At the forefront of how I work is the relationship between myself and the person I am working with. My Qualification is in Integrative Counselling and this means that I have studied more than one counselling theory. I believe this helps me to find the best way of working to fit the individual needs of my client. We all know that each of us is very different in many ways so, for me an integral part of how I work is in meeting you as an individual.
With the relationship being central to our work, I feel it is important that you, as my client feel that in time, you will be able to trust me and value the space we create together. To facilitate this I ask that you attend an initial assessment session of around an hour. From this I hope you will get a sense of whether you feel you will be able work with and grow to trust me. Ultimately this is so you can get the sense of feeling we will work well together because this is important. I will be thinking about this too.
I charge for this initial session, normally £35 but I am happy to discuss this fee with you.
If we decide to work together I will ask you to take away my contract which shows both my and your expectations, read it through and bring it back to our first session so that we can both sign it. My contract will show that I ask you to initially commit to six sessions which we can review as our relationship develops. It is also important that you tell me of anything that you are unsure or unhappy about within this agreement so that we can discuss it.
I am able and have experience of working both in a short and long term way, which is something we will discuss at our initial meeting, as how we decide to work will affect how we structure our time together. We will also agree the fee as shown on my fees pages.
I also ask that we meet weekly, at the same time and in the same place, although there will be times when both of us will need to be flexible.
When it is time for you to end your counselling I will look to structure this time with you as it is, again, important to end in the right way. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, (BACP) has advised that endings need to be equivalent to a third of the time that the counselling has taken place. However this isn’t always practical so we will look at how much time feels most appropriate to end well and discuss how many sessions we feel is right to do that.
I am also a qualified supervisor and hold an experiential Diploma in Supervision. This qualification enables me to work with counsellors, psychotherapists and allied health professionals. My training covered both theory and ways of working as well as the importance of contracting and boundaries. In this context I work with individuals as well as groups – please see my fees page (fees pages.) for my charging structure.
Lastly I also have a lot of experience of working in schools with children, young people and their families and view our counselling work as ‘systemic’. Part of my belief is that each family is its own ‘system’ and to only change one part of that ‘system’ may cause more stress than relief. If we are able to effect change or just the willingness to change on more than one part this ‘system’ then we are more likely to enable change as a whole and this benefits the whole ‘system’.
There is often a creative slant to my work but I am also aware that for some talking is healing in itself and would always negotiate and discuss what I would like to do and why: ultimately I would not force you to work in a way you were uncomfortable with.