If you’ve never been to counselling before, you probably would like to find out more and understand what is involved. Please read on to learn about some of the common questions people have when they come to counselling for the first time. Of course, if there is anything else you would like to ask me, please get in touch.
I feel I’d like to try out counselling with you, what do I do?
Please get in touch and we can arrange a convenient time to have a free, no obligation phone call.
To find out more about what will happen in this phone call, visit getting started.
What will happen in my first appointment?
In your first face to face appointment we will meet each other and see how we could work together. This is your time and space to talk about whatever has brought you to counselling. I will explain some of the practical aspects of counselling.
Find out more about what to expect in your first appointment.
I’m not sure what to talk about in our appointments. What type of issues can I bring to counselling?
This is a really common question for people coming to counselling for the first time. The simple answer is you can bring anything to counselling. You can talk about whatever is going on for you at this time. I will work with you to help you feel comfortable, so you can begin to say whatever is on your mind.
Some clients worry their problems are too big or too small for counselling. I believe if there is something going on in your life which is important to you, then it is worthwhile spending some time looking at it in counselling.
Will you tell me what to do, or give me advice?
Counselling is about sharing your issues with someone trained to listen, rather than giving advice or telling you what to do. You can explore your situation in a safe and confidential environment with someone who is independent and unbiased.
The process of counselling can allow you to get things off your chest and then begin to see them more clearly. From here you can begin to work out the changes you may, or may not, choose to make in your life.
How long are appointments and how often will we meet?
Our face to face appointments together will be for 1 hour. We will work out together how often we will meet. For lots of clients this is each week, whereas for others it can be less often.
How many appointments will I need?
How many appointments you decide you would like to attend is up to you. I believe you will know when you have got what you need from our work together. You may find you choose to attend for only a few appointments, or you may want to continue longer. The choice is yours.
When can I attend appointments?
I recognise you may have a busy life around which to fit your counselling and will work with you to find a convenient time for our appointments. I offer appointments right through each weekday until 5.30pm.
How do I know you’re properly qualified?
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which is the largest professional body representing counselling in the UK. You can view my registration on the BACP Register.
To become a Registered Member of BACP, my qualifications and credentials have been checked and approved by this independent professional body. I undertake supervision and continuing professional development to ensure I can competently work with the range of issues clients bring to counselling.
I am fully insured, registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and have Disclosure and Barring Service certification.
I’m worried you’ll tell other people what we talk about?
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of counselling. I will keep confidential anything you choose to discuss in our appointments. I recognise that understanding how confidentiality works is important, if you’ve never been to counselling before. Therefore this is something we will discuss in our first appointment.
There are occasions when I am required to break confidentiality, such as if I feel that yourself or someone else is in serious danger. This is something I will explain further in our first appointment.
To support my professional practice and membership of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I see a supervisor regularly to review my work as a counsellor. I will explain more about how your confidentiality is protected in our first appointment.
What records will you keep?
I will make case notes from each of our appointments together, to support my work as a professional counsellor. I will also ask you for some personal details such as your address, preferred contact details. I will explain more about how I keep these safe in our first appointment.
All records are treated as confidential and kept securely. My record keeping practices are in line with current data protection legislation and best practice and I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. I will not share any of your records with a third party without your permission and in line with our confidentiality arrangements which we will discuss in our first appointment.