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Frequently asked questions

How do I know that my difficulties are serious enough for therapy?

 

Therapists deal with a wide variety of issues brought by clients.  The most fundamental questions to ask yourself are: Do you feel that things aren’t going as you’d like them to?   Would you like to talk to someone about that?  If the answers to these questions are yes, then you’re in the right place!

Are the sessions confidential?

 

Yes, the content of our work is confidential.  However, in line with the UKCP professional code of ethics that I adhere to, clinical work is supervised by an experienced practitioner.  The work that is discussed with my supervisor is fully anonymised.

 

Please see here for more information on privacy and data storage and usage.

 

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

 

In practical terms, there is no significant difference between the terms.  The client would experience a similar facilitative relationship for counselling as for psychotherapy.  Counselling tends to be of a shorter duration, whereas psychotherapy may be longer and tends to support more complex mental health issues.  A psychotherapist is likely to have done a longer training course and to be registered with the UKCP.  I am a qualified, UKCP registered psychotherapist.

 

What is UKCP registration?

 

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is one of the two main counselling and psychotherapy professional bodies (the other is the BACP).  It covers therapists trained as psychotherapists and counselling psychotherapists.  However, therapists registered with either of these bodies have followed a rigorous training that leads to a high-quality professional standard of practice and adherence to a strict code of ethics.  

 

Will you diagnose me?

 

No, counsellors are not medically trained and I am not able to diagnose or make recommendations on medication or treatments.  I view people from the perspective of their potential for growth and change, rather than an assumption that something is ‘wrong’ with you.  I work from the basis that what’s happened to you in your life has brought you to where you are now.  And I provide a facilitative relationship to enable you explore and understand your experience of what’s going on in your life.

 

Do you offer CBT?

 

No, I’ve trained to work with a particular approach that is different from CBT (the person-centred approach, for more information see here).  I don’t work with techniques designed to cultivate a particular outcome or to create fixes.  Because my approach is based on a firm belief in the growth potential of a client, rather than assuming there is something wrong with them, I work with clients to help them to find their own answers and means for changes.  I believe that a therapeutic relationship that fosters the client’s autonomy and ability to access their inner resources is the most effective way of helping clients.

 

Do you offer couples or family counselling?

 

Although I am happy to work with issues relating to relationships and families, I work with adult clients (aged 18 and above) on a one-to-one basis only.

 

How frequent are sessions?

 

I offer weekly sessions and each session is 50 minutes long.

 

How long would we work together?

 

The length of time varies from person to person.  When we first meet, we’d discuss what it is you’d like to work on and will agree an initial number of sessions that feels right for you, I usually suggest 3-4 to start with and then we can mutually decide what might be appropriate following those sessions.  I continually review the work in progress with clients to make sure they’re getting what they want out of therapy.  

 

What if I need help outside of our weekly sessions?

 

Unfortunately, I’m not available to offer support outside of booked sessions.  Clients in crisis between sessions are directed to the Samaritans (tel: 116 123) or A&E (tel: 999).   

 

Do you ever decline to work with people?

 

Yes.  It is ethically crucial that I work to my competencies.  If I feel that the material you wish to bring falls outside of that, then I will let you know and seek to signpost you to a more appropriate line of support.  Usually, this would be evident when we have our initial conversation.  Occasionally, this might become apparent after we have been working together for a while, for instance if your circumstances change.   Should this happen, I will discuss this with you and suggest alternative lines of support. 

Do work with people based outside of the UK?

 

Practise of psychotherapy must fall in line with the training and qualification requirements of a client’s particular country of residence.  Many countries have very particular requirements that are not necessarily met by qualifications gained in another country.  Unfortunately, my training and insurance restrict me to work with those who are resident in the UK only, where I have gained my qualifications.