QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE
LET’S TRY TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.....
WHAT IS COUNSELLING?
Counselling is an intentional and purposeful activity which research suggests, on average, has positive effects on mental health and wellbeing. However, not everyone benefits from counselling. One to-one counselling, provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk things over with a trained listening professional. Sessions last for about 50 minutes. But, dealing with your problems of living not only involves attending regular therapy sessions, but requires your commitment to hard work. A successful therapy experience does not mean you will be ‘fixed’ or “cured, but may mean feeling better about yourself and those around you. Therapy could involve learning new skills; gaining insight or self-awareness; problem solving; or developing new strategies for living.
WHAT THERAPY CANNOT DO
Resolve unsolvable problems or wider socio-cultural issues such as poverty, discrimination and climate change; although you may wish to talk about any effects these have on your wellbeing.
Change the past, guarantee happiness or a predict a positive future.
Give advice; although it may involve providing you with relevant information.
Diagnose medical disorders.
Prescribe medication as I am not medically qualified to do so. If you have any medical conditions you are advised to consult your doctor.
Therapy may not suit everyone.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THERAPY?
What is “done” in therapy can be summarised in the following list of therapeutic “tasks”.
Talking through an issue to understand things better.
Making sense of a puzzling or problematic reaction to a situation.
Problem-solving, planning and decision making.
Dealing with difficult feelings and emotions.
Finding, analysing, and acting on information.
Undoing self-criticism and enhancing self-care.
Negotiating a life transition
Dealing with difficult or painful relationships.
HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I NEED?
Each client has different needs and preferences so there is no “right amount” of sessions.
Some clients prefer short term counselling (up to six sessions), whilst others prefer longer-term work and others prefer more flexible arrangements.
We will agree (contract) this at the start of therapy and your preferences, where possible, will be accommodated.
IS ONLINE THERAPY EFFECTIVE?
Yes. A growing body of evidence suggests remote therapy is equally as effective traditional in-person therapy (Varker et al., 2019). The experience is certainly different between online, telephone and in-person therapies. But remote working is more flexible, convenient, and accessible than ever before for many people.
Varker, T., Brand, R.M., Ward, J., Terhaag, S., & Phelps, A., 2019. Efficacy of synchronous telepsychology interven- tions for people with anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and adjustment disorder: A rapid evidence assessment.. Psychological Services, Volume 16 (4), pp. 621-635.
WHAT IS MEANT BY CONFIDENTIALITY
As professionally registered therapists, "being trustworthy" is one of our ethical commitments to clients. Maintaining confidentiality is both a legal requirement and an ethical responsibility of my own professional membership. But it is not an absolute guarantee; exceptions when this may not be possible are listed below. An awareness of these exceptions will allow you make decisions about what information you choose to disclose in therapy. However, we would discuss any issues before any confidence was broken.
Exceptions to consider
Exceptions when confidentiality may not be guaranteed include;
1. If I consider there is an immediate risk of harm to yourself or someone else.
2. If there is an imminent risk to the safety of children.
3. If you disclose any money laundering or terrorist activity.
4. If a court order requires me to do so.
Although your name, address and contact details will be taken, including those of your emergency contact, your case will be allocated a unique serial number. This means any notes that are made by me in a session are fully anonymised, will be stored securely, and kept separate from any personal information. In the event of any personal incapacity or my death, an appointed professional executor will destroy all notes and personal information relating to any clients.
Other issues around confidentiality
Counsellors have an ethical commitment to engage in regular supervision with a more experienced person. This facilitates the quality of professional working practice.
Whilst client cases are discussed any personal information is NOT disclosed.
Sessions may be recorded but only with your prior consent, and used only for my professional development. They will be deleted as soon as possible, and within two months of them being recorded.
You may agree to give consent for me to contact your GP if an emergency arises or if there were concerns for your wellbeing.
DO YOU SEE YOUNGER CLIENTS?
Therapy I offer is available to anyone over the age of 18.