FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT HAPPENS IN A FREE CONSULTATION?
This is a brief, no-obligation chat, either online or over the phone, where you can share a little bit about what's brought you to counselling and ask any questions before deciding whether or not to book an initial assessment.
WHAT HAPPENS AT AN ASSESSMENT SESSION?
This is a bit like a counselling taster. We will go into more detail about what's bothering you and consider what help you need. I will ask various questions to learn about you, your experiences, and your hopes for counselling, and we can both see if us working together is a good 'fit'. If you want to continue with counselling, we will set a set a regular time slot and discuss frequency of sessions, payment arrangements and cancellation terms.
HOW LONG ARE COUNSELLING SESSIONS?
After an initial assessment session lasting 50-60 minutes, ongoing counselling sessions are 50 minutes each.
HOW DO YOU TAKE PAYMENT?
For initial assessment sessions, payment must be made in advance by BACS or PayPal to secure the appointment. For ongoing counselling, payment is made monthly. However, alternative payment arrangements can also be discussed.
WHAT TYPE OF THERAPY DO YOU OFFER?
I'm trained in a variety of different counselling styles and tailor my approach according to each client's individual needs. My main training is in psychodynamic counselling, which sees the ‘psyche’ – encompassing the self, thoughts, emotions, soul and mind – as constantly active and changing. Psychodynamic theory is based on part of the mind being unconscious, with experiences during childhood shaping the way in which people behave, think and experience life. However, I also draw on humanist, existential, positive psychology, CBT, creative and other approaches to help clients in the most useful way for them.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE COUNSELLING?
There's no right or wrong answer for this. Most clients have one session a week, but I can also be flexible - if you would like a different frequency (such as fortnightly, twice a week or ad hoc), we can discuss this in your initial assessment.
WHY IS THERE A LOTUS FLOWER IN THE LD THERAPY LOGO?
In 'No Mud, No Lotus', Thich Nhat Hanh says: "Suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud”. When you're struggling through the mud, counselling can help you grow, develop and find your own lotus flower of happiness - hence why I use the lotus symbol in the LD Therapy logo.
HOW LONG DOES COUNSELLING TAKE TO WORK?
Many clients notice a difference after only one or two sessions, however it takes longer to go deeper and get to the root of issues. I see most clients for either short-term therapy (6-18 sessions, focusing on one or two issues) or on an open-ended basis (allowing for ongoing exploration).
WHAT IF I NEED URGENT SUPPORT?
If you're in crisis – for example, you're thinking about committing suicide or seriously harming yourself or others - you can seek immediate help by calling 999, going to your local A&E department, or contacting the Samaritans.
WHAT'S YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
For one-off sessions, such as initial assessments, you can cancel up to 48 hours in advance free of charge. For ongoing counselling, where you have a reserved time each week, you need to give notice of any cancellations a month in advance. However, for last minute emergencies or illnesses, I always try to offer an alternative appointment time where possible.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Historically, counselling was more like supportive listening and psychotherapy was a deeper and more insight-based therapy. However, the two terms are now often used interchangeably. I'm qualified as both a counsellor and psychotherapist, and tailor my support to your individual needs.