Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do I Expect From My First Session?
Counselling is designed for you to be able to speak openly about your thoughts and feelings. My hope is that clients feel able to talk to me openly without fear of judgement.
The first session is usually a "get to know you" session. I find that I do the least amount of talking in initial sessions and have been apologised to by many clients for how much they've been talking in this first hour. There are also clients that are nervous in the first session or don't know where to start, this is fine too. In this case, I may gently ask you about yourself and what has brought you to therapy. More often than not the first session ends up feeling less than an hour long.
If you have any specific questions about what to expect, please feel free to get in touch.
Is It Confidential?
The short answer, is yes. What is said to me within sessions is completely confidential. There are certain limitations to the confidentiality. These include; if I believe you or someone else is at risk of harm, if I am required by a court of law to either provide my notes or appear in court, if you were to admit to knowledge of an act of terrorism, money laundering or drug trafficking, or if you have knowledge or involvement in harm or neglect of children or vulnerable adults.
Your details and any notes I take are held by myself, in accordance with GDPR and I also hold ICO insurance. To put it simply, any client details I store are kept in either a locked cabinet, or password protected if kept digitally.
The other are that is important to mention here is supervision, which the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) defines as;
"A specialised form of mentoring provided for practitioners responsible for undertaking challenging work with people. Supervision is provided to ensure standards, enhance quality, advance learning, stimulate creativity, and support the sustainability and resilience of the work being undertaken. Supervision offers you a reflective space in which to develop practice and so benefits client safety. All aspects of your practice should be open to supervision."
In accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework, I attend at least 1.5 hours of supervision a month. My supervisor is both a qualified counsellor and supervisor and is insured and GDPR compliant. I keep my clients anonymous in supervision.
What Platforms Do You Offer?
I offer a variety of online platforms. I have also trained to work over the phone, which some clients find useful. In general, I find video and face-to-face sessions to be more productive. The majority of my sessions are over Zoom or Skype, though I do also use other platforms such as Microsoft Teams etc. If you wish to use something not listed here please let me know.
How Many Sessions Will I Need? How Often Should They Be?
This is not an easy question to answer. I have worked with clients for as little as two sessions who have resolved what they came to therapy for in that time, but I also have clients that I am still working with that I have been seeing for upwards of a year. The average amount of sessions nationally that clients have with a counsellor is around 16, but it really depends on what you're looking for and what's going on for you.
Again, how often is so individual. I find the clients that gain the most from therapy have it weekly, though some work better fortnightly. Either for having time to process or for financial or logistical reasons. We can discuss how often you are looking for either in our initial conversation, or at the end of your first session. Essentially, it's up to you.
How Do I Pay?
The majority of my clients pay by BACS, although I also have Paypal, Stripe and Monzo. Whichever you prefer.
What Happens if I Cancel My Session?
If you cancel with more than 24 hours notice, there's no charge, we can simply reschedule. If you give me less than 24 hours notice, I ask for 50% of the fee. This is because it's highly unlikely that I will be able to offer the session to someone else at that short notice. Though most therapists still ask for 100% of the fee if cancelled within 24, or sometimes 48 hours, my view is that as I work from home, I'm not out any travel or room hire costs, just an hours worth of work, so for me, I feel that 50% is therefore fair to both myself and my clients.
However much notice you give, please don't worry about rescheduling. I understand that we're all human and things come up so please don't worry, I won't be offended and will be happy to reschedule.
If I have to cancel for any reason, obviously there would be no charge. I aim to give as much notice as possible, but as everyone else, I am also human and am sometimes ill or may have an emergency with a friend, family member or even another client. I book my holidays either well in advance or around any booked sessions so you should have plenty of notice if I'm unable to do a certain day.
My Question Hasn't Been Answered Here....
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any other questions or if you would like to book in. My details are at the bottom of the page.