What is counselling?
Life will always present us with challenges and difficult situations. Sometimes these challenges can get on top of us and we stop living and enjoying our lives as fully as we would like. This is where counselling can be of help.
Counselling is about offering a supportive relationship in a safe and confidential environment to talk through whatever is concerning them. Counselling is not about giving advice and counsellors can never be experts in other people’s lives. Counselling is about helping people find their unique strengths to work through a particular issue in the best way for them so that they can live their life to the fullest.
How I work
Many of us choose to share our lives with another person who is our partner through either the whole or a significant part of our life. A healthy relationship is where each person in a couple can be open and share their authentic needs with each other. In this way they get their needs met at least the majority of the time.
Sometimes this process gets interrupted and our relationship becomes turbulent, painful or a struggle. Some examples of what can cause this are:
– Pressures outside the relationship keeping people apart such as work commitments;
– Relationships outside the marriage that can affect the couple such as friends, family and children;
– Not understanding or knowing how to communicate and get each other’s needs met within the relationship; and
– Fear of intimacy due to past experiences.
Couples counselling is a process where with the proactive support of a counsellor the couple can explore what went wrong and find ways to resolve the problems they are having. This typically involves using the couples’ problem solving ability to come up with their own way through their problems.
Sometimes couples can decide that their best option is to dissolve the relationship and each find other partners that better meet their needs. Couples counselling can also offer support through this process that can often be painful.
Whatever challenge life throws at us, I believe we all have the potential to deal with it successfully, move on and lead a happy life. I consider the most important foundation to successful counselling is the relationship between the counsellor and client. Being in a trustful, open and supportive relationship allows the client to really get to understand themselves, explore all of their unique and individual strengths and how they can best deal with and work through the concern at hand. This is all done at the client’s pace and is never rushed. I focus on what is happening with the client in the present. Sometimes it is important to talk about the past but only how it is affecting the client’s experience.
Some of the areas for which I offer counselling include:
– Loss of a close relationship through death, including anticipating the death of someone close, and through miscarriage
– Dealing with a life limiting illness
– Caring for someone with a life limiting illness
– Dealing with trauma, particularly rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse
– Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa (non-chaotic), Obesity and other concerns regarding food, weight and shape
– Anger management
– Anxiety and depression
– Problems in close and intimate relationships
– Stress management
Many people who have had these experiences have feelings of depression, anxiety and anger, all of which I work with in my counselling practice.
Group counselling involves a number of people coming together either to learn some skills in dealing with specific challenges and/or developing their awareness of themselves on a deeper level. It provides a supportive and confidential environment that allows members to share their difficulties to whatever extent feels comfortable and seek support and input from the group to help them feel better. It is facilitated by a suitably qualified group counsellor.
Group counselling can offer a number of advantages over individual one on one counselling:
– A group with a common goal is greater than the sum of its parts. By the Group acting collectively it provides cohesiveness and a shared experience that can be more powerful and transformative for group members to work through and resolve problems and challenges they face in life;
– Group counselling enables members to get support and feedback from other group members. You also have the opportunity to witness other people’s challanges and support them. This can help to dispel the notion that we are alone facing our challenges in life.
– Group counselling offers an opportunity to experience what it is like for you to be in a group. If you wish, the Group can support you if you want to share and explore what this experience is like for you;
– Many of us have been in groups in the past that have left us feeling uncomfortable, confused or hurt. Being a member of a supportive and facilitated group can help to heal those wounds.
– It offers greater value for money as each session is approximately half the price of individual counselling;
During group counselling there is no need to stop individual counselling. Issues may arise in the group where individual counselling could supplement your group experience.
Where I work
I currently work for RASASC in Guildford who offer counselling for rape and sexual abuse.
I also have private practices in Godalming, Send, Guildford and Hove (near Brighton). I work at the Eaves Counselling and Psychological Services in Surrey, the Sunshine Clinic in Send and the Wilbury Clinic in Hove.
Qualifications and Experience
I hold an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling. I have experience of working in hospices with clients experiencing bereavement and life limiting illness and also with survivors of rape and sexual abuse. I have also worked with a number of other different issues, for example relationship counselling, whilst working for different organisations. I can offer either short term or long term counselling.
I hold a certificate in couples counselling and I work with couples in my private practice
There are many different types of counselling. The best is the one that suits the client at the time. I work mainly with the Gestalt, Transactional Analysis and Brief Solutions Focused orientations of counselling.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I work to their ethical guidelines.
Contract and Fees
I generally charge £55 for individual counselling and £75 for couples counselling per session. I ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation, otherwise payment is required. I work with clients aged 16 and older.
We can meet for as many sessions as is helpful. Sudden endings whilst working through challenging issues is not always in the best interest of the client. I always recommend taking at least one (or more) sessions to do a proper ending. However, it is up to client when they choose to leave counselling.
Counselling is entirely confidential. However, it is necessary for me to take all my client or to a qualified supervisor who helps me provide the best counselling. The only other exception would be if I considered a client would seriously harm themselves or someone else. I would always seek to discuss this with the client, explain why and agree a way forward wherever possible.