Do I need a referral from my GP?
No. If you choose to contact a private counsellor/therapist, your GP doesn't need to refer you. It's up to you whether you let them know.
What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
The term 'counselling' is generally used to describe shorter-term work around difficult events in someone's life. Psychotherapy is usually for a longer period, more in-depth and more concerned with how a person experiences themselves and their relationships most deeply.
How long are the sessions?
Individual appointments last 50 minutes.
How long will it take?
There’s no standard length of time as everyone is unique. It depends on what you bring and what we might discover along the way. We can work short term for 6 sessions and with others, who want to make profound changes in their lives, for several years. The choice is yours.
Would I need to come every week?
Sessions ideally take place weekly, same day & time but we appreciate life is busy with many of us needing flexible appointments. Your therapist will work with you here.
Online and telephone counselling offers an ideal alternative to face to face therapy. Location isn't a barrier, you are free to choose the therapist of your choice regardless of distance. Also, as the world strives to combat this pandemic, online and telephone counselling keeps us all safe. Still professional, still caring, still providing a calm, confidential and supportive space to explore your thoughts and feelings.
General hours are 8am - 7pm
But for those requesting appointments after work I offer evening sessions on a Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday until 8pm. Saturday mornings 9am - 12 noon.
Can I really talk about anything?
Absolutely. I am committed to providing a confidential, non-judgemental space for you to talk about whatever is troubling you - no matter how 'bad' or 'wrong' it might feel.
What is the fee?
Individual appointments are £50.00
For online therapy payment is made by bank transfer 24 hours in advance.
Face to face sessions payment is made by cash or by debit card.
What happens if I cancel my appointment?
There is a 24 cancellation policy, else the full fee is due for payment.
The use of therapy dogs, or as is more formally known, animal assisted interventions, are becoming a popular and well regarded method of therapy.
The benefits of this controlled interaction are vast; the therapy dog is non-judgemental, accepting, and can be a soothing therapeutic presence, helping the reduction of stress and anxiety, alleviating loneliness and isolation, and can also help you to re-establish your own sense of trust.
Occasionally, and only on agreement, we may have the option to invite Douglas into session. If this is of interest to you, or if you would simply like more information about Douglas, please just ask.
Children 8 - 13 yrs
Play is a child’s way of exploring the world and learning to master adult tasks. They learn how to relate to others through play, how to explore emotions and thoughts, how to behave, move and take action. Play can include board games, humorous games, soft toys, puppets, role play, crafts, drawing, painting, and messy play.
We use play to gradually build up a relationship with a child, to offer them a gentle and safe way of building the trust needed for them to feel confident enough to share and explore difficult things. This can take time.
Adolescents 14 - 18
Teenagers are able to come into the initial session unattended unless they want you to be with them. Some teenagers enjoy using creative art therapy whilst others prefer to just talk through the issues and confusions. We will also look at strategies and techniques in order for your young person to move forward with increased self confidence.
How I work:
We will meet together which will give you and your child the opportunity to decide if you feel comfortable with the me and with the environment. I will explain more about how I work and you and/or your child can talk about your concerns and ask questions. I will explore the current concerns in more depth and ask about your child's development, family history and family life. We can then decide whether to go forward and arrange further appointments.
We may agree on a therapy plan for short term (6-12 sessions) or long term (a year or more) therapy, this depends on the individuals assessed needs. I work with children and adolescents individually, with their families or carers, or with parents separately from their children. E.g I may be able to help parents with worries about their children in a few sessions, and with more complex needs the work might include long term individual child therapy alongside regular meeting with parents/carers and wider family/supporters.
We will review progress together regularly and amend the therapy plan accordingly. Please note that the content of your child/adolescents session will not be discussed with parents or schools unless the client wishes me to do so, or there is a concern relating to a safeguarding issue .
Throughout all of this, it's important to remember that each individual session, regardless of the persons age, is private and confidential. Each individual's personal thoughts and feelings are treated with the utmost respect. Anything discussed in counselling sessions is kept in strictest confidence.
A typical paragraph from a counselling contract:
I abide by the Code of Ethics of the British Association of Counselling and I am committed to providing a confidential service to all of my clients, except under the following circumstances:
From time to time I will discuss my work with a clinical supervisor. This is a good standard of practice and requested by the BACP. No name, or identifying information is given, your anomynity is assured.
If I believe my client is at risk of harming himself/herself or others I reserve the right to break confidentiality in order to prevent harm. However, I will only do this in extreme circumstances and would always endeavour to discuss this with you first before taking action.
If required by a court of law to give evidence (e.g. criminal proceeding). In such an event, I will discuss it with you before taking action.
If you are unsure of the implications of this policy, please do just discuss it with your therapist.