Frequently Asked Questions

How long are the sessions and will the counselling be on a weekly basis?

The sessions last 50 minutes. As it is beneficial to build up a good counselling relationship I usually suggest we meet weekly to begin with and this is then reviewed regularly. If you have difficulty with work commitments I am very flexible and do work on weekend mornings.

What should you expect from the first session?

This is very much a fact finding session and an opportunity to meet me and get a sense of the way I work. I will ask you to tell me in your own time why you have come to see me and how you think counselling may help.

I usually ask you to think about these questions before you attend. Then we will explore together what I can offer you through the counselling process and you can think about whether you can work with me and therefore wish to return for future sessions.

There is no pressure and if you want to go away and think about it that is fine with me. I feel that to move forward in the counselling it is important for me to stress that we have a mutual two way process of honesty, transparency and openness. I want you to have a safe place where you are not judged and where I can offer you empathy and support.

What will happen in future sessions?

I feel that it is important to recognise that the focus of the counselling may change as it's a constantly evolving process. You may find that what we end up exploring is something very different to the problems you came with.

There may be times during the counselling where you feel overwhelmed or distressed and believe that it is not helpful. Before deciding to end please do come and discuss these difficulties as we may find a way through enabling you to continue. It is, however, always your choice to end the counselling at any time.

Sometimes I may challenge you but only when this is going to be helpful in moving forward and equally you can challenge me if you feel that my interpretations or speculations are way off course.

How many sessions will be required?

I offer brief and long term counselling and usually find somewhere between four and six sessions is a good time to reflect on the counselling process to be certain that you are still finding it helpful. I will ask what has been helpful and perhaps what could be better or different as I feel this is an ethical way of working.

What is my success rate?

This is a question often posed by couples. I guess it is how one perceives success - couples rarely contact me after they have ended the counselling so whilst they may leave me in a different place I have no idea of how their relationship is several months down the line.

Do I see success as saving all relationships? In all honesty some couples come to divorce amicably, to work through how they tell their children if they are separating or to make an informed decision about their relationship and see if it can change or be different. So in answer to that question, for me, it's impossible to answer.

Is the counselling confidential?

It is confidential except where there is disclosure or evidence of physical, sexual or serious emotional abuse or neglect. Or suicide is threatened or disclosure of self harm. Or if you are a danger to yourself or anyone else. Or evidence of breaking the law. Also if there are safeguarding issues with my younger clients. I do discuss our work with my Supervisor who also upholds the principles of confidentiality.

How will I know when the counselling should end?

I think often you will just know when it's the right time. Sometimes helpful for me to ask if you have got everything you wanted from your time with me. Do you feel in a different place? Do you have new tools and coping strategies? Have I been able to help you answer the question 'what is going to help me in my recovery process?'. I will always say to you that my door is always open if you want a top up session or as a couple, to check in - please do get in touch.