Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the questions I regularly get asked, but if there is something else you want to know please just get in touch.
Are you able to offer face to face therapy?
At the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions I am only able to offer online therapy. This is usually via Zoom but we can discuss other options if we need to. For therapy sessions you would need to have a fairly good internet connection and somewhere private you can be.
How much will therapy cost?
My fees are £50 for a 50 minute online session. Payment is required by bank transfer prior to each session.
What types of mental health concerns can you help with?
Please take a look at Mental Health Guides
What availability do you have?
Currently I have evening appointments available on Wednesdays and Thursdays and daytime appointments on Fridays. If these days are not suitable please let me know and I can let you know when other times a likely to become available.
How do I book an initial assessment?
What will therapy involve?
What will you do with my personal information?
What is humanistic integrative therapy?
Humanistic Integrative therapy recognises that there are significant connections between all the different approaches to counselling. It acknowledges that different clients have different needs and believes that no one single approach is sufficient.
The quality of the therapeutic relationship, rather than any one particular theoretical orientation, is the most important aspect of successful therapeutic work. Thinking, sensing, feeling and intuiting are all given emphasis within the framework of the relationship. It includes not only a clients’ internal world, but also their experiences within the wider family and socio-cultural context.
Humanistic Integrative therapy is inspired by a range of creative theories which encompasses the contributions of Humanistic and Existential Psychology, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Transpersonal Psychology.
It systematically considers the whole person – mind, body and spirit.
What does confidentiality mean in therapy?
As a therapist I will provide the highest level of confidentiality possible according to the law and the BACP Code of Ethics. However, some situations could require some disclosure, for example:
- If there is considered to be any risk of harm to yourself or other people, and where further professional advice could be beneficial.
- In the case of any illegal activities and acts of terrorism, where not to disclose would break the law.
- In the case of any child or adult safeguarding concerns that must be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Depending on the circumstances, I would always aim to discuss the need for disclosure with you before taking any action wherever possible.
All professional counsellors are required by BACP to have regular supervision to support professional practice. However, all cases are discussed using a pseudonym and as no identifying details are used, your privacy would therefore always be maintained.
I will make brief case notes at the end of all therapy sessions in order to monitor my work and these are always non-identifiable and are kept in a locked, secure location.
Any personal data provided to me through any means (verbal, written, or in electronic form) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 for the sole purposes for which you give consent.
I am worried about someone’s mental wellbeing – what can I do?
How often have we said “How are you?”. “Fine thanks, how are you?”.
How often do we give an automatic response rather than saying how we really feel?
One in four of us will experience mental health difficulties in our lives. Yet, research shows that over three-quarters of us would tell friends and family we’re fine, even if we were struggling.
How do you respond if you’re not okay? How would you tell your friend that you’ve been in a dark place for a while or that your anxiety is spiralling out of control? Whatever the problem it can takes real courage to talk about it.
So, when you sense something is up with a friend or a loved one, how do you get past “Fine thanks” and find out what’s really going on?
Look for the signs
Sometimes it’s not hard to tell that a friend is having a difficult time. Maybe they’ve just been through a breakup, have a chronic illness or have lost a loved one. But, other times, it’s not so obvious. But there may be changes in their demeanour or appearance. Maybe they aren’t keeping in touch or perhaps, they’re looking more tired than usual. We want to be there for them but where do we start?
Find the right moment
We need to find the right time and a place for this kind of conversation. In a perfect world, you might put away your devices, brew a cup of tea and create a cosy spot where your friend feels comfortable enough to open up. With lockdown this may not be feasible just yet, but there are still ways you can put your friend at ease. If you’re checking in virtually, pick a time when they can chat without distractions such as work or childcare. If you’re meeting in real-life, pick a spot that’s away other people. It takes courage to share thoughts and feelings, especially if they are dark or disturbing, so it is important that you are ready for what might be a difficult conversation for both of you.
Admitting you are not okay is really tough. And so it’s understandable that it may be difficult for someone to open up straight away. If you suspect a friend, family member or colleague is struggling, asking twice could make all the difference. By asking something as simple as ‘are you sure you’re okay?’, it shows that you’re genuinely there for them.
Listen and let them know you care
We’ve all been there. We’ve poured our heart out to someone, told them our worries and fears and they’ve tried to say all the right words and solve our problems. But sometimes there isn’t a solution. Sometimes there’s no magic wand to make it all better, and nothing that can be said to take away the pain. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just being there and listening could be all the help they need.
It is important to let them know that you are checking in because you care and are concerned. If they don’t feel comfortable opening up just yet, respect their decision. But be on hand in case they change their mind.
Sometimes it’s less about what you say and more about what you do. So, if your friend is in a dark place and words aren’t enough, why not ask if there’s anything practical you can do to help? If they’re grieving and aren’t eating well, you could offer to cook a homemade dinner. Or, if a colleague is struggling out and overwhelmed, you could offer to take on a job to alleviate their workload.
Mental health is a subject that touches all of our lives. It’s likely you, or someone you know, has experienced mental health problems, whether its anxiety and depression or bipolar disorder. Sometimes, hearing someone else’s story can be all it takes to show that other people just like you have been through similar experiences and they came through the other side.
In other instances though, you may not feel equipped to help – and that’s okay. Instead you might suggest that you help them to find a therapist. Sometimes the best way to help is to guide them towards someone else who can.