The Counselling Living Room

space to talk

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Questions

Is counselling right for me?

Our first session is an opportunity to explore this. We will discuss how we will work together for example the number of sessions, confidentiality, fees and boundaries. You will also have the chance to talk about the circumstances that bring you to counselling and your expectations.

There is no commitment at this stage and you will then have time to decide whether counselling feels right for you and if you would like to continue. What've you got to lose?

How will counselling help me?

Counselling can help you deal with difficult life events such as unemployment, bereavement, relationship difficulties and abuse. Counselling can help improve medical conditions such as depression*, anxiety or an eating disorder and it can also help improve physical symptoms such as troubled sleep, high blood pressure or panic attacks. It may also help alleviate stress related problems such as ulcers, heart conditions and migranes.

Counselling can help you make more sense of your life as well as make changes that you feel would be of benefit. It can further help you to make decisions and have greater control of your life as well as improve your relationships at work, with family and socially.

* The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE England & Wales) recommends psychodynamic counselling for treating depression.

How do I know you're properly qualified?

I'm a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) which is the largest professional body representing counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. You can view my Registered status on the BACP Register website. Being a Registered Member of BACP demonstrates that my credentials and fitness to practise have been checked and approved by an independent professional body.

What will I talk about?

Through the medium of uncensored and largely unstructured talk, I will listen objectively and without judgement which means you can talk about whatever is on your mind. Most clients find time flies quickly and are often surprised when the session comes to an end.

Will you give me advice?

I won't tell you what to do and will instead encourage you to draw your own conclusions and find your own solutions.

I may sum up what I understand you have been saying so far in order to help you make changes. I may also make suggestions of the "have you thought of the following?" variety. These suggestions will be drawn from my training and experience and can of course be rejected.

Will my counselling sessions be confidential?

Counselling sessions are confidential unless you pose a danger to yourself or others. We'll talk about the issue of confidentiality in more detail during our first session.

What will it cost?

Individual counselling costs £50 per 50 minute session.
Couple counselling costs £60 per one hour session.

How long will it take?

Counselling is normally weekly and typically lasts from six sessions to one year or more depending on the issues you are bringing.

Evidence shows that 80% of clients are better off after therapy and 65% of clients improve after 7 sessions (Therapy Today Nov 2014)

How long the process takes varies from one individual to another. You decide and are in control of the number and frequency of sessions and when you want to stop.

It’s up to you how far you want to go on the journey of self discovery and what you want to get out of it. My role is to help you to get what you need from the process in order to move on with your life as quickly as possible.

Is it really worth the money?

You may feel that counselling is a luxury you can't afford. However when you think about it our mental health is just as important as our physical health and in reality the two are linked.

Emotional problems can impact on our physical and mental health as well as our relationships at home and in the workplace.

Our emotions and our bodies are connected (psyche soma) and left untreated, unresolved emotional issues can sometimes persist and develop into more serious problems. Over time this can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eating disorders, alcoholism, depression and chronic pain with no medical explanation and other problems.

Taking care of ourselves is really important and something we often neglect.

What if I miss a session?

Please let me know as soon as you can if you will be unable to make one of your counselling sessions. Sessions that are cancelled with less than 48 hours notice are chargeable in full unless there are extenuating circumstances.

What is Psychodynamic Counselling?

There are different therapeutic approaches and they all have a place. Some focus on problem resolution and symptom elimination and may provide temporary relief.

Psychodynamic counselling goes beyond symptoms and attempts to get to the root cause of the problems and the emotions that underlie behaviour. As a result the benefits and effects of therapy are considered to be more permanent and lasting.

Psychodynamic counsellors help people to reconnect with their past in a meaningful way.

A psychodynamic counsellor is highly skilled and places emphasis on our formative experiences and helps bring clients' unconscious behaviours and relating patterns into awareness giving you the opportunity to consciously adapt your behaviour, make decisions and have more control over your life.

You will always be in control of what we talk about and when and you'll never be pressured into talking about anything you're uncomfortable about or not ready for.

Is having counselling more effective than taking antidepressants?

The reality of depression* is widely accepted however there is more than one way to treat it. Whilst there is a place for medical intervention there is also growing concern that antidepressants are prescribed too easily because of the lack of suitable alternatives.

Medication may help bring some temporary relief but does not tackle the underlying cause and is not a long term solution.

Counselling or 'talking therapy' is an alternative to antidepressants or a combination of both may be appropriate. Counsellors help clients to see things as they really are rather than run away from them which can sometimes bring other problems. This is done sensitively and at your own pace. Sometimes talking therapy will reach the parts that the drugs cannot.

Don't be afraid to speak to your GP who should be able to help you explore the options available to you. Your GP may even be able to offer you a limited counselling service in your own surgery.

* The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE England & Wales) recommends psychodynamic counselling for treating depression.

How can you help me overcome an addiction?

Working as a psychodynamic counsellor, my focus in treating any addiction is not on the object of your addiction (whether that is food, alcohol, exercise or anything else) but on its cause and function. Otherwise you may simply replace one object for another. Ultimately, I will try to help you manage your life and emotions without feeling compelled to resort to self-destructive strategies.

Addiction is an (unconscious) coping or survival strategy and a way of avoiding difficult feelings probably learned in childhood. I will try to help you unravel the meaning of your addiction and find other more conscious and less harmful ways, using words, to communicate your thoughts and feelings.

Find out more about BACP

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues. Chronic pain is defined as prolonged physical pain that lasts longer than the natural healing process should allow.

In psychosomatic health there is an understanding that our emotional pain and distress can often become manifested as bodily symptoms.

Psychodynamic counselling may help deal with the feelings that can so often result, as a consequence of living with chronic pain, as well as the possible root causes.