How much does counselling cost?
A 50-minute session for individuals costs £70 at full fee ranging down to £50 for those with financial difficulties; and £70 for couples. A small number of lower fee slots are available. Payment is by cash or cheque – either at the end of the session or monthly if that is preferable. Standing order arrangements can also be set-up if desired.
To ensure as much potential for as wide a range of people as possible to attend, the initial consultation is only £45 (£55 for couples). This session gives both of us a chance to look together at whether what is on offer could be of help to you. It gives you an opportunity to ask questions, get a sense of the venue and give a fuller account of what is troubling you. I offer a free 5-10 minute phone conversation before setting up an initial consultation.
With the above in mind and to increase accessibility I am also prepared to offer reduced-fee slots to those on low incomes such as the unemployed or students. Please contact me to discuss further.
How will I know if it's working?
This will depend on the person, but here are some possibilities:
You may experience an immediate sense of relief as you talk about things you have been 'bottling up'. It is also quite common to experience a palpable sense of lightness. Alternatively, counselling may stir up painful issues or insights you have previously buried (precisely because they are painful & difficult).
Just as it can be painful, but necessary, to clean and treat a wound, so in therapy it is not uncommon for one to feel worse before one feels better. Resisting this period of discomfort is very often one of the main reasons people become stuck. It can be tempting to end counselling immediately when this happens, but I would suggest that it is preferable to come back and talk through how you are feeling and what is on your mind.
Some of the benefits that you might notice are:
- A clearer understanding and acceptance of yourself
- An untangling of situations that felt overwhelming or bewildering
- A decrease in concern about others' opinions & more of a trusting in your own judgement
- A deeper sense of well-being and ease
- A renewed sense of enthusiasm about life
How long will counselling last and when will it take place?
The length of a session is 50 minutes. Holidays and other engagements aside, sessions will usually be once a week at the same time and on the same day of the week. This consistency can be helpful to contain what may emerge during the therapeutic process.
I offer both short and long term work. Some people come for a session or two, and having 'got something off their chest' feel that that is all they need for now. At the other end of the spectrum, some people want to look at deeply ingrained habits and a long history of mental health issues and may come for several years. Most, however, are somewhere in the middle. The normal procedure is that after the first meeting, if we feel we can work together, to have six sessions and then review how things have proceeded at this point. It is generally a good idea to give it a little time, as there is often a cumulative effect to consistently exploring issues, even in a 4-6 week period. The length of time is usually relative to the size of the issue, though of course nothing is set in stone: if there is a strong feeling of having had enough of a certain way of being and a preparedness to face the unknown then big change can happen relatively quickly.
The relationship between therapist and client should be safe, but stimulating too; and this mix will help you to look at what's happening for you at your own speed and over a time span that feels appropriate to you. Different people work at different speeds, and there is nothing right or wrong in that. Bereavement is a good example of this: it is impossible to tell how long people will grieve for and how deeply, it depends on many factors. It is true that to talk about it in an open & non-judgemental space does tend to help people let go of things more quickly. But it isn't a science, there is no one-size-fits-all theory nor prediction of how much counselling time someone will need or want.
Who do you work with?
I warmly welcome adults from any background, ethnicity, sexuality or creed. As I only work with adults, you must be over the age of 18 to attend; there is no upper age limit.
Is counselling confidential?
Yes, our sessions are strictly confidential except in the following senses or instances:
I will discuss our therapeutic work with my supervisor. I have regular meetings with a supervisor who oversees my practice. This is standard professional procedure and helps me to work as well as I can with you. My supervisor is bound by the same code of ethics and confidentiality as myself.
If I believe you are at risk of harming others or yourself. In such an instance it may be necessary to break confidentiality to prevent harm. This is an extreme case scenario, and if I deemed it necessary I would always try to discuss it with you prior to taking any action.
What is GP involvement in the process?
a) Do I have to be referred by my GP to have counselling?
No. Sometimes people are referred for counselling, but you do not need to be referred by your GP to attend counselling.
b) Does my GP have to know that I am attending counselling?
No. But if you would like them to be made aware of our meetings then this can be done.
Can I finish counselling at any time?
Yes. However, if we have been working together for several weeks I suggest that we have a final session to look at the work that has been done and to end in a helpful manner. Likewise, if we have been working together for several months it may be helpful to work towards a fixed-date ending over a period of weeks. Endings can raise interesting issues in themselves, as they are often linked to loss, change and independence. It can be worth reflecting on what meaning ending has for you, and, moving forward, how you can have good endings both in the therapy and beyond.