Whether you're attending counselling for emotional support, or you're struggling to cope with things at the moment, lots of people come to counselling for many different reasons. It may be that multiple things have all gotten on top of each other, or you may need some help to make decisions and explore how you're thinking and feeling to someone who isn't involved. You don't have to be in crisis to come for counselling. Maybe you've attended counselling and psychotherapy before and you've ran out of sessions and you're looking for a new therapist, or perhaps you've never experienced any type of counselling before and want to give it a try. Have a look at a few examples as to what others may bring to counselling...
Everyone has their own individual experience of coming to counselling, and I acknowledge that the journey they have taken to come is not always easy.
Your Assessment Session
This is why I always invite every new client to have an Individual Assessment session. This is a 60 minute chat either in the Counselling room, or online, regarding why you feel you need counselling and whether or not this will be the right place for you right now. We do not have to use up the entire 60 minutes, but it's there for you if you need them. I may sign post you to another professional or agency if I feel it would be in your best interests, but otherwise, this would be a great time to be able to ask questions, become familiar with my therapeutic approach, cost, and to discuss the Counselling Contract if you would like to go forwards with therapy. I will be filling out a form with you whilst we both discuss things.
The cost for an Initial Assessment is £20
What a session will look like
Your session times run for 60 minutes and costs £40 per session. They are usually once a week unless we have agreed otherwise. Sessions are also open-ended, this means you can continue therapy for as long as we both feel you need this for and can be reviewed at any time. You may prefer to only come for a set amount of weeks, depending on your circumstances.
Your sessions will always take place in the Counselling room, unless it has been pre-planned to have sessions online, or outside the building by the River Dart which may involve walking and talking, or sitting on a bench outside. This would not take place without your permission, and you would also involve planning and discussion beforehand.
You do not have to bring anything apart from an open mind.
Encrypted online counselling
During lockdown or self-isolation, or if you live quite far away from the office and cannot travel to the counselling room, Online Counselling is available to you.
I use software called Zoom, which is a highly encrypted application similar to Skype where we can speak and see each other using video chat, and also be able to share files and type. Zoom is free to use and download onto your computer, tablet or mobile phone. If you can't access Zoom to download it, you can still have your session within the web-browser on your computer.
I can conduct either all your sessions or singular sessions online when it suits. Confidentiality still stands within Online Counselling, so please ensure you are familiar with the Confidentiality Policy. It's also good to keep in mind the following:
Remember to make sure you are in a quiet space that you feel comfortable to talk about things
If anyone is present with you, that you are aware they may hear or see what you are discussing
To let me know if anyone is present.
To use headphones where possible.
If you are using a shared tablet, computer or if someone else can log into your device, to think about if someone can read your Chat messages on Zoom. You may wish to delete them if so.
Everything that is discussed or created within your session is kept entirely confidential. All paperwork is also held securely, with your allowance to have access to it at your request. However, there are a few reasons as to why I may have to share the information:
If you disclose information that relates to immediate harm currently happening or about to happen to yourself or another person(s), I will be legally obligated to pass this information on. You can be involved throughout the process.
It is an ethical requirement for me to receive monthly supervision about all of my clients. There is a confidentiality agreement between myself and my supervisor that you are kept anonymous.
A Requirement by Law
Sometimes information may need to be shared without your consent when required by law, such as the Terrorist Act where public safety is concerned, Human Trafficking, or an information request by the Police or Courts.