1/ Benefits of Counselling
If you can identify that one or some of these mean something to your life then it may be the right time for you to start counselling.
-Someone to talk, support and motivate you in an unbiased, safe, non judgemental and confidential space.
-Stop feeling stuck within yourself
-Develop an empowered sense of yourself. Improve how you manage yourself, problem solving, decision making, conflict resolution with new life tools and skills
-Get to know yourself better- why you do things, the origins of thoughts and behaviours, what triggers you
-Improved mental health and well being- be happier!
-Process and make sense of past traumatic experiences
2/ How does counselling work?
I wanted to explain the process as it I feel it is important that we get expectations correct from the beginning. Firstly, counselling is a 2 way process. Only through meeting frequently and regularly will we get to know each other better and form a safe, open, fruitful and trusting therapeutic relationship. I can break the start to end process of counselling down into 4 stages :
stage 1/ Initial conversation(s)
We may speak on the phone, via email, via Skype or face-2-face initially. This is confidential and non- obligatory. I am always open to answering any questions you may have. There is some more information in the "FAQ" and "Useful Info" pages that you may want to look at. The aim is to also ensure that counselling in general, and my services are suitable for you. The next step would be arrange a face -to -face appointment at my Uxbridge location.
stage 2/ Initial appointment
This stage is important in that we can start to discuss in more depth your reasons for commencing with counselling. I will also ask some relevant additional questions to help me get a better understanding of you holistically and your situation. As this will help me to get a better understanding of you I will therefore be able to support you better.
From my years of experience I have learnt that it is important to get expectations and goals identified... what do you want to gain from engaging with counselling? What do you want from me as your counsellor? I have learnt that I need to ask this as individuals may have different views about this. You may not have a definitive answer to this at this stage and that is okay too.
I will reiterate in our initial session that counselling is a 2 way process. At times I may offer ideas, solutions, guidance if the conversation and you ask for this however, the aim of counselling is to help YOU to explore your issues, thoughts and feeling so that you are empowered, develop skills and tools, and develop a self awareness that enables you to behave and manage your emotions differently outside of the therapeutic room.
Though there is an understanding that at times you may need to take time off for holidays, personal matters etc there is an expectation that the agreed day and time slot is attended regularly to achieve the best results. It is therefore advised that before starting therapy that you are in a position to commit to attending regularly.
stage 3/ Commencing with ongoing sessions
Thereafter, when you arrive for sessions I will greet you, invite you into the room and allow you to lead on the conversation as you may have thought about what you would like to discuss in the session. This is your time and I would not want to distract you from what you would like to get out of the session. I will at times refer back to previous conversations, ask questions, check in with where you are at with situations and feelings as appropriate. I will share my thoughts, feelings and observations.
It is ideal to meet on a weekly basis to keep abreast of current developments, feeling and reflections, especially at the beginning of counselling. Meeting on the same day and at the same time is recommended (depending on your timetable of course). Please see FAQ for more details on holidays/ planned and unplanned appointments.
Our communication will predominantly be limited to when we meet in the therapy room, with communication outside of the planned sessions being more for rearranging our meetings. If you cannot get to Uxbridge, I can offer telephone and online Skype sessions though this is not a recommended long term arrangement. If you feel this is the only option available to you we can discuss this in your initial face-2-face appointment.
stage 4/ Ending Counselling
The counselling service is for you! You are free to end whenever you feel you want to. I would however, appreciate if we could discuss this prior to our last meeting where possible. If you would like to take a therapeutic break then we can discuss this also. There are many reasons that may require such actions and it would be useful to get your feedback on your experience also. The purpose of engaging with counselling is to empower you.