WHAT TO EXPECT
Whether you are new to counselling or would like to return after time away from sessions, knowing a few details about what to expect can help reduce any nerves or anxieties you may have.
Counselling begins with an initial session. This first session will be a chance for us to meet and discuss what has brought you to counselling. It is also a chance for you to ask any questions which you might have and for you to see what you can expect from counselling. As everyone is unique, it is also a great chance to see if we would work well together. This initial counselling session is a reduced price of £20 and will last for 30-50 minutes. It is commitment free.
If we decide we are happy to work together, we can then discuss whether short or longer term work feels right for you. Usually short-term counselling would last between 6 and 12 sessions. Long term work is more open ended but is regularly reviewed by us to make sure it is still the best choice for you.
Sessions are one to one and are usually weekly (at a regular time each week), last for 50 minutes and cost £40 per session. I firmly believe that counselling should be accessible to all and so I have a limited number of reduced rate slots, please contact me for availability and more information.
WHERE AM I BASED?
My counselling practice is based on Park Street in central Bristol and is close to the city centre, Clifton and other surrounding areas. Due to its central location it is easily accessible by public transport (with major bus routes running along Park Street and to the city centre which is less than 5 minutes walk away). If you are driving, there is a choice of pay and display on street parking and multi-storey carparks nearby.
The building is discreet and has a professional full-time reception staff who can bring you up to my practice room. There is lift access available but unfortunately the building does have a small number of steps.
I also have an online practice. More information can be found about this on my ‘Online Counselling‘ page.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT COUNSELLOR FOR ME?
Choosing a counsellor can feel a little daunting at times. However, there are a few key things to consider which will help you get the best counsellor for you.
Whoever you choose to work with, the relationship between client (yourself) and counsellor is at the heart of successful counselling. Developing mutual trust and respect in a non-judgemental environment will form the basis of your work together. Look for professionals who offer initial sessions where you have a chance to get to know each other.
As well as your working relationship, it is important that your counsellor is suitably qualified and experienced. It is important to look for counsellors who are registered members of the BACP (British Association of Counselling Practitioners) or a member of UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists). The BACP has several levels of membership from Individual and Registered up to Accredited and Senior Accredited. Accredited memberships are a mark of quality and experience in addition to the requirements for Individual or Registered membership.
As Professional Bodies, BACP and UKCP ensure that their members meet the necessary professional standards, ethics and qualifications required to practice as well as mandating that their members keep their skills up to date through continuing professional development (CPD). In turn, BACP is registered with the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
If you are looking for an online counsellor it is important that they have done the necessary addition specialist training on top of their professional counselling or psychotherapy training. A mark of having done sufficient additional training would be if they a member of ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online).
For my qualifications, accredited membership and experience please see my ‘Qualifications’ page.
HOW LONG IS EACH SESSION?
The vast majority of counsellors, including myself, use a ‘Counselling Hour’ which is 50 minutes long. Initial sessions, which are charged at a reduced rate of £20, are usually between 30-50 minutes.
HOW DO I BOOK AN INITIAL SESSION?
Use my ‘Contact’ page to get in touch and we can discuss availability for an initial session.
I AM NERVOUS ABOUT COMING TO COUNSELLING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
This is not unusual! Many people are nervous about the prospect of counselling, especially if you have not had any experience of it before. Having an initial session is the best way to get a sense of what counselling will be like and hopefully settle any nerves or uncertainty you may have about the process. Counsellors are here to help you and have your best interests at heart, not be scary and unapproachable!
My ‘Sessions’ page also provides some details about what to expect from your initial session.
WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU WORK WITH?
People seek counselling for a huge range of different reasons. As a result, it’s impossible to list all the types of situation that may bring you to seek support from counselling. What I can say is that my training and experience means I am able to work with you and your concerns and some examples of previous client issues include:
• Low mood
• Life transitions
• Shame and guilt
• Low self-esteem
• Low self-confidence
• Feeling stuck in patterns of thinking, behaviour or emotional responses
• Bereavement, grief and loss
• Relationships – family, friends, partner
• Relationship issues, problems and divorce
• Sexuality (lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, queer, questioning)
• Gender identity (transgender, non-binary, genderfluid) gender dysphoria and transition
• Monogamy, non-monogamy and polyamory
• Coming out
• Health issues
Please don’t be put off if you don’t see yourself represented in this list. You can book an initial session to talk through the reasons you are interested in counselling and if this is right for you.
Although I have previously worked with colleges and young person services, I work exclusively with over 18s in my private practice.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Please be aware that cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice will be charged at the full rate of £40.
WHAT IS CONFIDENTIALITY?
Confidentially means that I won’t share any information about you, why you are coming to counselling or what we discuss in sessions with anyone else. There are some exceptions to this, such as if I was required to by law, if I was concerned about your welfare or my supervisor. Confidentially is something we would always discuss in our initial session so that you feel comfortable with it and understand it fully.