Why do people come for counselling?
There are probably as many reasons as there are people! From time to time, life throws up problems, dilemmas and worries for all of us. It may be a pressing personal difficulty, or we may be re-thinking the direction we are taking in life, and facing tough decisions at home, or at work.
Perhaps you are worried about a child or teenager – they may be troubled by issues at school or home – friendships, bullying, abuse, school refusal or family break-up for example - that leave them vulnerable.
We deal with many of these problems ourselves, with the support of family and friends, if we are lucky. But at other times you may need to talk to someone outside the family, who is not involved, and that you can talk to confidentially. At these times a trained counsellor can help you find the way forward that is right for you. Sharing your problem through counselling can be the start of a journey through which you become able to grow and move on with your life.
......... and how does counselling help?
Whether you are coping with major issues in your life – stressful life events, long-standing or recent trauma, life-changing decisions about work or relationships, or family problems, or just have a general sense of dissatisfaction with your life, and want to make some changes, a skilled counsellor can give you the space and time to explore these, in a non-judgemental setting, to find the best way for you to bring about change, whether at work, home, or in personal relationships.
You will be able to talk things through with a counsellor who is experienced in providing a calm, reflective space, just for you, where you can explore what matters to you, and your feelings and thoughts. The counsellor will help you to explore what will work best for you, in a confidential setting, where you will be accepted and supported.
Couples experiencing conflict in their relationships can also benefit from working with a neutral counsellor, who can help you to resolve conflict and make decisions about your future, whether that be together or apart. To take the first step, please message or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can arrange a good time to talk on the phone.
What can I expect when I see a counsellor?
The first session is an opportunity to meet together, and for both of us to decide whether the problems you are bringing are those that I can help you with, and if so, whether you feel comfortable that I am the right person for you to work with. You should feel free to ask about my qualifications and experience, and how I work, to help you to decide.
Sessions (50 minutes) will usually be weekly at the same time, but together we can work out a pattern that suits you. You may want to agree a fixed number of sessions (e.g. 6 – 10) or choose to work more flexibly.
There are so many different types of counselling and therapy. How do I decide which one is right for me?
There are indeed lots of different ways of working – you may hear the words “analytic”, “CBT”, “humanistic”, “integrative”, “EMDR”, “transpersonal” … the list is long! A useful starting point is “Talking Therapies Explained” (NHS UK) that you can find on the NHS website. Or, if you want to delve more deeply, try “Therapy 101” by Jeffrey Woodward. This book is American, so some of the information is geared to the American market, but it does have some useful information, in plain language, free from jargon.
However, lots of information may leave you feeling even more confused! Probably the best advice is to look at the websites of national organisations, such as BACP (the British Association for counselling & Psychotherapy) or UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy). You can be sure that counsellors registered with these bodies are fully qualified and work to professional ethics and standards.
Read the profiles of counsellors near you, and contact them for more information about how they work. If you feel comfortable with what they say, arrange an initial meeting. Many therapists charge a lower fee for the initial session, as it is the opportunity for counsellor and client to decide together whether the issues you bring are ones that this counsellor can help you with, and whether the relationship is “a good fit”. It is important that you feel confident that you will be able to develop trust in the therapist to help you with the issues that you bring to counselling, and the way you will work together.
How do you work?
I provide "client-centred therapy", or "Rogerian therapy". This takes its name from its founder, Carl Rogers. The starting point is the importance of the relationship between therapist and client. Rogerian counsellors help clients to achieve "personal growth". Experience tells us that we all have strengths that we may not even be aware of, and with skilled support we can use these to bring about positive change in ourselves and our lives, however difficult that may sometimes seem. It is an optimistic and positive way of working, and very many clients have told me how much it has helped them.
The quality of the relationship between therapist and client is important in the success of therapy. This is why it is important to meet a therapist before making a decision about longer-term work. You need to be confident that this therapist is a "good fit" for you, and that you will feel comfortable working with them and sharing sensitive information.
I also provide "integrative therapy". This means that whilst most of our work together will involve talking (and listening!) I also integrate other methods, such as TA (Transactional Analysis) CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) Solution-Focussed Therapy, and the arts, using different media, such as sand tray, drawing and writing when I think this will be useful, and clients wish to do so. Non-verbal techniques can be helpful in finding a way through a problem when you have become “stuck”, or where emotions are hard to express, and words don’t come easily. They can also give you new insights into your world, as well as being an enjoyable way of working.
I'm also a qualified Assertiveness Trainer, and this can be very helpful at times.
To arrange an initial meeting, give me a call on 07974 414689, or email me on email@example.com