Where do we meet?
We will meet in 1 of 2 therapy rooms based at the address you have attended. Theses rooms have been designed to provide a safe, confidential, relaxed environment. The aim will be to keep using the same room for the duration of our work though, at times, due to unforeseen circumstances this may change though the location itself should not.
What time do I arrive for each session?
It is best if you arrive just on time for each session as there is no reception area for someone to meet and greet you. I will do so by coming to invite you into the therapy room at your expected session time. There is a small waiting area however, if you do arrive a little early. There are no refreshment facilities. When a session is over, I will walk with you to the exit.
How long is each session?
Each session is 50 minutes long. If you arrive late this will cut into your allocated 50 minutes and therefore it is best to arrive on time to get the most from the session. I will not be able to offer extra time at the end of our sessions to compensate for this.
How many sessions will I need?
This depends on how long you have (as some people may be supported from work for example to attend for a limited amount of sessions for example), or on what you would like to work through. More current isolated situations (such as some current issues at work) may require less time. It is hard to say as sometime discussions around one area can lead into more deeper routed conversations which takes longer. Also, it depends on what you want to achieve and how much time you want to invest.
What happens if I do not attend a session without prior contact?
These are unfortunately chargeable due to costs I incur unless there were special circumstances disenabling your from making contact. If you cancel an appointment outside of a 24 hour window prior to your next appointment these are not chargeable. (More information discussed at initial appointment and in client handbook). The benefits of therapy are achieved when there is regular (usually weekly) contact.
What commitment do I need to make to my therapy?
Before starting therapy it is important to consider if you are in a position to commit to attending regularly. The best results are achieved for you if there are no breaks in our meetings so we can continue our conversations and reflect from a more current position. Though there is an understanding that you may have personal other commitments, family, friends, health, work etc that may need to be prioritised at times, the aim will be to choose a day and time that suits you best to commit to investing in your own therapy regularly. Financially, as therapy holds a weekly cost, it is important to consider if you are in a position to invest in your ongoing therapy.
What contact do we have between sessions?
Once therapy commences (we have had initial conversations and met for the first time), it is best practise to refrain from contact outside of the therapy room. Communication regarding attendance, lateness, holidays aside, any other conversations should ideally take place in the safe and contained environment of the therapy room. If there are any urgent issues arising or communication regarding lateness, holidays, absence, that cannot wait for the next session, it would be better to via text , phone call, voice message or email. So we can both refer to these for accuracy of detail I would prefer a text or email. If you feel you need to discuss any matters before the next planned session, we can arrange for an additional session to be booked. If you feel you more urgently need to speak with someone then there are numbers on my website for other support networks designed for this service. You can get more details for these on the internet. I cannot offer a 24-hour service and would not want to disappoint by setting any false assumptions about being able to provide such a service.
Breaks & ending treatment
You are in control of when you would like to end your therapy. There may be times when you may choose to take a therapeutic break because you have gained enough insight for now, or may end therapy. I require one weeks’ notice at a minimum or more where possible.
Are our conversations confidential?
As per the confidentiality statement that will be discussed with you in your initial session, all conversations are confidential unless there is reason to believe that there is a threat to your or someone else's wellbeing … in the interest of saving someone from serious harm.
As per good practise, I am required to attend regular supervision myself with a qualified counselling supervisor. The purpose of this is to ensure my work is correct and suitable. I will, therefore, discuss some information about our work (usually to ensure my work is on track and for direction) but this is done in confidence. I will not disclose your name and identifying details at any point. Supervisors also have guidelines to follow regarding confidentiality within their roles. This whole process is therefore confidential. This applies to all therapists.
I will also keep notes of our conversations each session. These are for my own records and use these to refer to and to monitor my own work. These are coded and will not mention you name. I follow General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) guidelines for the recording and storage of this information. I am the only person who will be able to access this information and link this to your allocated code.
I follow the BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions as do other therapists and supervisors.
How is data protected & what are clients rights around data?
In May 2018, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force. This offers updated guidelines to all therapeutic services on their data storing and usage. This also offers guidance on a clients' rights around their data. This is still being updated by ICO and more information can be found on the internet.