Frequently asked questions

Q: I want to come for therapy. What happens now?

A: Contact me via email or telephone and we can arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss this. The first 30 minutes are free, giving you an opportunity to decide if this is right for you. Please do leave me a voicemail as I am often unable to answer the phone, due to working with clients. I will call you back as soon as possible.

Q: How often do we have appointments and how long for?

A: I usually work with clients weekly for a 50 minute session, however this is negotiable. In times of crisis, some people work twice weekly and when they feel ready, or towards the end of their therapy, they may have fortnightly or even monthly sessions.

Q: What sort of problems do you work with?

A: My work focuses on the person and how they are experiencing their problems, working on ways to manage these more effectively. I have worked with a wide range of problems such as loss, relationships, sexuality issues, low self esteem, anxiety, depression and self development. If I feel you may benefit from working with somebody who may be more specialised in a particular area I would always discuss this with you.

Q: Is everything I say always confidential?

A: Our sessions remain confidential between us; however I do discuss cases in clinical supervision to ensure I continue to work ethically and effectively. I will only use your first name in these discussions and my supervisor is also bound by rules of confidentiality. There may be exceptions to this if I felt there was a risk of significant harm to you or somebody else and other rare exceptions which I will discuss with you at our first meeting.

Q: How long will therapy take?

A: This depends on your need. If there is a specific area you want to work on, we may make a short term contract of 6 sessions for example. However, if the problem is more complex or deep rooted, this may need much longer term work and we may decide to work in an ‘open ended’ way, meaning the therapy will continue so long as this feels useful. Our way of working together will be regularly reviewed with you.

Q: Who uses therapy?

A: A wide range of people. I have worked with the homeless, those in professional careers and in positions of authority, men and women of every age and from every background, with problems ranging from low self esteem, stress in the workplace, loss and grief, addiction, anxiety and depression to name a few.

Q: How do I know if I have chosen the right therapist for me?

A: It is very important that you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist. Please feel free to ask questions about my training and experience. As a member of BACP you can be assured that I am competently qualified and have undergone intensive personal development in order to be an effective practitioner. However, choosing a therapist is a very personal decision. Ask yourself if you feel your questions are clearly responded to? Do you like their manner and attitude to you? Do you feel understood and is there a sense of warm acceptance? It may be useful to ‘interview’ several counsellors before you decide.

Q: Does coming to therapy mean I am mentally unstable or even mad?

A: Many people worry that feeling they need to access therapy means they have a serious mental health problem. People still feel a stigma surrounding mental health issues. Fortunately therapy is now becoming an accepted way of finding real ways to overcoming a range of problems. By exploring your issues and gaining a greater understanding of them means you can empower yourself to use your internal resources in a positive and proactive manner. Many people use therapy to gain a clearer perspective on their lives and build on the skills and strengths they already have.

Q: I may feel foolish or uncomfortable. How can I avoid this?

A: You may experience a range of emotions that are uncomfortable at times. It may take time to build a strong sense of trust in the relationship with your therapist and I am mindful of this. The unique experience of therapy provides a safe, contained environment allowing the expression of your deepest fears, desires and feelings and this can feel scary. Remember that as you become more able to do so, you will gain a deeper insight into yourself and your potential for growth.

Q: I’m worried the therapist will think my problems are not really worth bothering with. How do I know I am not wasting their time?

A: If you are considering therapy it is likely something is bothering you and you are struggling to resolve it by yourself. This is always worth exploring. You may have grown up with a sense that others expect you to ‘get on with it,’ and that you do not deserve professional help. You do deserve to take charge of your life and live it in the most fulfilling and satisfying way that you can,

This list of questions is not exhaustive. I am happy to try and answer any further queries by telephone or email.