Answering your concerns

What is Counselling?

Counselling is a talking therapy that that helps with emotional problems and mental health issues. Talking with a trained professional helps you to understand your life situation and to reveal your hidden resources that will help you cope with what is going on. It offers a safe opportunity for you to explore in a confidential way the things that are affecting you and making you feel ill at ease, so gaining a better insight into what is behind your troubles. With greater awareness comes lower anxiety and reduced tension and you are better placed to discover and develop ways of accepting, changing or moving forward from your difficult life situation.

How do I choose a counsellor?

It is important to choose a counsellor you can work with and trust. The better the relationship between you and your counsellor, the more you are likely to benefit from the counselling.

Early indications of whether you ‘like’ a counsellor come from their web site or other advertising material, however it is a good idea to talk to them as well. This will give you a greater sense of what they are like and whether you feel comfortable with them. Meeting them for a single session to talk about what you are looking for and to find out more about them and how they work further adds to this picture. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for more information before you make up your mind.

Some good questions to bear in mind when meeting them are: Do I like how they talk to me and treat me? Do I feel safe with them? Would I feel comfortable telling them about my life? Could I trust them and be completely open with them?

Not everyone finds the right counsellor first time. Remember though, there will be a counsellor out there for you. So if you have had an unsuccessful venture into counselling already then why not have another attempt now to find the one that will be able to help you.

What can I expect in a session?

I can only really tell you what you can expect from a counselling session with me.

You and your greater wellbeing will be at the centre of all that occurs and you will be in control of the pace and content of the session. As you speak, you can expect to be empathically heard. Whether you talk about your present situation, past memories or future concerns I will listen without judgement and support you in bringing forward a deeper understanding of your key thoughts, the important memories and the significant moments in your life: softly touching and exploring any associated feelings and emotions.

At times you may be invited to use specific techniques and other counselling aids, e.g. drawing, visualisation, dream work, mindfulness, breathing and relaxation methods, particularly at times when you may not be able to express yourself fully. As always, if anything doesn’t feel right for you then you do not have do it.

How many sessions will I have?

Counselling can be short or long term. The number of sessions will depend on you and the depth and complexity of the issues you want to resolve. It is unusual for there to be less than six sessions. Beyond this, there would be regular discussions to ensure that you only have the number of sessions to suit your requirements. The final decision on when to stop always rests with you.