I’ve tried to anticipate some of the key questions you might want to ask below but, of course, if there are others please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by phone or email and I will try to answer these as best I can.
Here are a selection of the questions you may have:
Where do you work from?
I work from my home in Petts Wood which lies between Bromley and Chislehurst in Kent. It is a short 8 minute walk from Petts Wood Station, is well served by bus routes from the surrounding area and parking is easily available at most times. The location is listed in the Contact Details box below and it is a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment to work in.
What do you charge?
For Individual Counselling: My fees are £45 for a 50 minute session.
For Couples Counselling: I charge £55 for a one hour session.
A limited number of reduced fees are negotiable.
What days and times are you available?
I currently book appointments from Monday through to Thursday including lunchtimes and evenings up to 6.30pm where available.
Which Psychological Therapy is your work based upon?
My in-depth training has been based upon the principles of Psychosynthesis which is an inclusive approach that draws from a wide range of therapeutic styles; Humanistic, Person-Centred, Gestalt, Transpersonal, Cognitive, Behavioural and Integrative.
Psychosynthesis includes looking at influences of the past, exploring the way thoughts, feelings and behaviour are impacting the present and also keeps in view hopes and dreams for the future and what adds meaning and purpose to life. Psychosynthesis aims at helping clients find a better way to balance their lives through seeing things more clearly and by finding the power to connect with more of their true potential.
How long do I need counselling for?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the issues being explored and the needs of each individual. When I first meet a client, provided all is well and we mutually decide that we are suited to work together then we would usually agree to see each other weekly for 4 to 6 sessions and to then review and book further sessions as required from there on.
Sometimes the issues can be dealt with in a few sessions and sometimes it takes longer. In some cases sessions can move to fortnightly and then to monthly but the decision on the frequency and when to stop will always be within the control of each individual client. If for any reason I need to suggest ending our sessions, this would always be fully discussed between us first.
What if I don’t feel it’s right for me when we first meet?
Before we first meet I will have had a conversation with you on the telephone so you’ll have already formed an opinion about whether I might be the right counsellor for you before we meet face to face.
If after our first session, either of us should decide we’re not suited to working together then I’m willing to refund the cost of that session back to you.
What sort of contract do you have with clients?
I’m a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and abide by all their regulations and Code of Ethics. This includes a code about maintaining absolute confidentiality. The only exception to this rule is where there is an evident risk of a client being a danger to themselves or others or where child protection guidelines come into force and in this instance I would wherever possible let any client know about my obligation to breach confidentiality here before doing so.
After meeting clients for the first time and after mutually agreeing to continue working together (either as an individual or as a couple), an initial outline plan for further sessions would also be agreed and the relevant appointments booked. However, this plan would always be open for amendment depending on the needs arising at any given time.
I’m able to offer a degree of flexibility with the booking of appointments as I recognise the changing commitments of many of the clients I work with. However, I do ask for at least twenty four hours notice of a cancellation or the full cost for that missed session would be payable. Extenuating circumstances can be given consideration but a repeating pattern of cancellations would definitely incur a charge.
What is a typical counselling session like?
This is another difficult question to answer as each session and each client is different. However, there is always an open space for you to talk about whatever it is you have brought to that session to explore. Sometimes this is clear from the start and sometimes the work unfolds and becomes clearer as the session develops.
Sometimes sessions may include using other techniques although it will always be your choice about whether to try them out. This can include using drawing, stones/crystals, imagery, symbolism, and other ways to represent what might be going on in your inner world to make it more visible so you can gain new perspectives and choices about the issues you are struggling with.