How long is a counselling session?
Your sessions with me will last for 50 minutes. I respectfully ask that you arrive on time, as I will not be able to extend the session if you are running late.
How many counselling sessions will I need?
This is something that is individual to each person and set of circumstances.
Initially I would recommend that we agree to work together for 8 sessions, after which we can review how you feel. If we are happy to continue working together this can be on an open ended basis with a planned ending when you are ready. Of course, the more in depth the issues that you bring to therapy, the longer that may be needed to work through them.
What happens in the first session?
Your first full session is the beginning of our working relationship. I will be interested in finding out more about you but I won’t expect you to share in depth with me at that point, preferring to gently ask you questions about your life, your experiences and what you hope to gain from therapy. I understand that you may feel anxious and you will not be pressured into sharing anything that you are not comfortable with. It is also an opportunity for you to get a sense of me as your therapist and to ask any questions you might have.
Is what I tell you confidential?
Yes, it is, with a few exceptions where I am legally bound to share information. These relate to when you or another person is at risk of serious harm, or where drug trafficking, money laundering or acts of terrorism are disclosed. It is important that our work together feels safe so you always have the choice of what to share with me. We will discuss confidentiality further in our initial conversations.
Do I need special equipment to have online therapy?
No, not at all. In terms of technology I use a platform called Zoom (free for you to use), which I believe offers good levels of security and efficiency. To use this you will need a stable broadband connection (usually if you can watch Netflix, it is of suitable speed). I will provide you with some guidance on using this prior to our working together, to help you become familiar with it.
You will probably be more comfortable during the session if you are able to rest your device (if you are using a tablet or mobile phone) on a table or desk in front of you, at eye level, and I would recommend using headphones or earbuds with a mic, for additional privacy.
How can I get in touch with you?
Contact between sessions (unless otherwise agreed) is for administrative purposes only. If you need to contact me regarding our appointments, please either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. or leave a message on my phone (07387 330119) and I will endeavour to reply to you within 24hrs (excluding weekends). I will not access my voicemails or messages over weekends and holiday periods (which you will be notified of in advance).
If you are in need of emergency support you may wish to contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or to access your local Accident and Emergency Dept.
What happens regarding holidays?
Regular ongoing attendance at sessions is important in order for therapy to be effective. I will give you at least 4 weeks notice of any holidays I plan to take and ask that you try to do the same. My own holidays will normally not exceed six weeks in any given year and are usually two weeks around Christmas, one week at Easter, two weeks in July/August and a week in October.