Frequently asked Questions
A Qualified Therapist?
I qualified with a diploma in counselling, having had many years’ experience of working in Occupational Health for a global chemical company. I continued with extended training at the Institute of Arts and Therapy in Education, London (IATE) gaining diplomas in the “Application of the Therapeutic Arts”, “Working with Group Dynamics” and Working with Adolescents”. I continued to train at IATE, gaining a Master’s Degree in Psychotherapy awarded by London Metropolitan University.
I also have a diploma in clinical supervision which enables me to support the work of other therapists, which is a large part of my working week.
A registered Psychotherapist with the United Kingdom of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (UKCP) and British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I can be found on both of their websites. I also work with an enhanced Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) clearance record, formerly known as the Criminal Record Bureau Check.
I am a registered BUPA healthcare professional which enables you to use your policy allowance for our therapy sessions.
Is Counselling Confidential?
Yes, counselling is confidential. However, there are times when I may be required to break this confidentiality. This is discussed fully in the first session for example, if there is a risk of you harming someone else, or you are seriously intent on harming yourself or in the case of someone breaking the law. The exceptions to confidentiality are also agreed in the first session.
It is a professional requirement for therapists to have regular supervision providing the opportunity to reflect and discuss the work that is being undertaken, in order to ensure that I continue to work to a high ethical and professional standard. It is important to note, I do not disclose anyone’s personal details to my supervisor.
The First Visit
During the first session we will explore your reasons for attending counselling and how I can support you in meeting your needs. I will provide the opportunity to tell me your story and for you to ask me any questions that you may have. We will discuss what you would like to talk about during your counselling sessions and what your expectations are of what you need to achieve.
It is also an opportunity for us to meet to and find out whether we feel we can work together.
The first session is often the most challenging as most people do not know what to expect, so this can be a bit daunting at first. However, once this hurdle has been overcome any initial anxiety is usually resolved.
At the end of this session we will discuss how we can continue planning sessions on a weekly basis.
If we both decide that it would be appropriate for you to continue coming for counselling sessions with me then we will arrange a regular time that is convenient for both of us, usually on a weekly basis at the same time.
If it becomes apparent to either of us during the first session that counselling with me isn’t the appropriate choice then I can support you in finding a more suitable option.
Longer term work?
After the first six sessions we can review our progress to consider how long we feel we may need to work together.
I will require at least 24 hours notification of cancellation as it can be difficult to re-schedule missed appointments. It is important to meet on a regular weekly basis to build a therapeutic relationship, setting aside the time to focus on your needs. I will give you prior notice of any leave arrangements.
In the case of shift workers or someone working with external time demands I can be flexible so that the work can best fit with any work commitments if this is discussed in advance.
Where have I gained my experience?
I started working therapeutically in Occupational Health, moving on to gain experience within a GP surgery practice.
I worked for RETHINK, a mental health charity, leading the schools project where I provided mental health awareness for students and staff. During this time I also co-facilitated a RETHINK creative arts group for survivors of suicide.
I have also worked for many years within education in schools and colleges, a local hospice, Cruse Bereavement Care, Child Bereavement charity supporting children with loss, a local charity supporting families who have experienced trauma and need to restore their lives.