What happens in a counselling session?
This is mostly determined by you and we will always work at your pace. It is your time to be yourself and talk about whatever has brought you to counselling. Often this is what is of greatest importance to you at that moment, but the therapeutic process can lead you to talking about issues that you were not expecting. This can bring powerful emotions to the surface which you may choose to explore within the safety and boundaries of the counselling relationship.
What type of issues can counselling help with?
• Relationship Issues
It is important to note that these are not the only issues which counselling can help with – in our first session we will discuss what has brought you to counselling and whether counselling is right for you.
How will I know if you are the right counsellor for me?
Counselling is a very personal process and one which requires a relationship between the counsellor and client in order to function successfully. At the first session we will start to explore what you would like to achieve in counselling and how I would aim to work with you. It is important the approach I take is suited to you and your issues. If I don’t think I can help you, I can suggest other approaches that might be more beneficial. Relationships can take time to form, but this session will allow us to assess whether we would like to start the counselling process.
How many counselling sessions am I likely to need?
Essentially, counselling will last for as long as you feel it is necessary and beneficial for you. Some people can come to counselling and find that they encounter rapid changes or resolutions; for others it can be a longer process. We would agree to assess the counselling as it progresses, with regular opportunities to discuss whether it is proving useful to you. What you do not need to fear is that you will be ‘stuck’ in counselling. While I would always recommend that we carry out a final session together to end the counselling process, it is you who is firmly in control of whether we proceed or not.
Is the service confidential?
It is vitally important that you feel able to talk openly in counselling which is why confidentiality is so important. Knowing that what you say stays within the counselling room can be the key to being able to speak freely. There have to be limits to this confidentiality and I will outline them fully in our introductory session and explain to you what might happen if information ever needed to be passed on. This is very rare and will be full explored with you when we meet.
I do keep brief notes to aid me in our work together. These are kept secure and are only accessed by me.
I attend monthly supervision with another experienced counsellor and discuss issues from my practice. However, these never contain details by which individual clients can be identified.
Is counselling different for young people?
My approach to counselling applies to all clients of all ages. However, with clients under 16 I require the client and the client’s parent/primary care giver to attend the first introductory session. In that meeting we would discuss how we would work together and the structure and limits of confidentiality. I would then require a contract to be signed by all in the session agreeing the conditions for counselling to proceed. After that first session, I would work on a one-to-one basis with the young person and, within the limits set out in the contract, nothing said to me during counselling would be repeated to anyone. As with all therapy we will have regular reviews in which it is often helpful to include the person who attended the initial session with the client.
• Family Difficulties
• Eating Disorders
• Coping with Crisis
• Alcohol or Drug Problems
• Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse
• Life Transitions