How does it work?

Initial Process  An initial appointment of about two hours is set up so that you and The Counsellor can discuss in broad terms the issues for which you would like help and importantly to reflect on whether the ‘chemistry’ fits and if you feel that you can work successfully together. Together you will be able to agree a ‘way of working together’, timeframes, what the counselling relationship can offer as well as what it does not provide.

At the end of the appointment The Counsellor will suggest to you what she believes is the best next step, propose a way forward and recommend that you give this some thought. You do not need to make that decision there and then and can contact her within a few days to let her know your decision. Alternatively you and The Counsellor may immediately decide that you would like to work together and a next appointment can then be confirmed. In the unlikely situation that The Counsellor believes that another Practitioner with different skills from her own may be more suited for you, she will let you know and assist you with a referral.

The Counsellor will in subsequent sessions take you through a process that involves a more in depth understanding and professional analysis of the issues you bring and which may involve a range of enquiry methods including psychometrics and personal values identification. Ongoing sessions are usually of two hours duration; occasionally a focus may shift or practical activities and exercises may be of benefit, which may require more time in a session; in this case The Counsellor will discuss this with you in advance.

During the process you will be able to reflect upon various perspectives of a situation and use The Counsellor as a mirror to experience others’ points of view. Equally importantly, The Counsellor will provide support and expertise for small ‘trials of activity’ between sessions so that together you can reflect on your actions in following sessions, learn from them, consolidate or modify any behavioural changes or activity until the desired changes are mutually felt to be sustainable.

Involving Others At some point in the counselling process it may become apparent to you or The Counsellor that it would be beneficial to involve a partner or family member/s in a session or sessions. Or, if you are engaging in a coaching or mentoring process with The Counsellor, it may be an option to include a colleague in the process. The Counsellor will discuss with you the best way to achieve this. There is absolutely no pressure to involve others however, and even in relationship work, it is possible to achieve progress without a partner or colleague present in the room.

If you are engaged in a counselling process with The Counsellor, she may also wish to speak with your GP or other therapist if you are working with another professional in another setting. In this case, she will ask your permission in the first instance. No information will be passed on without your express permission. In exceptional circumstances during therapy, a client may consider sharing something about themselves which involves self-harm or serious crime. Under the ethical framework in which The Counsellor works, she would discuss your options for disclosing this situation and her professional and legal obligations prior to such a disclosure.