1. What is counselling/therapy?
Counselling is a type of ‘talking therapy’, which is described by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy as “a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable”. In counselling, you are able to talk about your problems with the support of someone who has been trained to listen to you in an attentive and non-judgmental way. By talking about things that perhaps you can’t discuss with anyone else, or by being really listened to and understood by your therapist, this can help you have a deeper understanding of yourself and your situation, as well as begin to feel clearer about things. There is more information on this website about counselling, the different types of ‘talking therapies’ available, as well as what you can expect from counselling. Click here for more info.
2. Is it confidential?
Everything you discuss with me stays between us – it is important to me that you feel safe and know that what you say will be treated confidentially and with the utmost respect. There are a few exceptions, when I might have to talk about something we discuss with someone else, which include:
- If I am concerned that you are at serious risk of hurting yourself – if you are feeling like this I will talk to you about what sort of support is available and what we can do together to help you feel safe – however this may involve having to talk to other professionals.
- If I believe that you are at risk of seriously hurting another person I will need to involve the appropriate authorities.
- If you disclose some information which contravenes the current anti terrorism legislation or if I am subpoenaed by a court of law.
3. How do I know counselling is for me?
That’s a good question. Because I believe that everyone is unique, I do believe that counselling isn’t going to be the right thing for everyone. That said, I do know that when times are tough, it can really help to have talk to who you feel safe and comfortable with. Often people think ‘how will talking about my problems help’, but I’ve often found that beginning to talk the difficulties your facing in your life can be the first step towards things beginning to change. People come to counselling for all sorts of reasons (see what’s wrong) – they may feel completely alone with their struggles, confused about their thoughts and feelings, grappling with particular issues or fed up that they keep finding themselves in the same negative situations. Honestly, like all things in life, the only real way to know if counselling is going to be right for you is to give it a try. I know that can feel incredibly daunting and so if you do decide to have a session with me, I will do my best to be warm and welcoming, as well as support you whilst you give it a try.
4. What will happen if I have therapy with you?
When we meet or exchange messages for the first time, this will be a chance for you to talk your reasons for coming to therapy and how you hope it is going to help. This session will usually last for 50 minutes and it will give us a chance to get to know each other better, so you can decide if you feel comfortable talking to me and we can talk about how best to support you. We can also discuss any questions or concerns you have, as well as talk about what we think should happen next. If we then start having sessions together, we will usually meet (or exchange messages in the case of online therapy) at the same time each week for a ‘therapeutic hour’. During this time we can talk about whatever you wish, as well as start to work on some of the things you hope to get out of coming to therapy.
5. How long will it take?
How long the therapy takes can vary from person to person and you are free to have as many or as few sessions as you feel you need. I work both short-term and long-term, however I will usually suggest that we start off with six sessions as this is a good amount of time us to get to know each other and for you to get a sense of how many sessions you feel you might need.
6. What hours do you work?
I have appointments available between throughout the week from Monday to Friday, including some evening appointments. If you wish to meet each week for face to face counselling, the best thing to do is get in touch and we can explore when would be the best time for us to have a session together. (If you are interested in online counselling, please click here for more information).
7. Where are you based?
I have two practices; one in a light, airy room in Clapham Junction and another in a calm, welcoming room at my home in South Coulsdon. For more information on where I am based and to see photos of my therapy rooms, please click here.
8. How much does it cost?
Standard rates are £50 per session in Coulsdon and £60 per session in Clapham (from 2018). I accept payment via cash, cheque or BACS payment and this can be arranged on the date of your appointment.
I understand that often money can be a real barrier to people getting the help they desperately need.
- I do therefore offer concessionary fees to those experiencing financial difficulty.
- I also offer a student rate for trainee counsellors undertaking counselling as part of their course requirements.
Please contact me for more information.
9. What happens when I get in touch?
You can contact me by either phone or email. If you are feeling nervous, that’s okay and perfectly normal. If you call and I am not available, please leave a message and I will respond within 24 hours and will ask for some basic personal details i.e. name & contact details. Depending on whether you want to have face to face therapy or online counselling, I will ask you for some more information about your availability and if relevant I will give you some instructions on how to find me.