Here are the answers to some of the common questions clients ask. Please do contact me if you have any further questions.
Is it completely confidential?
Confidentiality is central to counselling and is a key aspect of the BACP’s Ethical Framework. I work hard to ensure that your personal information is kept secure and that the content of our sessions remains private. There are rare circumstances when I may have to consider telling someone about something we have talked about because I am concerned about someone being harmed. Whenever possible, I would discuss this with you first though.
Do I have to come at exactly the same time each week?
It is preferable, for both practical and therapeutic reasons, to meet regularly at the same time each week. However, I understand that in some circumstances other commitments may make this impossible, in which case we can discuss what alternative schedule works for us.
Is there a fixed number of sessions?
No. How long we continue to work together depends on what you feel you need. Some people come for just a few sessions and others come for several months. We will review how things are going regularly to help you decide how long you want to continue.
What if I cannot come for my appointment?
If you cannot come for your session at the arranged time, I ask you to give me as much notice as possible so we can try to re-arrange another time. Sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours notice, or unattended without notice, may be charged at the usual rate.
Can I contact you between sessions?
You are welcome to call or email me to discuss our counselling arrangements in between sessions, or to arrange additional sessions. If, however, you are in a crisis and need to speak to someone urgently, it would be better to contact a crisis service such as Samaritans. I cannot guarantee that I would be available to provide you with the level of immediate support you might need in such a situation.
Can I bring someone with me?
If you are coming to counselling for a personal issue, it would be better if we could talk privately one-to-one. However, I understand that sometimes it is reassuring to bring a friend or family member with you for your first appointment, and that is fine. If you are coming for couple counselling, both of you would need to attend each session together, unless we specifically arrange otherwise for therapeutic reasons. In either case it isn’t possible for children to accompany you as there are no child-minding facilities and it isn’t usually appropriate for them to be present in sessions.