Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Generally, the term counselling is used to describe shorter-term, more focused work, perhaps on a particular problem or issue; psychotherapy when the work is less clearly defined and likely to involve sessions over the longer term. I have a Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy and I tend to use the terms interchangeably: both involve helping you to understand yourself better and to explore the options available to you.
How many sessions will I need?
I work with fixed-term and open-ended contracts. Often, we'll work out which is most appropriate during the first session, when I take a detailed history to help draw up a plan for our work together. Some issues are especially suitable for shorter term work; others benefit from a longer-term approach. Not surprisingly, problems that you've had for a long time tend to take more time to work through. Realistically, many people are limited by their budget and often it's appropriate to plan a fixed course of sessions with the understanding that more might be needed after a break.
How long are sessions and how often?
Sessions with individual clients last 50 minutes and sessions with couples, 60 minutes. Generally people come once a week at the same appointment time. If people need more support at certain times, I can offer twice-weekly sessions. Less frequent contact may be appropriate towards the end of therapy but generally progress is faster if we meet not less than once a week.
Individual sessions are £50 for daytime appointments and £55 for evening appointments (after 6pm). Couples sessions are £60 for daytime and £65 for evening appointments. Supervision is £60 / 50-minute session (session length is negotiable). I have some concessionary places for people on low income and for trainee counsellors. Unless otherwise agreed, fees are to be paid at the end of each session with cash or by bank transfer.
Confidentiality and ethics
What you talk about in the sessions is confidential. I keep brief notes of each session, which are kept securely for three years after your counselling has finished. As a BACP accredited counsellor, I have supervision from a qualified supervisor which helps maintain the quality of my work. My supervisor does not have access to information that could identify you (e.g. full name, address). I abide by the BACP Code of Ethics, which you are welcome to read.
Supervision sessions can be arranged at a frequency and duration that supports the size of your practice. I qualified with a Diploma from CSTD Bath in 2017 and my model draws on the work of Hawkins & Shohet whilst of course being informed by my own integrative practice.