How can counselling help me?
Counselling or therapy usually involves a regular meeting with the counsellor, usually on a weekly but sometimes on a fortnightly basis, to discuss whatever issue or problem you have identified. The timing is the same every week and each session lasts for between fifty minutes and one hour.
This can be open-ended or with an agreed time period e.g. 6 weeks. In our conversation we might start by talking about confidentiality and finding out what your goals are.
It can be of immediate assistance and relief to begin to explore the issue in confidence, without judgement, helping you to feel less isolated. We may explore strategies for dealing with your difficulties, and see different ways of looking at things. Your ability to cope with what life throws at you might strengthen. You might find you have more energy and are more assertive. You might find that your patterns of behaviour your ways of relating to others or your moods change.
Some people choose to come for counselling for a matter of weeks or months and find what they are looking for. It is very important to feel comfortable with the counsellor and there is nothing wrong with meeting with several counsellors to see which one you feel most comfortable with.
If you are on a reduced income for whatever reason, or if you are a counselling or therapy trainee , you may want to ask if there is a concessionary place available.
You can leave counselling at any time you like, but it is usually a good idea to have an agreed ending so that you and your counsellor have the chance to say "goodbye".
"WE WILLINGLY SPEND a dozen years in school, then go on to college or professional training for several more; we work out at the gym to stay healthy; we spend a lot of time enhancing our comfort, our wealth, and our social status.
We put a great deal into all this, and yet we do so little to improve the inner condition that determines the very quality of our lives.
What strange hesitancy, fear, or apathy stops us from looking within ourselves?"
Photo I Met Serenity by Ben Heine on Flickr
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long do I have to go for?
You can continue as long as you feel the counselling is helping you. This will vary from individual to individual and also depending on what the issue is. Some people feel better in, say, 6-12 weeks, others prefer longer periods and still others need only a couple of sessions. You would be encouraged to talk about this with your counsellor so that you are both clear on what your needs and wants are.
What if I have to cancel a session?
If you have to cancel a session you will need to let the counsellor know as soon as possible. You might have an agreement that you would need to give 24 hours notice for a cancellation, otherwise you would be charged for the session you missed. Again, you would be encouraged to explore this with the counsellor.
Will what I say be passed on to someone else?
You can rest assured that, within safety and ethical guidelines, what you say in the session will not be shared elsewhere and your identity will be protected at all times. Confidentiality is very important and held to very strictly so that the space can feel safe.
What if I get dependent on the sessions?
This would need to be fully discussed with the counsellor, preferably right from the start. The counsellor would be wanting to help empower you to be making your own decisions about your needs and working towards your own independence.
Will I be asked to talk about something embarrassing?
The counsellor will encourage you to set the agenda and you can share what feels right for you. It may be that over time you find it easier to talk about issues which have felt too difficult to share initially.
Will I be judged or told what to do?
You will not be judged, whatever you choose to bring to counselling. The counselling sessions are designed to allow you the space to find out more about your own thoughts and feelings and come to your own decisions. The counsellor may offer suggestions or reflections but you will not be told what to do.
What if I find myself unable to pay?
You would be encouraged to discuss this with the counsellor and possibly
negotiate new terms. The counsellor has some concessionary spaces for those on low/no income.
What if I want to finish the sessions?
You can leave counselling at any time, but it is usually a good idea to have an agreed ending date so that you and the counsellor can have a chance to say "goodbye".
If you have a different question feel free to call or email me by clicking the link on the right side.