Counselling – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

You may have some experience of counselling already or you may be thinking about embarking on this path for the first time. Either way, there may be questions that you have for me.

If your question is not answered below or you would like more detail please get in touch.

Do you offer online or phone counselling?

Yes I do! I have a blog post (here) that will give you a lot more information about these services. My preferred online platform is ‘Zoom’ as in my experience this video call service provides the experience that is the closest to face-to-face counselling.  I am also happy to work via GoogleMeet.

You are welcome to try out both online and phone counselling to see which suits you best. I am happy to provide free assistance with helping you get set up for online counselling so please do not worry if you are unfamiliar with this.

Do I need to do anything prior to the first session?

When you arrange your first session I will ask for your email address so I can send you a copy of the counselling contract as well as directions to my counselling room or details for our online session or call. Please read through the contract carefully. I will ask you to complete and return via email the personal details section of the form to me prior to our first session to show your agreement to this as the basis for us working together.

What should I expect from the first session?

It is understandable to be nervous about what the first session might be like. I will do my best to put you at ease and to make everything as clear as possible.

At the start of our first session we will talk through the counselling contract together – there may be questions you have around this or more detail that you would like. I will look to understand from you, what has brought you to counselling and what you might like to gain from the process. There will also be time and space for you to begin to tell me your story in whatever way you wish.

At the end of our time we will take some time to check in about how you have found the session and for us to agree together what happens next. I will try to ensure you are grounded and in a safe place before you leave the session. If we decide to continue to work together we will look to arrange dates and times for our future sessions at this point.

How regular are sessions?

Sessions are normally weekly as you will find that you will make more progress if you make a commitment to attend regularly, but different intervals can be negotiated.

How many sessions can I have?

This is up to you. You may want to agree that we work together for a certain number of sessions or you may prefer to leave this open-ended and to see how things unfold. I am happy to work with you if you are looking for longer term support.

Is what I tell you confidential?

I abide by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) codes of ethics and practice. What you tell me is private and confidential with some exceptions:

If you tell me something which leads me to believe that you or another person (especially a child) is at risk of harm I may need to divulge this information. I would usually hope to discuss this with you first and encourage you to take appropriate action.

I attend regular group and individual supervision to ensure my work is kept safe (in line with professional guidelines). This is always done with care to protect your identity and your name will not be used.

How do I pay?

I accept payment by bank transfer.

Do you charge for cancelled sessions?

If you are unable to attend your session please call me as soon as possible and at least 48 hours in advance of our session time. If you do not do this, the full session cost will normally be payable.