Do you have a question about counselling or psychotherapy? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions. You're welcome to contact me with any other questions.
WHAT IS COUNSELLING?
Is there something troubling or upsetting you, a part of your life you find yourself unable to ignore or make sense of? Or perhaps you’re feeling as though happiness and fulfilment are somehow out of reach. This could be something counselling can help with. It gives you space and time to discuss your problems and any difficult feelings or issues you may be struggling with in a safe, confidential, non-judgemental environment. Counselling changes from person to person but broadly speaking, it’s a process you might choose when you want to change something in your life or make sense of your thoughts and feelings more deeply.
HOW DOES COUNSELLING HELP?
The way counselling can help will depend on the person receiving it. For many, the fact that counselling offers a safe and confidential environment in which to speak freely is vital, at the heart of why it works. In life, sometimes it can feel like we can’t share everything we want to with certain people – we check ourselves or self-censor. There’s no need to do that in counselling. Instead, you have the space, time and freedom to explore your own thoughts and feelings, and be heard and supported.
IS COUNSELLING THE SAME AS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The words sometimes get used interchangeably, and in the UK, they are not protected terms or titles. I call myself a therapist, but my training was in counselling. Both concepts also fall under the broader banner of ‘talking therapy’, just to make things more confusing. As a rule of thumb, counselling = therapy and counsellor = therapist!
HOW DO SESSIONS WORK?
During a counselling session, we work together to explore the issues you’re facing. My role is to provide a collaborative, safe environment free of judgement and to draw on my professional experience to ensure that you’re well supported. I believe that people are resilient. Given the right environment and the opportunity to speak freely , a person can accept who they are more deeply and make sense of painful, challenging experiences.
WHAT DOES A COUNSELLOR DO?
It’s easier to answer this question in terms of what I don’t do: it’s not my role to tell you what to think, feel or do. This can sometimes be frustrating, when you might want an easy answer. Instead, I’ll try to bring the attention back to how you feel and what is really going on for you, to uncover the causes behind what’s troubling you and the way you approach challenges in life.
I aim to understand you as fully as I can: I listen, closely and keenly, to what you say and how you say it, to what you communicate and the way that you make sense of life. Then I try my best to offer some of that back to you, so that you can better hear it too.
People may choose to speak to a counsellor because they feel they cannot speak to a partner, friends or family about particular personal issues – counselling is confidential, so you receive a safe, non-judgemental space to explore troubling, sensitive or challenging subjects you might not feel able to discuss elsewhere.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
If you’re interested in having counselling, please email me or click on ‘Contact’ below to arrange your first session. I usually suggest an initial phone call of 15 minutes to give you a better sense of me, and me of you. If you then want to proceed, in our first session we’ll talk about what you want to get out of counselling. At the end of the session, if you’re happy to continue, we’ll meet at the same time each week for as long as you require.
My fee is £55 per session. I offer sessions in-person at The Grove in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, or remotely, via Zoom or the telephone.
Each session lasts 50 minutes and takes place weekly at the same time, ideally. I do also offer fortnightly sessions, but I recommend starting with four to six weekly sessions to build our working relationship. Please note I do not always have availability for fortnightly sessions.
I see clients both during the day and in the evening and will try to accommodate you at the earliest possibility. I also am able to offer some concessionary rate sessions – please ask if you think this might apply to you.