If you are thinking of having counselling then you may have some questions. Listed below are answers to the questions that I frequently get asked. If you have questions related to my service that are not answered below then please do not hesitate not get in touch.
Talking about what is troubling us, particularly for men, still carries some stigma in society and many can feel that they don’t want to ‘go down that route’. I think this has something to do with what shame researcher Brené Brown has said, ‘Basically, men live under the pressure of one unrelenting message: Do not be perceived as weak.’ This message is driven into us as boys from such an early age that the thought opening up about what is really going on inside us can feel strange, odd, unfamiliar and/or threatening. Medication is a route than some men and women decide to take and for some, medication can support the way back to feeling better. However, many medications come with a long list of side effects and some are known to profoundly alter the neurological wiring of the brain. Talking has no such side effects but it does require us to be able to tolerate sitting with the discomfort of our vulnerability.
For some of us the pain we are experiencing in our lives gets too much and so the risk of giving counselling a try feels like a risk worth taking.
If something is troubling you in life, no matter how big or how small you think this is, then why not give counselling a try. Then you can decide whether or not it feels right for you.
Each counselling session lasts for 50 minutes, however, the number of sessions is entirely your decision. Some clients feel that their problems are resolved after 5-6 sessions, for others it is 12-15 and others, if they are going through a particularly challenging period, decide that they would like my support over a longer period of time.
It is never my intention to stretch things out as I only want to see you for as long as you are finding the sessions to be beneficial.
However, one thing I would say, is that unless you find me repellant or disagreeable on the first meeting i.e. if you get that strong sense that I am really not going to work for you, then I would recommend you attend more than once. I say this for three reasons. First, if it is the first time you have opened up about what is troubling you then after the first session you can sometimes feel a bit exposed, shaky or vulnerable. Rather than seeing this as part of the therapeutic process some clients then feel ashamed about feeling like this and then come to the decision that they are not going to put themselves through the experience of feeling like this again. My experience though, is that the more you get used to opening up about how you are feeling, the more this feeling of being exposed, starts to dissipate.
The second reason I suggest coming more than once is that sometimes clients can feel that after they have shared everything that they have wanted to share, then that is it. ‘I’ve said it all now so I am not sure what I would talk about’, are words that I sometimes hear at the end of the first session. However, the beneficial healing that counselling supports, comes not from just stating what the problem is (and not to under estimate the power of stating the problem since this is immensely powerful and liberating in itself) but by understanding the problem in more depth, and then working out what you need i.e. working out a way forward.
A third reason is that sometimes clients can experience things getting worse before they start to feel better. It can sometimes feel like opening up an old wound. If you never address the wound it will fester. But when you decide to start treating it, it can sometimes feel more sore at first. So again, if after a first session you feel worse, try not to be put off and this is likely to be part of the therapeutic process.
Cost is £55 per session.
I have limited number of discounted rate slots for students of counselling and full-time students (evidence will be required) at £45 per session.
I offer a 5% discount for block booking of 6 consecutive sessions and 10% discount for block booking of 10 consecutive sessions. Feel free to call me for a no obligation 10-15 minute chat: we can then work out a best way forward. My phone number is on my contact page.
The other way of thinking about the issue of cost is to consider what the cost is to you, of not addressing your problems. What is the cost to your mental health; the cost to your sense of wellbeing; the cost to your relationships; to your family; to your job. What is the cost of living your life on other peoples terms and conditions, rather than living your life in terms of your own wishes, values and needs. What is the cost to your life of being dependent on some kind of problematic behaviour, which, no matter how damaging or disruptive it is to your life, is used as some kind of
Ultimately, self acceptance, contentment, inner peace and joy are our birthright but in my experience it can be a bumpy ride getting to the place where we can really accept and embody this.
Counselling, in my view, is not intended to be a life long support system but it can support us to discover, uncover or recover who we are and what we need in this all too brief life of ours.
Counselling can support us to get back on track and/or to find the steps forward that we can truly call our own.
Counsellors are trained to have knowledge about particular mental health conditions. If you decide to access counselling via the NHS then it is likely that you will already be struggling with a mental health condition that has been diagnosed. However, and this for me is a big however, deciding to access counselling can be the biggest sign that you are starting to value yourself and taking yourself, your mental health, your happiness and your sense of contentment in life, seriously. Instead of waiting until your situation deteriorates and becomes a diagnosable mental health condition, counselling can be a way of staying mentally healthy. To stay physically healthy we maybe think nothing of the idea of going for a brisk walk, going for a run or going to to the gym. So why do we not put in the same proactive and preventative effort into staying mentally healthy.
So if you are feeling out of balance, if something has happened at work that has really knocked your confidence, if your relationship feels a bit shaky, then these are issues that I would be really happy to hear from you about. Left to fester over time, such knocks, breaks and shocks can often lead to a worsening of your mental health.
After a session has been booked and paid for, I will email a meeting request the morning of your session. You will need to find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed and not overheard. If you do not have a quiet space at home or work, then you could use a shed or garage or some other quiet space – recently many people have used their cars. Meetings are via zoom. So you will need to be familiar with using this platform. Sessions last for 50 minutes. We will discuss beforehand what to do if the internet signal drops so that we are both happy with what to do in such an event.
If you are thinking of having counselling and have any other questions related to my service then please do not hesitate to get in contact.
Phone: 07757 859650
If I am unable to answer my phone when you call then please do leave a message and I will call you back within 24 hours.
I look forward to being able to offer you a discrete and supportive counselling service.
Please note that the Counselling Shed is accessed by a step and there is no wheelchair accessible WC. If this presents an issue for you then please feel free to get in contact to discuss the possibility of other arrangements.