Counselling is a way of raising awareness to our patterns of thinking, behaviour and how it affects the way we live our lives. It is not a treatment that you undergo but a process in which you engage. My role is not to judge or offer advice but to work collaboratively with you exploring thoughts and feelings in a safe, confidential space. The aim is to make you feel better and increase your overall wellbeing.
The first session is a bit like a mutual interview. It will give you an idea whether I am someone you could work with. It will give me a chance to take some details and ask what has brought you to counselling. There is no obligation to go further at this stage if you feel that this is not right for you.
Resistance is not to be broken through, but rather to be incorporated" Hycner, 1991
A counselling session is for 50 minutes. Ideally sessions should be every week on the same day and time to provide continuity. I appreciate that for some people, especially those who work shift patterns, that this may not be possible and so we will agree a schedule that works best for you.
The recommended minimum number of sessions is between six to eight but it depends on what you want to gain from the therapy. For some people, six sessions is all they feel they need while others may want to go on for longer. We will plan your therapeutic journey together and review our work regularly so that you are getting what you need from the sessions.
You can get more information on counselling at the BACP website "It's Good to Talk" and click on the "About Therapy" tab. CLICK HERE to visit the BACP website.
ONLINE AND TELEPHONE COUNSELLING
Due to the present social-distancing and self-isolation restrictions placed on us, online and telephone counselling offers a secure alternative to face-to-face sessions. The same fundamental principles apply to the sessions. There are some factors to be taken into account when thinking about these options which are being able to find a safe space to talk where you will not be overheard and free from interruption. You are responsible for the security of the device you choose to use for the session.
Some of the advantages of working this way are that it is possible to start or continue with therapy even though we cannot meet. Some people find it easier to talk in their own space and are better able to express themselves especially on the telephone. It offers flexibility around times especially for those who are unable to travel easily to face-to-face sessions.
Possible disadvantages are that you may find yourself disclosing and exploring things that you would not be able to say in person. This may lead to unexpectedly heightened emotions both during and after the session. Technological problems may arise which could interrupt the process causing some frustration although we will have an agreed course of action if that happens. Finding a safe and uninterrupted place to talk (which includes turning off telephones and notifications) may take a bit or organising.