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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Browse below to review the answers to the most common questions that I receive as a qualified counselor. Review the list I’ve provided, and if anything is still unclear, get in touch and I’ll be happy to assist you.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FIRST SESSION?

Before the first session you would have received an initial agreement, emergency contact form and a copy of my contract via email to sign. An initial assessment will be carried out in the 20 minute consultation process, where you can also ask any questions you would like. In the first session I run back through the contract in case anything needs to change. It's also good to know that nerves can play a part as we get to know each other and that is OK. It's like any two people meeting for the first time and we are building a relationship together, building that trust takes time and you are not expected to do delve straight into anything. Counselling is a process and can take some time.

HOW DO I PAY AND HOW MUCH IS IT?

Payment can be a difficult subject, I find it's best to be open, honest and upfront about it. I charge £45 for a 50 minute session together. This is to be paid before each session to the bank details in my contract by bank transfer.

I do offer concessions for lower income families, this is something we can discuss together, so please do ask.

Should you cancel within less than the 48 hours’ notice agreed, or fail to attend an appointment, the full session fee will be charged. The full session fee is also charged if for whatever reason you are late or want to end the session early.

HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?

You can book by simply sending me an email, calling me, or by clicking the get in touch button in the top right corner of this page to fill out an enquiry form.


We would need a consultation together first, either by phone or Zoom. Once you are happy with how the process works, and you are happy for me to be your counsellor we can schedule when you would like to start. 

HOW DOES COUNSELLING HELP ME, WON'T IT JUST BRING UP ALL THE STUFF IN MY PAST?

You can talk about as little or as much as you would like, the benefit of counselling is we are doing it together. We can process the thoughts and feelings you have safely and at your pace with no pressure or judgement.

I tailor the counselling to your needs. For example if you feel the need to just vent each week about work then that's what you can do, because this is what you need to. If you want to talk about a historic event that has troubled you for many years, then we can approach that together. 

IS COUNSELLING ONLINE BETTER THEN FACE TO FACE COUNSELLING?

Studies show that working online or by the phone is equally effective and sometimes more so.

This can be down to the convenience of not travelling to your counsellor, you can choose somewhere safe, familiar and comfortable from where to engage in counselling.

WHAT PLATFORMS DO YOU USE FOR ONLINE COUNSELLING? WHAT IF I DON'T WANT YOU TO SEE ME OR WHERE I AM?

I use zoom for online counselling and can talk you through or send you a walk through on how to use/ set it up if it's something you are not sure on how to use. Zoom is encrypted both ends so I can maintain your confidentiality. 

I find it one of the easier platforms to use, although if you would like to use a different one, WhatsApp for example. This is something we can discuss as I'm happy to work with you for an easier and more enjoyable experience with me.

I also offer telephone counselling if that is something you would prefer. This involves me calling you at an agreed time and we work together over the phone. This can sometimes work better if you don't want me to see you or your surroundings. 

HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I GET?

You can have as few as 6 sessions, If you were looking for something more long term we could discuss what you feel you need, and what would work for you.

For example if you wanted 12 or even 20 sessions. We can review this as we progress together, so you get what you want from the experience.


Usually sessions are the same time and day every week so therapy is continued at a regular pace and pattern. This can be discussed at the consultation stage to see what you need.

I believe being open and honest with each other means you will get more from counselling.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF COUNSELLING?

Due to the nature of being online or on the phone with each other, the dynamic of how you would usually say goodbye is slightly different. 

If we think of how we would usually depart someone in a face to face setting, you have the opportunity to shake hands or even hug if that is what you both agree on. I will always let you leave the zoom meeting room first so it does not feel like I have just left when maybe you were not ready for that.

I will be very open about when we are coming to an end, and when it is, so it does not come as a surprise. I believe that this is important so that we are both prepared for it. 

Endings are an important and a difficult part of life, so I like to make them as comfortable as possible for you.

THINGS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING WHAT PLATFORM IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

Online counselling therapy is a way for you to engage in counselling using internet technology such as telephone or webcam video.


You direct your counselling by selecting the method of communication you feel most comfortable with. You choose the time, the place, and the pace of your counselling to suit your needs.


Every effort is made to provide a safe and secure environment for your online therapy with encryption software to protect your confidentiality and secure.


How it works.


Webcam counselling


Zoom is a way for you to see your counsellor face-to-face from your computer whilst engaging in therapy. You will be guided through setting up your own encrypted Zoom account and you will meet your counsellor on Zoom at a time that you have previously arranged. Sessions are 50 minutes in length. Being able to see your counsellor gives you more of the benefits you get from face-to-face counselling but with the convenience of online therapy. By talking you hear tone of voice which is a way to convey empathy and with video you see non-verbal communications such as facial expressions.


Telephone counselling


This is like webcam counselling as it happens through the Zoom system, or via a handset, but without the visual aspects. You can choose to remain anonymous, and the conversation is encrypted if held on Zoom. An advantage of telephone counselling is that non-verbal communication can

be carried in you tone of voice or the pace of speech which can be picked up by your counsellor.

A disadvantage of telephone counselling is that you need a private room where you will not be overheard.

Online counselling offers certain benefits but there are also limitations that are worth bearing in mind when deciding which type of therapy will best suit your needs.


Benefits


• Counselling therapy from your own home at a time that suits you.

• Secure encryption software offers confidentiality and peace of mind.

• No chance that you may be seen entering the counsellor’s practice.

• Therapy at a time, place and pace that suits you.

• Access to counselling may be more immediate.

• Flexibility to choose the technology you feel is best for you: telephone or webcam.


Things to consider


• Are you comfortable using internet technology?

• Would you prefer to see your counsellor face-to-face?

• Do you feel you can express your feelings effectively using words?

• Do you feel your situation is too complex to discuss via the internet?

• Is there a computer terminal that you can use privately without interruption?

• Text communication can sometimes be open to misunderstanding.

• There are no non-verbal cues or body language for you or the counsellor to

read this can lead to misunderstanding.

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