I am only able to take on new online clients.
I am only able to take on new online clients.
Once I receive your inquiry, I will contact you to briefly discuss your requirements, using your preferred contact method (therefore, please specify if you wish to be contacted by phone or email and any particular requests for time of day, or day of the week).
If you have indicated it is fine to phone you; then we can then begin the pre-assessment consultation if this is convenient, or agree a better time.
If I am responding via email, then I will offer some days and times where an initial phone call, to carry out a pre-assessment consultation, can take place.
This initial contact is carried out free of charge. This will be a maximum of 30mins duration and should take place in a private area, where you are able to talk freely if possible; as I will be asking for some basic personal information at this point.
This will help us to get an idea of how I can help.
From this we can then book the 1st face to face appointment.
In the first face to face session, my confidentiality policy will be discussed with you, so you are fully aware of what this means to you; before we start the counselling work.
This first session will be mainly for assessment purposes, to see what the issues are that you want to look at and also to see how you feel about working with me.
Feeling comfortable with your counsellor is a very important factor, to ensure you get the best from the counselling process. Therefore this first session is your opportunity to also assess me and consider if you feel able to work with me. The next section explores what happens in counselling sessions in more detail.
At the end of the first session we can then agree how we want to proceed and then book future sessions in; if you feel you want to continue.
Once we feel we are wanting to work together on a longer term basis; then commitment to agreeing sessions for a period of 6-8 weeks at a time is helpful, to enable the logistics of room reservations, for your sessions; ahead of time. For more information on how sessions run with me please see the next section.
I don't have a fixed way of working in sessions, because I have found that different people need different things from me and the counselling process. This also often changes over time for people. Therefore I am guided by you to a large degree and on how you start your sessions. I will always encourage you to check in at the start of each session, looking at how you are right now, today and since the last session. This supports some reflection and helps you to settle into the space.
Some people have very clear ideas about what they want from counselling, whilst others know they need some help, but are unsure where to start.
Depending on you, I may take a very active role initially, to help you get started; or if you feel comfortable talking, I may just need to sit back and listen to your story. The listening skills I use are 'active', so I will offer some reflections and at times summarise things you have said. This is often helpful to hear, as it can help you to see your thoughts, a little more clearly; particularly where you are feeling quite confused and overwhelmed. I do also use some questioning at times, to help me to understand your experience more fully and I may suggest things that I am feeling may be relevant to you; but may not be in your conscious thoughts. This can be useful as it can help you to look at things from different perspectives sometimes. This can be very helpful when looking at relationship problems as an example. I sometimes use mind maps to provide a visual summary of what is happening for you; which clients have found helpful.
I focus initially on looking at what is going on for you now, as that is the reason you are sat in the space with me. However I will also consider your past, as often things that have happened earlier in our lives, can have an effect in our present life. I may suggest we complete things like a time line together, to explore the past and recent events; as we work towards a better understanding of the experiences you are having now. We may also do some work around your thoughts and behaviours; considering how these may be affecting your life and how these could be changed.
The key thing that I bring is the presence of another person, whom you can feel safe with, to explore your thoughts and feelings, without judgement; to enable you to grow in yourself as a person.
The image used on this page, I feel, represents the emotional connection that counselling brings; as 2 people form a collaborative relationship, to overcome challenges and move forward in life.
I am not 'the expert', I am your companion........ sometimes possibly a guide, sometimes a coach, sometimes a shoulder to cry on, but always working in the spirit of an empathic supportive professional counselling relationship.
Counselling is carried out in private because the focus is personal and often involves things that may be of a sensitive nature. However I have found that many clients do have a positive relationship with their GP and often share that they are having counselling. This can be beneficial particularly where you are on specific medication such as antidepressants or having suicidal thoughts and are looking for effective support. Also sometimes medical/physical issues can affect us emotionally and psychologically, so being open with your counsellor and your GP can be a good thing. Examples may be things like the menopause and pre-menopause or thyroid problems affecting mood.
However, I fully appreciate, for some people they will not want to disclose counselling with anyone else and this will be discussed at the first session and again in sessions if appropriate where your situation changes and I have any concerns about your wellbeing.
Sometimes things can happen in between counselling sessions and this may be a trigger for you, meaning you feel very distressed and need some support. You can contact me to see if I can help Monday to Friday, but as I may be with client's in the evenings and do not operate a 24hr service, I may well be unavailable at the time you need someone. The next section provides some additional services which may be useful aside from myself.
If you want to reach out, then I will try to support you in your challenge, whatever this may be.... counselling can make a difference...
Samaritans: www.samaritans.org freephone: 116 123.
The Samaritans offer a safe place for people to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Callers don’t have to be in despair or suicidal and the Samaritans will talk to people who are concerned about somebody else.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel your mental health is deteriorating and you are worried then you can access your GP surgery for support and assessment emphasising this is an urgent issue for you that cannot wait until tomorrow.
Local NHS Emergency numbers in a crisis (out of hours):
NHS 111 is the free number to call when you have an urgent healthcare need. It directs you to the right local service, first time.
999 can be called if there is an imminent threat to life to access urgent medical care and assessment. If able to travel then you can attend your local A&E. A member of the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Teams should be on call where needed, to provide assessment and support for acute mental health issues.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Mon-Fri,10am-5pm & 7-10pm. Weekends 2-5pm)
Papyrus provides confidential help and advice to young people (children, teenagers and people up to the age of 35) and anyone worried about a young person.
0800 58 58 58 www.thecalmzone.net
CALM is a charity about, for and on behalf of men, dedicated to preventing male suicide. It offers support to men of any age who are down or in crisis via its helpline, webchat and website. The helpline and webchat operate 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year.
CALM also supports fellow charity: Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP) which aims to ensure that everyone bereaved or affected by suicide is offered and receives timely and appropriate support.
0300 123 3393 (or text 86463)
The team at the leading mental health charity Mind can provide information on a range of topics including types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments. They also offer employers training and a Work Wellbeing Index benchmarking tool.
Harmless is a user led organisation that provides a range of services about self-harm and suicide prevention including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self-harm, their friends and families and professionals and those at risk of suicide.
Harmless was set up by people who understand these issues and at the heart of our service is a real sense of hope. We know that with the right support and help life can get better.
Beat | The UK's Eating Disorder Charity: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk
This has resources, a helpline and online forums.
OCD UK Website: www.ocduk.org, Phone: 0845 120 3778 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
OCD UK is a national charity supporting adults and children affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD UK assists around one million people in the UK. OCD is totally service-led. It is run by sufferers for sufferers. OCD UK offers mutual support groups for people living with OCD across the country.
Sane: Website: www.sane.org.uk, Phone: 0845 767 8000 (daily, 6-11pm)
Sane aims to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental health. SANE’s aim is to raise public awareness and bring more effective professional treatment and compassionate care to everyone affected by mental illness. SANE offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health problems through their helpline and email services.
Family Lives: www.familylives.org.uk
Support and advice available, from the website or from calling the confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. ‘You can contact us about any family issue, big or small. We listen, support and never judge’.