“Therapy offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. It allows you to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things.” (from the BACP website)
Counselling is an opportunity for you to express and explore your thoughts and feelings with a supportive, non-judgemental listener who can help you to work through your concerns and make positive changes.
My role is not to offer advice, and I can’t take your problem away. But I can help you to understand yourself and your life better, and work with you to make whatever changes you decide would be helpful.
People often come for counselling as a result of difficult life events, such as the loss of a loved one, relationship problems, or work stresses. However, counselling can be helpful for anyone wanting to make a change, develop insight, or grow personally. For those who are looking for a regular open-ended opportunity to process life with a safe, independent listener, I offer weekly, fortnightly or monthly sessions. I can also provide regular supportive processing sessions for those involved in pastoral care or similar work.
Therapy doesn’t work for everybody. It’s not a universal cure-all. Because you may be talking about very personal and often painful things, it can sometimes feel tempting to give up and stop attending the sessions. Despite this, it’s often worth the effort to continue. One of the most important factors in successful therapy is how you feel about our working relationship. I offer an environment and relationship that is confidential and safe, where I hope you’ll feel able to risk exploring what may be painful or sensitive issues. My aim is to help you gain insight and understanding, find healthy ways to express and manage your feelings, and move forward with a sense of hope.
Counselling is a very personal process. Usually it takes a number of sessions before therapy starts to make a difference. Sometimes it’s necessary to talk about painful or difficult things, so you may go through a period of feeling worse than when you started. However, therapy should enable you to feel better in the long-run.
If you do experience a period of feeling worse, please talk to me about it. We can evaluate together if a different approach would be more helpful, or if perhaps this is not the right time and maybe we need to look at strengthening your resources and support before broaching a particularly difficult topic. The decision is always yours and I will never pressure you to do anything you don’t feel ready for.
No. There are different methods and approaches to therapy. See the ‘About Me’ page for more on my theoretical approach. The BACP website has some helpful definitions and information to assist you in choosing a therapist with the right approach and personal qualities to meet your needs.
You may also want to check out the counselling directory: www.counselling-directory.org.uk
If you’re looking specifically for a Christian counsellor you may find the ACC website helpful (Association of Christian Counsellors): www.acc-uk.org
Following our initial contact by phone or email, we can make an appointment for an introductory session, so I can hear more of your story and you can ask any further questions. The fee for this session is the same as for normal counselling sessions. At the end of that session we’ll decide together if counselling with me seems the best way forward. If not, we can look at possible referrals which may be a better fit for you. If we decide to continue, we’ll agree a mutually convenient time for subsequent sessions. This will normally be the same day and time each week. I offer sessions on Thursdays and Fridays, between 8am and 6pm.
Sessions are usually 60 minutes for individuals and 90 minutes for couples.
All face-to-face sessions take place in the Garden Room of Wollaton Counselling Services.
Skype sessions may sometimes be available as a follow-up to sessions in person.
It’s always hard to estimate how many sessions will be needed. Some people find 6-10 sessions are enough to make significant progress. More complex, long-standing concerns are likely to take longer. Occasionally a single session can be enough to address a specific need. We can discuss this together in the introductory session and we will incorporate regular reviews into our work, to revisit your original goals and check that you’re happy with the way the counselling is going. You can of course, end at any time. You are always in control.
I understand that a clear agreement and commitment to confidentiality is essential for you to feel safe in our work together. You have to be able to trust that I will treat your information with sensitivity, respect and discretion. Because of this, confidentiality is something I always discuss with clients at our initial meeting, and outline explicitly in the agreement we both sign when we begin working together.
I am accredited as a counsellor and psychotherapist by the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), which means I am bound by its Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and subject to its Professional Conduct Procedure.
I will not share with anyone the fact that you are seeing me, or any content from our sessions.
The only exceptions to this are:
(1) sharing themes from my work with my supervisor (but never in such a way that you could be identified).
(2) where a report is required and you give me written permission to share certain things, for example with another health-care professional.
(3) a very limited number of serious situations (for example if I believe there is risk of serious harm to you or someone else) when I may need to break confidentiality. I would always attempt to discuss the situation fully with you first, and would only act if I felt that there was no other way forward.
As stated above, I will discuss confidentiality (including any limitations to confidentiality) with you at our initial session and answer any specific questions or concerns before we begin working together.
I’m open to exploring whatever issues and concerns you would like to bring.
Below are some examples of things I have worked on with clients in the past.
- Boundaries and assertiveness skills
- Carer support
- Chronic pain/illness
- Cross-cultural issues (relationships, teams, adjustment)
- Faith and spirituality
- Loss and grief
- Mid-life crisis
- Parenting and family relationships
- Post-natal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Pre-marital counselling
- Relationship difficulties (family, friends, partner, colleagues etc.)
- Secondary trauma (‘compassion fatigue’)
- Self-worth and self-compassion
- Separation and divorce
- Stress and burnout
- Suicidal thoughts
- Trauma, including PTSD
- Workplace difficulties