Here are a list of questions and answers you might have about counselling, or the practical aspects of the service I provide.
This frequently asked questions page is designed to help answer some of the more pressing questions you might have if you are looking for a counsellor to help you work through some problems. If you have a more specific question that is not answered here, feel free to contact me to ask me and I will answer you promptly and also add it to the list.
Counselling is a therapy that makes you feel better through being heard and understood at a deep level by a trained counsellor or therapist. You and your counsellor would agree on a set of goals that would enable you to live the kind of life you would help for. You would have several online or in-person sessions, usually weekly, to discuss topics of your own choice.
Counselling helps you to look after your emotional and mental health by creating an environment of acceptance and trust so you feel free to explore your issues as you see them. The process should enable you to become more self-aware and ultimately, empower you to effectively direct your own life and be yourself in relationships.
Genuineness – the counsellor is as much as possible authentically him or herself without any false presentation as an expert, but as another human person. This should give you a full sense of sharing your troubles and feeling lighter as a result. Empathy – the counsellor understands your situation as much as possible as if they were standing in your shoes. This should help you feel heard and understood at a deep level. Respect – the counsellor treats you as a person of natural value. This should help you to drop the defences that keep you stuck in unhelpful patterns of relating.
Since success depends upon your being able to talk freely, you should choose a counsellor with who you feel comfortable talking. It is also wise to choose one who is qualified and a member of a professional body, such as the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).
Most sessions are between 50 minutes and an hour, although you can leave at any time. If you’re having counselling by email, there is usually a word limit so the therapist can spend about an hour reading and replying.
Online counselling uses a variety of media. You may talk about your concerns by video, instant messaging or email. You can use either a computer or a mobile phone.
Although most people prefer meeting a therapist face-to-face, each form of online counselling has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, in text or email counselling, there is a greater chance of misinterpretation, however, these media give you the chance to re-read what you have written. This is very much like the times in face-to-face sessions when the counsellor restates or reflects back to you what you have said. It helps you to reflect on the deeper meanings.
Session fees vary between £30 and £45 per hour, depending on your circumstances and the medium chosen. This includes concessions for NHS staff, elderly, and students.
It is impossible to say, although I usually offer at the outset, to provide a review after 6 sessions so you can decide if you wish to continue or not.