Here are some common questions about counselling.

Counselling

Basics

What is counselling?

Counselling (or “talk therapy”) is the undertaking of therapeutic conversations between a counsellor and a client. Specific problems are addressed and you are supported to find solutions to your issues. This can involve talking about life’s influences on you including your upbringing. A counsellor works alongside you to identify possible ways forward. A counsellor will not tell you what to do but facilitate your own process of discovering what seems right for you.

What is Therapy?
Therapy (or psychotherapy) is similar to counselling but may dig deeper in understanding how issues effect you. Life scripts, patterns, the past and the relation between aspects of the client’s life can all be considered. Generally therapists have a higher level of training but there are many overalps between therapist and counsellor techniques.
Is all therapy/counselling the same?

There are many different approaches to therapy and counselling and each therapist will be able to talk you through their particular approach. My main approach is to blend systemic and psychodynamic theories which look at influences in your wider life as well as your thoughts and beliefs that shape how you view the world.

Are therapy and counselling the same?
Therapy and counselling are often used interchangeably. As approaches they have much more in common than they do have differences. One potential difference is that someone offering therapy will usually have a higher level of training but this is not always the case.
What is Relationship Therapy?

Relationship Therapy focuses mainly on the issues and challenges people can experience as a result of how they experience other people. Whilst relationship therapists work with couples and familes, they also work with many individuals who are struggling with relationsal issues.

Sessions
How long is a session?
I work on a 50 minute session time so that a session can be completed and notes made prior to the start of the next session. If you arrive late to a session we can only continue to the scheduled end time so as not to inconvenience other clients.
What types of sessions do you offer?

I offer both in-person and remote counselling.

I offer in person sessions from purpose built counselling rooms in the centre of Leeds. I usually offer evening sessions on a Monday and Friday evening and can do daytime sessions on weekdays except Wednesday afternoons.

I offer video and audio only services on-line through Zoom. I use this platform as it is more secure than Skype and purpose developed to maintain the integrity of confidential discussions.

I also offer telephone counselling for those who would prefer to access remote counselling but who may not have access to or may not wish to use on-line systems.

How many sessions will I need?

Clients often wish to know how many sessions it will take to resolve their issue. However as you can appreciate this will depend on the extent of the help and support you require and the nature of the challenges you face.

From experience most clients need between 7 to 8 sessions but this is an average and whilst some find resolution after a couple of sessions, others on a few occassions require support over many months. I will discuss with you as the therapy progresses on how much work may be required but want to stress this is always a joint decision and you are free to end our agreement at any point.

What happens if I miss or can't attend a session?

Whilst it is important to give your therapy sessions priority, it is understandable that events can mean that you are not always able to attend. If you know in advance then we can talk through how this may impact the work and arrange another suitable time.

I ask that you give me 48 hours notice if you need to cancel and there will be no charge. If you cancel an in-person session giving a days notice, then I will need to charge £10 to cover the costs of room charges. Cancellations on the day will be charged at the full rate as I will be unable to fill the slot at such short notice.

 

Confidentiality
Is what we discuss kept confidential?
All therapists and counsellors treat confidentiality extremely seriously. For some people it can be difficult to talk about traumatic events and so it is very important that they know that what they say will be kept confidential. All sessions are usually kept confidential but there are certain exceptions to this. Usually any confidentiality agreement will insist on permission to break the agreement if it becomes clear that someone is at risk of serious harm. However If that were the case I would discuss this with you. Counsellors are also legally required to report any information to do with terrorism or money laundering. However outside these exceptional circumstance, counsellors will not talk with anyone else about your issues except, possibly a supervisor but in this situation your anonymity would be protected.
Is on-line therapy secure?

I specificly use Zoom because of it’s security features. Zoom allows end to end encryption and their technical teams do not have access to specific sessions. Zoom is also used by businesses who discuss commerically sensitive detail which requires a high level of on-line security

Please note I do not use Skype as it is not fully secure and people can listen in to conversations.

Payment
How much do you charge?

In-person and on-line counselling sessions are charged at £45 per hour. This price is the same for individuals, couples and families

How do I pay?

If after a brief initial discussion over the phone you wish to proceed with counselling, I will send you a counselling agreement and forward bank details. I ask that sessions are paid for atleast 48 hours in advance to secure the booking

How can I make counselling more affordable?

It may appear that counselling can be quite expensive particularly if you need a large number of sessions, however most clients truly value the benefits to their emotional wellbeing or relationships that counselling can offer. If you are unsure you can afford weekly sessions then arranging appointments on a fortnightly basis is possible. I’m happy to discuss any concerns with payments but would highlight the value that counselling can provide.

Qualifications
What qualifications do you have?

I have an MA in Relationship Therapy and am an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP (Accred)). I have worked as a counsellor/therapist for over six years working with individuals, couples and families. I passed my Master’s degree with Distinction but would be the first to say that one of the most important aspects of therapy is that the client feels comfortable with the therapist they choose to work with. To aid your decision I’m happy to chat on-line or on the phone to discuss what support you require and explain more about how I work.

In addition to the above qualification, I also have a BSc and an MBA. In work I have trained and acted as a coach and mentor as well as a variety of quality training programs. I continue to undertake continued personal development (CPD) courses to ensure my practise remains up-to-date

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