How Might Counselling Help You?
Sometimes, just being able to talk to someone in confidence about your problems, anxieties, relationships or other difficulties may be really helpful. You may gain fresh insights, grow in self-awareness or feel less distressed. Counsellors are well-trained to listen effectively and respond appropriately to others. I will really listen to what you say and offer you a respectful, honest and empathic space in which to explore any issue that is of concern to you at the moment.
What sort of issues would you like to explore?
Here are some examples of the kinds of issues that clients bring to counselling - it's not an exhaustive list!
- Stress, which could include from work, parenting or caring for a relative or friend
- Panic attacks
- Low self-esteem
- Bereavement, loss and change
- Coping with illness
- Eating/weight issues
- Self harm
- Suicidal thoughts
Deciding If I'm The Right Counsellor For You ...
In order to establish an effective working relationship, it is important that we feel comfortable with one another. Therefore, if you think that you might like to see me for counselling, we can arrange a short initial meeting in which to decide if we feel we would like to work together. This will give you the opportunity to see the counselling environment and ask any questions that you may have about me, the counselling process or practical aspects such as duration and payment.
There is no charge for this first meeting.
Is My Work Monitored?
All professional counsellors must have regular supervision. This is with an independent, experienced counsellor or psychotherapist and it enables us to review the work that we are doing, to gain support, guidance and further knowledge - and to check that we are working competently. Client confidentiality is maintained during supervision.
It is a requirement of my membership of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) that I work according to their strict code of practice and ethics (the 'Ethical Framework'); that I am practicing currently; that I undertake a minimum of 30 hours of further training each year; and that I have adequate, current and ongoing professional indemnity insurance.
How I Work
The Humanistic and Integrative approach that I use is underpinned by Person-Centred theory and an understanding of human development and existential thought. It may also draw on my knowledge of Gestalt theory, Transactional Analysis and analytical psychology. In addition, I sometimes make use of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), Mindfulness and creative techniques . I make use of whatever seems applicable for each individual - everyone is unique and prefers to work in a different way.
I work with whatever the client brings to each session - I don't have my own agenda. I may sometimes suggest a different way of working, for example, to use a creative technique such as sand tray work or pen and paper, alongside the therapeutic dialogue - but the choice is always with the client.
My role is not to give advice or tell you what to do; rather it is to facilitate your autonomy so that you are able to choose to make changes in your own life, which may ultimately lead to greater happiness and contentment.
My aim is to support each client towards personal growth and development through the creation of a sound relationship based on respect, honesty and empathy.
Counselling takes place via weekly, 50min long, face-to-face sessions. We would contract at the beginning to work either for a fixed number of sessions or to work in an open-ended way but with regular reviews to assess how we feel the work is going.
Record Keeping and Data Protection
My data records are compliant with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
I keep brief, anonymised notes of sessions with clients, which I store safely and securely. Personal details are stored separately. I do not routinely store notes or personal details electronically.
Our work would be completely confidential, unless you tell me something that I am legally obliged to report - for example, information about a crime such as money laundering or drug dealing. I might have to hand over my notes, if I am ordered by a court to do so. In any of these circumstances, I would thoroughly explore the situation with you first, if possible. Circumstances like this do happen but are rare.
Should anything happen to me, I have an arrangement with an experienced colleague, who would let you know and take care of my notes.
Integrating Reflexology and Counselling
Recent developments in neuroscience provide evidence that body and mind form an inseparable unity. This is the holistic view and can no longer be ignored - see The Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapy for more on this subject.
Believing in an holistic approach, I therefore offer integrated reflexology and counselling sessions, when suitable. This way of working typically comprises weekly sessions that include 30 minutes of reflexology followed by 50 minutes of counselling, although there is flexibility around the frequency of the reflexology and where in the session it takes place, as well as how the time is apportioned.
Reflexology is known to offer relief from tension and anxiety and is conducive to improved mood and relaxation. Stress, anxiety and other psychological issues frequently manifest as physical symptoms, which relaxation may help to ease. However, touch therapy is by no means the only way to work holistically or with the body.
So, using reflexology with counselling may benefit the overall process. A sound professional relationship is particularly important in this kind of 1:1 work.
Some more commonly used creative counselling approaches such as art, drama and movement seem to support the process of change and development in therapy - and I believe that this also applies to the appropriate use of reflexology.