about the therapy
"In a sense the counsellor attempts to provide different soil and a different climate in which the client can recover from past deprivation or maltreatment and begin to flourish as the unique individual they are".
Mearns & Thorne
What is it and how does it work?
The therapy I offer is person-centred.
This approach means I work to understand your experience from your point of view, because your experience is unique to you. I do this with honesty and non-judgement because I value all that you are as a human.
These therapeutic conditions are the essential elements of an environment that can be used for healing and growth as they provide an opportunity for:
your distress and uncertainties to be expressed, acknowledged and valued
greater insight and acceptance about yourself - how you feel, think and behave
opening up possibilities of how you can go forward in ways where you feel more at peace
"If we can learn how to feel our way through these experiences and own our stories of struggle, we can write our own brave endings. When we own our stories, we avoid being trapped as characters in stories someone else is telling"
Person-centred therapy is based on the understanding that humans are hardwired to move towards what we need in life. However, we can often receive messages (from parents/care-givers, peers, teachers, media & culture etc) that particular needs or feelings are not acceptable. We can then take on these messages and find it difficult to accept these parts of ourselves. As such, we can find ways to adapt ourselves and ignore or deny these needs or feelings, resulting in all sorts of forms of distress (e.g. anxiety, depression, shame, anger, low self-worth, discontentment).
A therapeutic relationship offers acceptance and appreciation of these needs and feelings; these different conditions can enable more awareness, acceptance and valuing of these in ourselves. When we are more fully able to understand and accept our needs and feelings, we can make choices about how to meet them - enabling us to 'be ourselves' in more fulfilling and less distressing ways.
You are the expert in what you are experiencing; I offer a non-judgmental and empathic relationship to meet you in this and work together, at your pace, with whatever you bring.
What will happen in the first session?
We will talk about what has brought you here and what you are looking to get out of counselling. We will make some agreements about what we are doing – which we will review as we go along.
It's important to trust your judgement as to whether you feel comfortable enough talking with me about your thoughts and feelings. If it doesn't feel right, it is likely that you will find a different therapist who you feel better about working with.
Questions to think about in preparation are :
- Why am I seeking counselling? - How do I think counselling is going to help with that?
How long is a counselling session and how many will I need?
Counselling sessions are 50 minutes long.
Usually, it takes a number of sessions for counselling to make a difference. However, in some circumstances it may be that one session is enough. You may be quite certain about how many sessions you are looking for, or it may be difficult to know how many sessions would be most helpful; this is something we can discuss at our first session and come back to throughout.
Meeting weekly at the beginning is important for establishing a strong and trusting therapeutic relationship. Thereafter, we can look together at how often having sessions would be most useful to you. We would continue to check-in about this until you feel ready to end.
What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
These terms are often interchangeably to mean the same thing. Psychotherapy is extensive and in-depth work often working with the root sources of your situations. Sometimes counselling refers to a briefer process focusing on patterns of behaviours and recurring difficulties in your life. I see them being very much connected; counselling is part of a psychotherapeutic process.
How much does it cost?
My fee is £40 per counselling session.
I'm happy to have a free 10-20 minute phone-call to check anything out to help you in deciding whether to make an appointment. Payment can be made either by cash at each session or by online bank transfer.
Is it confidential?
It is confidential that you are a client in counselling with me, as is anything you talk about in your sessions. There are however some limits to confidentiality that I am bound to ethically and legally:
If I am concerned that you or another person are at serious, imminent harm, I may seek additional assistance on your behalf or on the behalf of vulnerable others. I will make every effort to discuss this with you before any action is taken.
I may also have to lift confidentiality when a serious crime has been committed or threatened.
This policy is about how I store and use any information you may give me – as an enquiring, current and past client, or as a visitor to my website. It also states your privacy rights. This is in line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
You may have some other questions that are not answered here – if so, please do get in touch.
"When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when they are doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for.
The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another... and one of the most potent forces for change I know".
Carl Rogers, founder of Person-Centred therapy