What is Counselling?
Life will always present us with challenges and difficult situations. Sometimes these challenges can get on top of us and we stop living and enjoying our lives as fully as we would like. This is where counseling can be of help.
Counseling is about offering a supportive relationship in a safe and confidential environment to talk through whatever is concerning them. Counseling is not about giving advice and counselors can never be experts in other people’s lives. Counseling is about helping people find their unique strengths to work through a particular issue in the best way for them so that they can live their life to the fullest.
How I work
Whatever challenge life throws at us, I believe we all have the potential to deal with it successfully, move on and lead a happy life. I consider the most important foundation to successful counseling is the relationship between the counselor and client. Being in a trustful, open and supportive relationship allows the client to really get to understand themselves, explore all of their unique and individual strengths and how they can best deal with and work through the concern at hand. This is all done at the client’s pace and is never rushed. I focus on what is happening with the client in the present. Sometimes it is important to talk about the past but only how it is affecting the client’s experience.
Some of the areas for which I offer counseling include:
- Loss of a close relationship through death, including anticipating the death of someone close, and through miscarriage;
- Dealing with a life limiting illness;
- Caring for someone with a life limiting illness;
- Dealing with trauma, particularly rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse;
- Problems in close and intimate relationships; and
- Stress management.
Many people who have had these experiences have feelings of depression, anxiety and anger, all of which I work with in my counseling practice.
Many of us choose to share our lives with another person who is our partner through either the whole or a significant part of our life. A healthy relationship is where each person in a couple can be open and share their authentic needs with each other. In this way they get their needs met at least the majority of the time.
Sometimes this process gets interrupted and our relationship becomes turbulent, painful or a struggle. Some examples of what can cause this are:
- Pressures outside the relationship keeping people apart such as work commitments;
- Relationships outside the marriage that can affect the couple such as friends, family and children;
- Not understanding or knowing how to communicate and get each other’s needs met within the relationship; and
- Fear of intimacy due to past experiences.
Couples counselling is a process where with the proactive support of a counsellor the couple can explore what went wrong and find ways to resolve the problems they are having. This typically involves using the couples’ problem solving ability to come up with their own way through their problems.
Sometimes couples can decide that their best option is to dissolve the relationship and each find other partners that better meet their needs. Couples counselling can also offer support through this process that can often be painful.
My qualifications and experience
I hold an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling. I have experience of working in hospices with clients experiencing bereavement and life limiting illness and also with survivors of rape and sexual abuse. I have also worked with a number of other different issues, for example relationship counselling, whilst working for different organisations such as Horsham Counselling Service]. I can offer either short term or long term counseling.
I hold a certificate in couples counseling and I work with couples in my private practice.
There are many different types of counselling. The best is the one that suits the client at the time. I work mainly with the Gestalt, Transactional Analysis and Brief Solutions Focused orientations of counseling.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I work to their ethical guidelines.
My contract and fees
The first session is an opportunity for me to understand what brought you to counseling and for you to ask me whatever you wish to ask. We can then decide together whether or not I can be of help.
I charge £50 for individual counseling and £70 for couples counseling per session. I ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation. [I work with clients aged 16 and older.]
We can meet for as many sessions as is helpful. Sudden endings whilst working through challenging issues is not always in the best interest of the client. I always recommend taking at least one (or more) sessions to do a proper ending. However, it is up to client when they choose to leave counseling.
Counseling is entirely confidential. However, it is necessary for me to take all my client work to a qualified supervisor who helps me provide the best counseling. The only other exception would be if I considered a client would seriously harm themselves or someone else. I would always seek to discuss this with the client, explain why and agree a way forward wherever possible.