work with, and be vulnerable with in order for counselling to be effective. Counselling is very much about the relationship between counsellor and client. During our first conversation, whether this is by phone or during our first meeting, both of us will have the opportunity to honestly decide if you will benefit from having counselling with me and the way I am and the way I work.
Why do I need to attend weekly sessions?
Through experience of working with many clients, I find that weekly sessions, certainly during the first 6 weeks, helps you make gradual and steady progress and for a relationship and trust to build. However, this can be entirely up to you as certain conditions such as finances or work commitments may mean weekly sessions are not feasible.