Questions about Counselling
What is Person-Centred Counselling?
It is a type of talking therapy that aims to offer the client a warm and understanding environment in which to discuss concerns and issues about their life. It is an opportunity to develop your self-awareness and for you to be able to make sense of life experiences.
You will not be given advice or be told what to do. The person-centred therapist is often characterized as being 'alongside' the client on their journey of self-discovery. The counsellor is an attentive and fully present companion and is there to help the client make sense of and gain perspective of their experiences.
The person-centred counsellor trusts in the client's own resources to work things out in the way that is best for them and believes that the client is the 'expert' on their own life, not the therapist.
What is Psychodynamic Counselling?
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experiences in shaping current behaviour. The client may want to explore childhood relationships or examine patterns in their life. Transference may occur where the client projects feelings experienced in previous significant relationships onto the therapist.
What is Integrative Counselling?
Integrative Counselling is when several distinct models of counselling are used together. I am an integrative counsellor and use both person-centred and psychodynamic approaches in my work as well as incorporating other tools and methods if I feel they would benefit the client.
I endeavour to create a safe space and a genuine, warm and accepting relationship where the client is free to explore thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement. The relationship between the client and the counsellor is pivotal to this, and can allow someone the freedom to make choices that are right for them.
What problems can counselling help with?
Counselling can be helpful for many different issues, such as:
Coming to terms with loss (e.g. divorce or bereavement)
Coping with changes in life circumstances (e.g. moving country, retirement, redundancy)
Dealing with a crisis
Alcohol or drug problems
Work Related Issues/Stress/Bullying
Problems with self-esteem/confidence
Work related issues
How do I decide if you're the right counsellor for me?
Finding the right person to work with is a very important step and it may be helpful to talk to different counsellors before making a decision. Our initial contact via phone or email will outline what issue you would like to bring to counselling; if we decide to proceed with counselling then we will agree a contract (see Counselling Contract) at our first session. This contract will outline the responsibilities of both the counsellor and the client within the boundaries of the counselling relationship. I am not obliged to accept a client if I feel I am unlikely to be able to be of benefit to that client (I am able to refer on if I feel another professional would be a better fit). The initial session will give us a chance to get to know each other and give you a feel for how I work. If you don't feel it's right for you then this is something we can address; not every counsellor is a good fit for every client. It's of great importance to me that you feel comfortable and happy before we proceed.
What happens in a counselling session?
That really is up to the client. A session lasts for 50 minutes and that time is entirely devoted to you. We will probably begin by exploring what has brought you to counselling and the concerns and issues that are uppermost in your mind. As we begin to discuss things it is likely that other thoughts and feelings will emerge which you might also wish to examine. If you have a specific issue that you want to focus on it may be helpful to write things down in between sessions or you may be given small tasks to work on independently.
How long does counselling last?
Again, this is for the client to decide. I am happy to work with clients in the short, medium or long-term. We will probably agree to meet for a few weeks (usually 4-6) and then review how things are going. Reviewing the situation every few weeks will help us to see how things are progressing and will indicate if something in the counselling relationship needs to be addressed. However, the decision about whether to continue or to end counselling will be yours.