What should I expect when I contact you?
I will reply to your email or phone message as quickly as possible, generally 24 hours, and arrange a suitable time with you to meet for an Assessment Session. This will normally be within the following week.
Before we meet for the first time, I will ask you to fill in a short form with your contact details, and a brief explanation of what brings you to counselling at this time. I will also provide you with a CORE (Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation) form, which will provide a short overview of how you have been feeling over the past week. This will be used to monitor how useful the counselling has been over our time together. Both of these may also help you to focus on how you have been feeling recently.
What should I expect at the Assessment Session?
This is an opportunity for us to meet each other, and to discuss how I can best help you.
You can ask any questions you have, and together we will explore what form of counselling would be of greatest use to you at this time.
I will ask you a bit about your life experiences, including those that have brought you to counselling. We will work at a pace that feels comfortable and unhurried to you, with no pressure to disclose anything you do not want to explore at this first session.
In order to ensure I am clear on relevant points at this stage and remember them accurately, I may make a few notes during our first session. This is the only time I will make notes during a counselling session.
What should I expect during further sessions?
We will aim to meet each week, at the same time and in the same room.
Each session lasts 50 minutes, during which you are free to explore whatever is on your mind. I will listen, and occasionally ask a question or make an observation, as together we explore what has happened in your life and how it is affecting you.
When the time seems right to do so, we will set a date on which to end, generally taking several weeks over the ending so it is not rushed or sudden. In short-term focussed work, the end date is agreed from the start.
Short-term Focused and Open-ended Work
Similarly, counselling can be short-term focused work, concentrating on a single problem, or open-ended work, exploring different aspects of your life. At our first meeting, we can consider which seems most suited to you.
Generally, for short-term focused work, we will agree the number of sessions at our first meeting. In open-ended work we will continue until we agree it feels right to end, then set a date for the final session, so as to end in a measured and un-rushed manner.
- Panic attacks
- Sexual issues
- Childhood abuse
- Low self-esteem
- Personal and family relationships
- Dealing with bad news
- Problems in the work place
- Adapting to new life stages eg when children grow up and leave home, or at retirement