What happens in the (free) introductory telephone call? We’ll discuss what has brought you to seek counselling and what you are hoping to achieve or gain. We can discuss my approach and the way I work, if you wish. There will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. I see counselling as a collaboration: working together and communicating openly and honestly with one another is an integral part of the process.
How do I pay for the session? Payment can be made via bank transfer. The bank details will be emailed to you should you choose to make an appointment.
How do we meet online? Currently, I am using a platform called Zoom, for this is secure software recommended for use for therapeutic sessions by the BACP. I will send an email invitation, which will guide you through uploading the software to your tablet/phone or desktop/laptop computer.
How long does counselling last? Each session usually lasts for 50-minutes (for counselling or one-to-one mindfulness sessions). If this feels too long, we can talk about altering the length of the session. Some clients prefer long term counselling, while others would prefer six to eight sessions. That being said, some people even find that just one or two are enough to make a difference. We can talk about what feels best for you in the initial appointment and make a plan together. I will regularly check in with you to see how you are feeling about the sessions. You are free to end the counselling at any time.
What happens if I need to cancel or change an appointment? A minimum of 24-hours notice is required for re-scheduling or cancelling an appointment. The full fee will be charged for sessions missed without such notice. If you need to cancel an appointment, please call my mobile or send me an email.
Are the sessions confidential? The content of our work together is confidential with a few exceptions. I regularly see a supervisor for confidential sessions, where we confidentially discuss my work to ensure I am working effectively and ethically. While I might discuss any issues arising from my work with client, this is shared in an anonymised way (no names or identifiable information is ever shared. In certain exceptional circumstances, if I felt you or others might be at risk of harm or in some legal circumstances, I might consider widening confidentiality; however, I would always endeavour to discuss this with you prior to taking any action.
Out of hours contact: I endeavour to reply to phone calls or emails within 24-hours, and I am not available outside normal office hours. I respect clients’ privacy and the integrity of the counselling relationship, and its boundaries by not following or connecting on any social media platform.
Can you work with anyone? I am able to see any client based in the UK. Before agreeing to work together, I would take into account your needs and my ability to meet those needs. If I feel undertrained or underqualified, I will do my best to signpost you to someone who will be more appropriate for you.
How do I prepare for my online sessions? I would recommend finding a private place where you are unlikely to be overheard or interrupted. Turn off other devices (such as phones, radio and the TV) to minimise distractions. Set up a space where you can sit comfortably for the duration of the session, preferably with your device supported hands-free and set up so that you remain clearly visible with adequate lighting and without needing to make any adjustments as we talk. It is helpful if you refrain from eating during the sessions. After the session ends, it can be important to take a little time to adjust back to the life around you. It might be worth planning a short walk or setting aside a little time to yourself after a session to reflect and reconnect gradually with other things.
In times of mental health or psychological emergencies, dial 999; or, if possible, attend your local A&E Hospital to be seen by the Crisis Team. You may also wish to contact the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123.