What is counselling?
Most people find that, whatever the severity of the problems they are facing, talking to someone else about them really helps. Counselling provides a space in which you can talk freely and in confidence about your difficulties and, with the support of your therapist, come to a deeper understanding of how they are affecting you and how you can improve your emotional and mental well-being.
How confidential is counselling?
Whatever we discuss in a session remains confidential. There are some circumstances in which I may need to talk to another professional, for example if I believe the client is at serious risk of harming themselves or another person. I would always try to discuss this with the client first.
How effective is it?
This document from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy summarises the findings of recent research into the effectiveness of counselling. It shows that counselling has greater clinical effectiveness compared with usual GP care and that it is as effective as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Do you give advice?
As a counsellor I do not offer advice to my clients. I believe that each individual is the expert when it comes to his or her own life. Often, however, we adopt patterns of behaviour or ways of seeing the world that may have served us at one point in time, but have since outlived their usefulness. Talking to a counsellor can help you to understand yourself better and make choices that work for you, rather than against you. It can also help you to accept yourself as you are and to live your life more freely.
For people affected by traumatic experiences such as bereavement or childhood sexual abuse, simply talking to someone impartial and having them witness the pain that these experiences caused can be very powerful and help to restore hope for a better life.
How long does counselling last?
A counselling session lasts 50 minutes. The duration of therapy varies from client to client and depending on the issues at stake. I offer short and long-term therapy.