Below are some of the common questions that are asked about counselling and processes involved.
If you have one or more questions that are not answered below then do please feel free to contact me and I will endeavour to answer them.
1How do I know if I need counselling / psychotherapy?
Counselling sessions can help you to gain clarity on an issue, change old patterns, untangle complex personal issues, or embark on a journey of self-development. You may seek counselling as a result of a crisis, or you may be encouraged to seek counselling by family members, friends or colleagues.
2What happens in a counselling session?
There is no typical counselling session. As your counsellor, I am trained in listening and reflecting, and provide a safe environment in which to explore your issues. With most types of therapy you are free to discuss what you wish, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, and thoughts, to regrets, aspirations, memories and dreams.
Other, shorter-term forms of therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be more structured and provide practical exercises to help you understand your thoughts and actions.
3How do I know if you are right for me?
You can browse around this site which will give you an idea of what I am like but there is no substitute for booking an Initial Consultation, which is an opportunity for us to meet. Then you can assess if you think that I am suitable for you. I will also be a assessing you to see if I think that I might be able to help. I do this by asking you to fill me in on the background and enable me to get a full picture of what is going on for you in your life and what is causing you the most stress.
4What issues can counselling help with?
Clients seek counselling with wide-ranging problems, including:
- anxiety (generalised anxiety problems, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety, claustrophobia)
- workplace issues (stress, work-life imbalances)
- relationship issues (breakups, divorce, affairs, choosing inappropriate partners, loneliness, life adjustments, marital problems, arguments, jealousy, wedding and premarital issues)
- depression (including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal)
- low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- sexual problems (impotence, internet/pornography/sex addiction, loss of desire, infertility)
- trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder from accidents, rape and other attacks/incidents)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- eating problems (including bulimia, binge eating, negative body image)
phobias and fears
- addiction and substance misuse
- abuse (including physical, verbal, and sexual abuse)
5What kinds of people seek counselling?
There is no barrier to whom counselling can assist. We welcome you, regardless of your culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or employment group. Counselling is also not just for adult individuals, but is beneficial for couples, families, teenagers and children.
6How do I start with a counsellor?
To book a general consultation you can use my online form, email me, or phone me. I will set you up an appointment time at my Ashby de la Zouch base.
7How often would I have to come?
I am flexible and there is no one size that fits all approach. Everyone is unique and how often you come depends entirely on your needs and your own schedule. Some people find that the process works best if they come for a certain number of times at the same time each week. There is no hard and fast rule, so if that’s hard for you because of other commitments, or if it’s not what you need, we would make arrangements together that work for you.
8How do I know which counselling approach is most suited to me?
There are many kinds of established therapeutic approaches nowadays, including humanistic counselling (also called ‘person-centred’), psychodynamic psychotherapy, existential therapy, cognitive analytic therapy (CAT), and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
9What if I need to change my appointment time one week?
Once a session is booked, there is a commitment to attend because if a session is cancelled at the last minute, it wouldn’t be possible for me to reallocate the time. The required notice period is at least 48 hours, however, I believe in being flexible wherever possible and I know that things crop up in life so if you need to rearrange I will try to give you another appointment time if I can.
10Will my counselling sessions be confidential?
Information that I keep about you is kept strictly confidential at all times.
I am registered under and comply with the Data Protection Act and abide by professional ethics of the Human Givens Institute.
Confidentiality would only be broken, after discussion with my supervisor, if I thought that there was a real risk of serious harm to you or another person, especially a child.
11How will we know when it is time to stop seeing you?
Every situation is different and couples counselling usually requires more sessions than individual counselling. Couples need to be prepared to give their relationship a period of around three months to start to see the changes they want to have happen.
People coming for individual counselling generally benefit greatly from only a few sessions at first, and then just come periodically, say 6 to 8 weeks for top up sessions after seeing initial improvements.
We end when you feel that you are no longer benefiting from it or have achieved the outcomes that you set out to achieve.
12Am I qualified?
- Diploma in Person Centred Therapeutic Counselling (December 2016)
- Registered as member of the BACP. (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy) (MBACP)
13I only want one session, will the therapist be able to help?
Generally your first session will be used as an assessment and consultation, rather than for treatment. This allows you to identify your issues as you see them, and for me to start to gain an idea of what your needs are. So unfortunately, having just one session is unlikely to have any lasting benefit for you.
14Can a counsellor prescribe medication if I need it?
Counsellors are not eligible to prescribe medication.
15Will any of my information be shared?
I am are committed to your privacy, so sharing your personal information is a rare occurrence.
There are two exceptions. The first is if I were to become aware that you are an imminent danger to yourself or others, or that someone else is a danger to you. You would first be encouraged to seek necessary support, and if you were unable or unwilling to do so I have a duty of care to seek this support on your behalf.
The second exception is if I were to become aware that you intended to commit a major crime of any sort. In such a case I have a legal obligation to disclose such information to the relevant authorities.
*Note that for the purposes of therapy, personal drug use or addictions are not considered to be criminal activities (unless they involve anyone underage). They are seen only as areas to be addressed in therapy.
