Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does counselling work? 
Talking openly and honestly to someone who isnít involved in your life, but who respects you as a unique human being, provides a secure base for understanding yourself and making the changes that move you forward.

2. Does the counsellor just listen?
Active listening is different from normal listening Ė it is an attempt to hear things at their deepest level. I comment on what I hear, and I might use therapeutic techniques to focus in on particular issues. What I wonít do is tell you what to do Ė thatís up to you to decide.

3. How long does it go on for?
Counselling can be brief (6 sessions) when just one issue is identified. However, the concerns that bring someone to counselling will sometimes give way to a greater complexity of feelings and needs. Then, it is up to you to decide whether you want to continue to explore with the counsellor some of the underlying blocks to your greater fulfilment. 

4. Is it really confidential?
Neither your name and address, nor what you say, is divulged to anyone else outside of the counselling room, and all professional notes are kept under lock and key.
I do consult with another experienced counsellor to ensure my clinical practice is kept to a high standard, but this process is also confidential.

There are rare exceptions to confidentiality, to do with harm to yourself or others, and these will be discussed with you at the first counselling session.

5. If I am unhappy, how would I make a formal complaint?
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy would take your complaint seriously and help you with the process of making any formal complaint (www.bacp.co.uk).