Q: What is counselling all about? Is it for me?

We all experience times in our lives when we need support to deal with something we are finding too difficult to deal with alone. Often we feel that we cannot work out what we need, or that our resources are too limited to help us cope with whatever we are facing.

In these periods, counselling or psychotherapy can offer an opportunity to discuss these issues in a safe, confidential space. A supportive and accepting relationship is the key to encouraging healing of past and present hurts – helping you to find ways to greater personal strength and resources.

Q: What can counselling help with?

There are many different reasons why people chose to access counselling or psychotherapy at some point in their life.

Perhaps workload, professional or relationship expectations are feeling overwhelming, or are creating emotions which are unwelcome and hurtful. Perhaps you have experienced a trauma, loss or overwhelming event in your life which feels too much to handle alone. At these times, a safe and nurturing pair of hands can help us to still ourselves, take stock and explore our needs.

I have extensive experience working and supporting others in the education system, as well as in social care and mental health support systems. In my present work as a counsellor and psychotherapist I have experience across all of the issues and areas listed here.  This is not a restrictive list – if you would like to ask more about what areas I work with, please feel free to contact me to enquire.

Q: What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

In general, the term ‘counselling’ is used to refer to short-term therapy which often has a specific focus on an issue. ‘Psychotherapy’ is often used to describe therapy work which has a broader focus. It may deal with longer term emotional or psychological issues. There is no set rule about what people or what issues require longer or shorter-term therapy, or what might work best for you.

However, it is important to note that both counselling and psychotherapy have many overlaps. They both have the aim to help reduce emotional and psychological distress and support the growth and wellbeing of the individual.

Q: Is counselling confidential?

Yes. The Counselling and Psychotherapy I offer is a confidential service.

I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – MBACP (Accred). I subscribe to their Ethical Framework which has a confidentiality and complaints procedure, to which I am accountable.

Confidentiality: Our work together is confidential. Any notes I make are stored securely and written so that your anonymity is preserved. I do not disclose what you share with me to other people. There are a few exceptions to this:

  1. Where there is serious risk of harm either to you (my client) of to someone else. In these instances I would speak with you about how I would need to pass this information on. Where possible, we would discuss this process together.
  2. Where there is illegality or where it would be illegal for me not to pass information on.
  3. Where there is a specific written request from you (my client) to share information with a named third party (e.g. a legal representative).
  4. Sometimes I use material discussed in sessions for research and publication purposes. Please be assured that your anonymity will be preserved.
  5. As part of BACP ethical practice, I am required to work with a supervisor, on a monthly basis in order to review my practice and ensure that am working as effectively as possible. Your identity is confidential in these meetings. If would like to know more about what my supervision entails, you would be free to ask me about this further.
  6. In the event of my incapacity or death, I have a nominated professional colleague who will be given access to your contact details, inform you of any relevant situation and will be able to offer you guidance in finding support elsewhere.

Do I need referral from my GP?

You do not need a referral from your GP to make an appointment with me. Counselling and Psychotherapy are often a very useful way to explore our personal hopes, direction and personal growth. They do not always have to be about times of crisis or specific problems we are facing.