Some questions and answers about counselling . . .

What is counselling and how would it work for you?

Counselling provides a special relationship with a trained person who will help you to explore problems in your life. This can leave you less confused and more able to make the changes which will enable you to improve the quality of your life. You may wish to tackle issues to do with your self-development, perhaps addressing or resolving specific problems, making difficult decisions, coping with crises in your life, developing personal insight, working through feelings of inner conflict or improving your relationships with others.

As your counsellor, I am there to facilitate this work in ways which respect your values and recognize both your inner strengths and your capacity for personal development.

What risks do you face?

I will not exploit nor manipulate you. My key qualities are: respect; integrity and impartiality. I will take all reasonable steps to ensure your safety. I work to the BACP code of ethical practice, which is created specifically to protect clients. I will hold everything you say in confidence. I will not tell anyone unless I believe that you are likely to hurt yourself or somebody else. Any notes I make about your case will be stored securely and you can see them, if you wish.

Will I sort out your problems for you?

No! I will not tell you what to do and I will not act on your behalf. My aim is to respectfully promote your ability to take control of your own life to develop your self-confidence and encourage your own beliefs and values so you become more able to tackle problems yourself.

Who comes for counselling?

All of us go through periods when life seems to lose its meaning and direction. Memories of the past, painful events in the present and worries about the future can make it difficult to cope with everyday life. Sometimes, people are lonely, anxious or depressed; worried about their relationship or marriage or family life; they may be suffering from bereavement, divorce or separation. Some want to learn to relate more easily to others. Some want to find more fulfillment in their lives.

What actually happens?

Counselling takes place in rooms that are quiet and private and we cannot be overheard. The first time we meet will be for about an hour. I will answer any questions you have and then invite you to outline the difficulty that has brought you to seek help. You decide how much you want to say. This gives you the opportunity to find out whether or not you feel comfortable working with me and for me to decide whether I can offer you the sort of help you need or suggest an alternative.

How long does the whole process take?

Each session lasts for an hour. In the first or second session, we will agree on what you are going to try to achieve. Some people come for just a few sessions; some come for a considerable length of time. I'll try to help you to meet your need, however long it takes. You decide when you want to stop

How much does it cost?

My normal fee is £40:00 per session. Each session lasts for 1 hour. You can either pay when you come or I can send you an invoice.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, I may still be able to help, if we can negotiate a fee which suits us both.

The full fee is payable for missed appointments without notice. If, however, you are able to give me at least a day's notice, there is no charge. Please give me as much notice as possible of your holidays, if they will involve missing sessions.

Does it work?

I believe very strongly that every individual has the capacity to live a full and active life and that the best way of overcoming feelings of defeat or inadequacy is through counselling. I favour the person-centred approach to counselling.

You want to know more about me?

I underwent three years of professional training as a counsellor, to Diploma level, in Integrative Humanistic Counselling and have been practising since 1994. In 2002 I achieved a Professional Diploma in Further Theory and Practice of Client-Centred Therapy. I am an Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and am a registered practitioner. I have a well-qualified, experienced supervisor, who guides the continuing development of my skill and understanding. Before becoming a counsellor, I was a lecturer in a College of Further Education. I have a degree in English and Philosophy.

I am steady, self-assured, genuine, trustworthy and non-judgemental. I look forward to meeting you.