What are your fees?
Due to Covid-19 precautions I cannot accept cash and ask that you pay by card or bank transfer.
Please can you make payment at least 24 hours before appointment to confirm booking.
Please can you give me at 24 hours notice if you need to cancel or change an appointment.
Appointments cancelled at short notice or not attended without notice will be liable for a cancellation fee.
If you are having difficulty paying the agreed fee please discuss this with me so that we can come to some arrangement.
Please attend at the agreed time. If you are late I cannot go over the allotted times as I have following appointments.
Are Counselling Sessions Confidential?
Yes. You have a legal and ethical right to privacy which I respect and therefore everything that happens in our counselling sessions remains confidential. Confidentiality and trust are a very important aspect of the counselling relationship and necessary for it to work. I do not take notes during sessions. I sometimes make brief summary notes of sessions afterwards as a reminder of what we have discussed. These are stored electronically and securely on a password protected server in accordance with the requirements of GDPR data protection and Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) with whom I am registered.
I have a Supervisor with whom I meet once a month to discuss my counselling work and any concerns I might have. If I do discuss you as a client with them I would not disclose your name or any details that would enable you to be identified. My Supervisor is bound by the same ethical framework as myself and required to maintain confidentiality.
The only times that I might be required to breach confidentiality is if you revealed information to me about children or vulnerable adults that might be at risk of harm or the possibility of the crimes of drug trafficking, money laundering or acts of terrorism. In event I would discuss this with you first. I am under no legal obligation to disclose any other crimes, committed or intended, by yourself or another, that you might choose to reveal to me. The only other occasion I would be required to breach confidentiality was if I was subpoened to give evidence in a legal trial. Once again, I would discuss this with you beforehand.
Are you complying with government Covid policy?
Yes. I am currently seeing clients face-to-face whilst complying with government regulations regarding Covid. We are able to meet in a clean, ventilated room with social distancing without the need for face masks.
Is my first appointment free?
Yes. It is an opportunity for you to get to know me, ask any questions you might have before deciding if I am the appropriate counsellor for you. It is also an opportunity for me to get to know you, ask you questions in order to assess your needs and decide if I am able to help you.
Since the most significant part of counselling is the relationship between the counsellor and the client, it is important to establish during this time whether we will be able to work together. You are under no obligation to engage my services.
In some circumstances, I might advise or refer you to a more appropriate counsellor or agency.
How many sessions will I need?
It all depends on you and your individual needs. Interestingly, many people assume that counselling is long, expensive experience extending over weeks, months and sometimes even years. However, to the contrary, research has shown that most people attend and benefit from only a few sessions.
"The assumption that therapy and counselling should always be long-term has been challenged repeatedly over the last 30 years. Data from public and non-profit therapy agencies indicate that the most frequent number of sessions that clients have is ‘1’ and that 70-80% of clients having a single session are satisfied with the session given their current circumstances.' (Prof. Windy Dryden).
You will be the best judge of how many you need and you will know when you need to end.
What if I prefer to see a female counsellor?
I can appreciate at times, some women would feel more comfortable not having a male counsellor. I fully respect that and will happily be able to refer you to a suitable female counsellor.
For my own part, many of my clients are women and as a married man with 3 daughters and having worked as a nurse and midwife I am quite comfortable with any issues women might wish to discuss
What if I don't like talking about myself?
You don't have to talk about yourself if you don't want to. Counselling is about what ever you are comfortable with. It can be therapeutic to talk about anything that is taking up your attention at the moment. Many of my clients are currently talking about their concerns about the current pandemic, the stress of lockdown and the uncertain future we are all facing right now. Many of us are feeling quite angry and anxious right now. I offer the space to vent whatever you feel without judgement.
Do I need to lie on a couch?
No not when we meet face to face. You will be able to sit in a chair. During telephone and online counselling, if you are at home, you can lie on the couch, lie on your bed or sit in a chair. The most important thing is that you are comfortable, relaxed and undisturbed. And no, I don't sit there with a clipboard writing down everything you say. During our counselling I don't do any writing. I listen to you. There are no forms to fill out, no assessments or tests as some people expect.
Wouldn't it be easier for me to talk to a friend?
Sometimes talking to a friend can be helpful and as a counsellor I would encourage you to seek the support of your family and friends.
However there are some disadvantages to using these people as your only confidants and support. They could feel a conflict of loyalty and find it hard to keep things confidential. They may become upset themselves by what you are telling them and could become upset if you don’t accept their advice. They may begin to feel overburdened, especially if they have their own problems too.
As a counsellor, I have the training, professional experience, formal support and resources that enable me to deal with upsetting and difficult situations.
Isn't counselling a bit too "touchy-feely"?
No. Counselling doesn't have to be all about feelings. It's about what ever you feel comfortable with. Sometimes it can just be talking about your choices, decisions and values. Some people focus on feelings, others on their thoughts. Everyone is unique. Some people are able to express their feelings and emotions openly whilst others prefer not to. I will respect you and give you the freedom to behave however you want to. Counselling is about whatever you want it to be.
How do I know I will receive a professional service?
I strive to offer you the highest quality of professional counselling:
When are you able to see me?
I recognise that not everyone is able to attend counselling sessions during office hours during the week so I do have some evening appointments. I would like to make counselling accessible as possible to you. If you have difficulty with transport, travelling and finding time I would ask you to consider the convenient and flexible option of telephone and video counselling.