What will happen in the first session?
In your first session we will briefly talk about confidentiality and privacy and any aspects of the contract you may wish to discuss. We will then talk about what is impacting you at the present time and what you would like to get out of counselling. In your sessions we will work on the areas that you consider most important and I will use a wide range of skills to help you move forward in a positive direction.
Will everything I say be treated in confidence?
Yes, therapy sessions are confidential, maintaining your confidentiality is central to my work. This means I do not share your information with anyone apart from my personal Supervisor and then your name or other identifiable information will not be used. Confidentiality will only be broken if I believe you are at serious risk to yourself or others and I think you need extra help beyond what I can give you. I will always try to talk through this with you first. All matters relating to confidentiality are outlined in my contract and all questions will be addressed.
What information will you keep and how do you store it?
The information that I keep on you is protected under the Data Protection Act 2018 and includes your contact details and any therapy notes. I store all information in a locked filing cabinet or on a password protected computer. All clients are allocated a number and your name is not connected with your therapy notes to allow for complete anonymity.
How long is a session and how many will I need?
For individual clients each session lasts 50 minutes. If you decide to embark on short term counselling we can talk about how many sessions you want. This can be reviewed regularly and if you feel you would like to add more sessions I will always endeavour to do this. Sometimes 4-6 sessions are enough for you to experience significant change, although 9-12 sessions ensure that we can work deeply with what you bring. However, for some people long term, open ended therapy is what they feel they need. With long term counselling we conduct regular reviews to monitor progress and to ensure the sessions are meeting your needs. I ultimately believe that you will know when you no longer need therapy.
For couples, the sessions are 60 minutes long. Again, there are no set amount of sessions set and it varies from couple to couple. We will initially decide on how many sessions you can commit to and we can review after that.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
This will depend on the particular difficulties you are experiencing. For some people just being able to talk to someone about what they are going through can be a huge relief. It is not unusual to feel worse in some sessions as you talk through your feelings. This is part of the process and as your counsellor, I will be there to support you.
How often should I attend counselling?
This is something that we will discuss in your introductory session. It is entirely up to you, although attending regularly maintains consistency and helps build up the relationship between us. If you cannot commit to weekly sessions we can discuss fortnightly or monthly sessions.
What is your cancellation policy?
I understand that sometimes life gets in the way of sessions and cancelling a session may be necessary. Sessions can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the scheduled session free of charge. I will endeavour to re-book your session in the same week if I have availability, otherwise you will unfortunately forfeit the session. If you cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice you will be liable for cancellation fees. Please refer to Fees and Scheduling for complete breakdown of cancellation fee.
How do I pay for therapy?
The full fee is required before the session, preferably by bank transfer. If your insurance company agrees to contribute to the cost of therapy you will be responsible for payment and may use your payment receipts to seek reimbursement. If you are attending therapy in person, I can accept cash payments.