Counselling – Frequently Asked Questions



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 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. You may wish to read through the contract before we meet.

If you would like to fill in the personal details section of this form and bring it with you to the first session that is fine. If you would rather not, I will have a printed copy for us to fill in during the first session.

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 look at the counselling contract together – there may be questions you have around this or more detail that you would like. We will also complete a brief assessment so that I can understand what has brought you to counselling, what you might like to gain from the process and so we can begin to agree how we will work towards this.

After this, I will ask you to take a few moments to settle in to being here with me. The time is then yours to begin telling me your story in whatever way you wish.

At the end of our time we will take a few minutes to ensure you are grounded, and in a safe place before you leave the session. We will look to arrange dates and times for our future sessions together 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 cash or 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.