What does counselling give that I can't find on my own or with friends?
People work through problems by making sense of their experiences. Mostly you can do this on your own or with the help of a friend but sometimes it becomes confusing as you find that the friendly support may be biased or that the friend wants to reassure you. In counselling it is different because I am able to stay with you and your feelings without judgment or advice. This helps you to see more clearly, to untangle your problems, thoughts and feelings leading to you finding the answers that suit you.
How often do I come to counselling?
It is usual for us to meet once a week. This allows enough time between sessions to think things through without losing continuity. Some people only need a few sessions within which to explore and find understanding on a specific issue. Others find that counselling opens the door to deeper, helpful self awareness requiring a longer process, perhaps months rather than weeks. Initially we arrange to meet for six sessions. We then review how you are progressing and look at your options. You are free to choose to end at anytime.
How do I know if you are the right counsellor for me?
Different counsellors have different styles and ways of working. Come and meet me for an initial session which gives us both the opportunity to see how comfortable we feel about working together. If you prefer to talk on the phone first or ask questions via email then please contact me. My phone is on voicemail when I am working, just leave a message and I will get back to you.
Where are you?
My peaceful counselling room is located in a quiet cul de sac close to the river Severn at Portishead.
Do you have evening and weekend appointments?
I work evenings, not weekends.
Is there a concessionary rate for people with low income?
Yes. My usual fee is £50 per hour's session. I offer some spaces at low cost depending on circumstances.
Is it really confidential?
Yes. Everything you discuss is confidential between you and I. What you say in the room stays in the room. There are certain legal exceptions to do with
safe guarding you and others, which I will clarify when we meet.
Like all counsellors I use supervision which is a form of consultative support. While I may discuss my work with my supervisor, your details are not disclosed and my supervisor is also bound by rules of confidentiality.
I am worried that having counselling may upset me and I may feel worse. Is this likely?
Sometimes you do feel worse before you feel better. Talking about difficult experiences and disturbing feelings can be upsetting. You will be offered the space to explore different aspects of your life, freely and openly. Bottled up feelings such as anger, grief, hurt, embarrassment and shame may be intense. Allowing the feeling to come, enables you to then let it go. It can take courage and strength but you are in charge of the process and we only explore what feels safe and right for you. People find that talking helps. The learning and letting go that comes is worth the challenge of allowing deep feelings to surface.
Is counselling only useful at difficult times?
No! Counselling is not always painful. Exploring life choices, new directions, exciting events, can bring increased self awareness, skill acquisition and independence.
What if I change my mind?
It is useful for us to have an ending session however you are free to choose to end at any time.
What if I miss an appointment?
I ask that you contact me by text, phone or email if you can not attend. If you do not give 24 hours notice your usual fee is due. If we can, we will try to
schedule another time for the week so that you do not lose your session.
Your usual time will be kept available for the following week.