How does my service work?
Face to face counselling can work well within a trusting environment and I seek to create that in a non-judgemental way for all my clients.
You may decide to come for counselling because of any issue that is of importance to you. Whatever the reason, you will find one of the main benefits of counselling is to be able to explore and discuss any issue within a safe, secure and confidential environment. I will help you to acquire strategies that can be effective in challenging and modifying faulty patterns of thoughts. This generally results in improved mood, a more positive attitude and an increased level of competence.
Counselling is not like other professional relationships you may have had. It calls for active – and often brave – participation on your part. ‘Active’ because I am not the expert on you, and you will need to do at least 50% of the work, and ‘brave’ because the process of knowing yourself better or changing behaviour is very likely to bring up feelings that may make you feel like you’re getting worse rather than better. It is essential that you bring these feelings – anger, sadness, grief, guilt, shame, envy, anxiety – to the session so that they can be understood in the context of the work and our relationship.
If you have any questions that are not answered below, please contact me, I would be happy to meet you to discuss how I can help you.
What is counselling?
Seeing a therapist does not mean you are weak or can’t handle your problems. Therapy is for people who are smart enough to realise they need help.
Counselling aims to help you explore and clarify problems and issues that matter to you. It may help you develop resources and skills to cope with difficulties. It may help you get through a distressing time in your life.
I will listen to what you are really saying, to accept you and respect your feelings. I will not tell you what to do, but I can help you make your own decisions.
Counselling is not only about problems. It also offers opportunities to get to know yourself better and to develop your potential as a person.
How long is a session?
The session will last 1 hour. I will be ready for you at the appointed time, please try to arrive on time. If you arrive late for any reason the session will still finish at the appointed time. If I am fully booked, I may have a client attending straight after your session.
How often can I attend sessions?
Sessions are usually once a week to start with. At the end of your initial session we may negotiate a limited number of sessions to start with. However, ultimately you decide on whether you want just one session or more.
I offer long term and short term work after discussion with potential clients about their needs from counselling. It may be that certain clients find personal results within a short space of time while others find that counselling continues much longer, the journey for everyone is always very different.
If you cannot attend a session at my consultation room, I offer Skye sessions.
I will send you bank details for payment.
Add my Skype name 'footstepscounselling1' to your contacts list.
Before our session I will send you a Counselling contract which describes the limits of confidentiality during our sessions and the ethical guidelines I am bound by.
At the time agreed for our appointment, open your Skype and click on my name in your contacts list.
I will be online, awaiting your call. Sessions are 50 minutes.
Are the sessions confidential?
I will not give information to family, friends, doctors or anyone else without your permission. The only time I might break confidentiality is if there is a serious risk of harm to you or others, or in the rare cases where required by law.
As a registered counsellor I am bound by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy code Ethics and Practice.
If you are happy with the service you receive & refer a new client to me, you will receive a free session when they attend the assessment.
How much do sessions cost?
My fees reflect my training, expertise, professional accreditation, city centre & sea view consultation room, resources & service delivery.
£60 for 60 minutes individual counselling session.
£80 for 1 hour couples session.
6 sessions recommended. Pre-book 6 sessions 1 free.
To book an assessment - payment by bank transfer required to secure a session with time/day of your choice.
On-going sessions payable before each session by bank transfer. Bank details given on request.
Packages available discounts -
Pre-pay 6 sessions - £300 = 1 session free
A small price to invest in good mental health.
What happens in the first session?
I can appreciate how difficult it can be to engage in counselling for the first time or with a new counsellor. I recommend that we arrange an initial session to identify and explore the issues and concerns you may be experiencing, and your hopes for how counselling may help you.
The first session will be considered as assessment period for us both. I will be able to get a better idea of what our work together might involve and if I can be of help. You will need to decide if you agree with me about the anticipated direction of the work and if you feel comfortable enough with me to make a commitment. It is essential that you raise any questions or doubts during the assessment period and at any other time in the work.
Further sessions -
After the initial assessment period, we will work together to break down your problems into their separate parts. To help with this, I may ask you to keep a diary or write down your thought and behaviour patterns. We will analyse your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to work out if they're unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you. I will be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
After working out what you can change, I will ask you to practise these changes in your daily life. This may involve:
questioning upsetting thoughts and replacing them with more helpful ones
recognising when you're going to do something that will make you feel worse and instead doing something more helpful
You may be asked to do some "homework" between sessions to help with this process.
At each session, we will discuss how you've got on with putting the changes into practice and what it felt like. I will be able to make other suggestions to help you.
Confronting fears and anxieties can be very difficult. I won't ask you to do things you don't want to do and will only work at a pace you're comfortable with. During your sessions, I will check you're comfortable with the progress you're making.
One of the biggest benefits of CBT is that after your course has finished, you can continue to apply the principles learned to your daily life. This should make it less likely that your symptoms will return.
Can I cancel a session once booked?
Once a session is booked it can be re-scheduled over 24 hours.
Please note - You will be charged full fee for missed sessions or cancellations under 24 hours. I offer a telephone or Skype session at the time the session was booked or I will always try to re-schedule to another time in the same day.
Ending sessions -
If either of us thinks it is time to bring the therapy to an end, we will discuss this together and decide if and how to do that.
Ending the therapeutic relationship is a shared process and should never be an impulsive act. Endings are as important as beginnings and in some cases more important.
If you feel you would like to end our counselling relationship, please discuss this with me in our sessions. This will give us an opportunity to explore your reasons for leaving and respect for the time we have worked together.
If you DNA (do not attend) a session, I will text you after 15 minutes to see if you are running late or need to re-schedule.