16What if I want to come to couples counselling but my partner does not want to come with me?
Your relationship is the inter-action between you and your partner, so if you do things differently to what you have done up to now, things between you will change. That is why counselling by yourself in order to improve your relationship can be very helpful.
Sometimes couples counselling starts out with one partner attending, but then the other partner can join in later.
17What if I don't want my partner to come to counselling, I just want to come alone to see if I even want to be in this relationship?
If that is your concern, it sounds as if you know exactly what you want to achieve and that will be what we will aim to discover.
18How can I pay for a therapy session?
I will take payment in full at the end of each session via cash or cheque. I do not, unfortunately, have the facilities to accept credit or debit cards at present.
19What if I want to take a break from counselling and then return if I need to later?
That is what clients generally do. Processing new information and making changes is an ongoing journey.
It’s natural to continue with the journey once you begin it, perhaps less intensively.
20Can counselling really help couples?
It really can. If you’re both willing to try, I can help you get what you need and be there for each other. When that happens, you begin to reconnect and heal your relationship.
21Can individual counselling help even if I have been told in the past that my problems are deep seated?
Yes I believe that there is a very good chance I can help you. We now have the benefit of more knowledge of how the brain processes trauma and what is occurring in the brain during highly aroused states of anxiety, depression and addictions.
22Is there any parking nearby?
Public parking is available close to Pro Physio
23My partner, friend, or family member really needs therapy. Can I refer someone for counselling?
You may be very concerned about someone’s wellbeing and would like to see them have counselling. But it really is best if the person in question can reach out for support themselves. I am able to take enquiries from you on behalf of someone else, but you should have their full consent.
If you really feel you must suggest counselling to someone, do it in as calm and private a moment as possible. It’s important you express your concerns in a judgement-free manner, and backed up by facts over hearsay. Make it clear you support him or her and merely want to see them be helped in feeling better. Then leave them to make the decision for themselves.
24What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist and counsellor?
As you may have already noticed, there are many different terms out there to describe professionals working in the mental health industry – each helping in different ways. Understanding the key differences between these professionals and how they can offer support should help you decide which one is right for you if/when you decide to seek help.
Take a look at the following brief descriptions:
Psychiatry is the study of mental disorders, covering diagnosis, management and prevention. A psychiatrist must undergo full medical training as a doctor before choosing to specialise in psychiatry. Once a psychiatrist has become fully trained, they can go on to specialise further in general psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, old age psychiatry, psychiatry of learning disabilities, psychotherapy or child and adolescent psychiatry.
Unlike many other mental health professionals, psychiatrists can assist in medical treatment and testing as they have the appropriate training.
Psychology is the study of the human mind and the way we think, act and behave. As well as looking at the way our minds work in day-to-day life, psychologists are also interested in mental health conditions. The title of psychologist can be given to someone who has completed a degree in psychology, however there are other titles in psychology that are protected by law (such as clinical psychologist).
Most psychologists fall into one of two camps – they are either research-oriented (meaning they spend time studying the way the mind works to better our understanding) or applied (meaning they apply their skills to patients).
Psychotherapy is a term used to describe a range of talking therapies and covering the approaches and methods used within each type. It is this broad usage which has led some professionals to use the titles psychotherapist and counsellor interchangeably. When we talk about a psychotherapist, we are talking about a professional who works with clients to help them overcome a range of emotional, social and mental health issues through talk therapies.
As it stands the title psychotherapist is not regulated by law. There are however, variations of the title which are regulated/protected by industry bodies (such as registered psychotherapist) and which generally indicate a high level of training. Find out more on our qualifications page.
A counsellor will use psychotherapy to help clients develop understanding and insight into their behaviours/feelings, with the aim of overcoming difficulties. In some cases the simple act of talking through difficulties with a counsellor can help the client, in other cases a more tailored therapy approach is required. This will depend on the nature of the concern and will be assessed by the counsellor. Similarly to psychotherapist, the term counsellor is not currently regulated by law – so you are advised to check a counsellor’s experience and training to ensure they are suitably qualified.
25What are the different therapies used?
Psychological therapies generally fall into three categories. These are behavioural therapies, which focus on cognitions and behaviours, psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies, which focus on the unconscious relationship patterns that evolved from childhood, and humanistic therapies, which focus on looking at the ‘here and now’. This is a generalisation though and counselling and psychotherapy usually overlaps some of these techniques.
26How do I know if I need counselling/psychotherapy?
Only you can decide whether you wish to try counselling or psychotherapy. Just talking to someone confidentially who is not a friend or family member can make all the difference. Counselling or psychotherapy provides a regular time for those in distress to explore their feelings and talk about their problems. A counsellor can help you develop better ways of coping, allowing you to live the life you deserve.
27How many people in the UK have counselling or psychotherapy?
The figures are uncertain, however, the number of qualified counsellors has tripled in the last 10 years to keep up with demand. There are millions of people all over the world affected by mental health problems. Those who do not experience some form of mental distress at some time during their lives are probably fairly unusual and extremely lucky.