What is counselling? 

 

The aim of counselling is to help you explore the issues that are troubling you, and your feelings about them, in a safe and secure environment. I aim to offer a you a none judgemental space where you can speak freely about the things that are on your mind. My role as your therapist is to help you with your perspective on the situations that are affecting you, giving you a wider view so that you can look at it from fresh angles. I like to explain it by using the analogy of looking at a view from a window in a room, you think the view you see, and the window you see through is the only one in the room.  The process of counselling can show you more windows in that room that you never knew existed,  inviting you to look at the same view, but from a different angle, and wider perspective. 

 

Sometimes when we are faced with an unsettling situation, we think there is only one way to look at it. This is usually due to fear, past life expereinces, or never giving ourselves the time to explore the issues at a deeper level to see what is really going on inside. To speak  with someone who listen carefully, and who will not tell you what they think you should do, but rather give you alternative choices you may wish to explore should you feel they are right for you, can help bring things into a clearer focus.  Talking to friends and family is a good way to get  things off your chest, but often ends in them telling you what they think you should do based on what would be right for them. This often ends in frustration on both parts, which is why it’s sometimes beneficial to speak to someone who can hold an impartial view, and who is not emotionally attached to the situation.

 

What types of problems do people use counselling for?

 

I would say that most general life issues can be brought to counselling, anything that troubles you. The most common problems people come into counselling with are difficult life events, upsetting or traumatic expereinces, difficult emotions, anxiety, relationship issues, depression, work related issues, feelings of low self esteem, sexuality issues. There are some more accute mental illness that I would not be able to work with as they fall under the care of Psychiatry, such as schizophrenia, personality disorders etc.

 

Where on earth do I start? 

It does not matter where you begin, or even if you can begin at all to start with. Sometimes we are so upset we just need to express our emotions before we can begin to speak, this is fine and you will be held safely in a space while you express how you feel in your own unique way. Theres no pressure, no expectations, just be yourself.

 

How much counselling will I need?

This can differ from person to person, you might only need a few sessions, or you may need more regualr ongoing therapy. Some people come in and have a block of sesssions, then return for more at a later stage. Some come in for a 'top up' every now and again as lifes challenges reveal themselves, and some never need to come into therapy again for many years. I offer a review session after every 6 counselling sessions, which allows us to establish how counselling is helping you, and what changes have occured. We can then decide if further sessions are needed, and this is a good opportunity to get some feedback on how things have progressed during your time in the counelling process. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the amount of therapy a person may need, as every person and their experiences are all unique and should be treated as so.

 

 

Will what I say be confidential?

 

Yes, I am bound by the BACP code of ethical conduct, and must keep the contents of your therapy sessions strictly confidential. However, there is an exception to this, and this is in relation to harm of yourself or others. Should during your sessions I become concerned that either you or another is at risk of harm, then I am within my rights to notify the appropriate authorities.  Any concerns would always be discussed with you prior to notifying a third party. Everything will be laid out in the counselling contract which I give to clients on their first appointment so you are fully aware of the ethics and boundaries involved.