For many clients the counselling style of helping is something new for them. As such it is not at all unusual for new clients to this type of work to have many questions and reservations about what is involved. I hope I am able to answer some of your questions in this section.
I am more than happy to provide you with additional information if I haven't covered your particular query here.
Sometimes the client's expectations about what can be achieved through counselling can be unrealistic. On occasions this might also be true of the therapist. The initial hopes of a possible solution, resolution or acceptance with regard to the presenting issue can often get dimmed in the reality of the work that will be needed to get there.
I believe positive outcomes are more likely if we share our hopes and concerns at the beginning of the process and try to determine what might be achieved in the time we have available.
During the process of the work expectations and possible outcomes may well change. I believe it is beneficial to work in a 'fluid' rather than 'rigid' way and to make adjustments as we go along in order to ensure our work remains relevant and appropriate.
How many sessions will I need?
This can depend on a number of different factors. We can discuss your particular requirements when we meet. The number of sessions can always be part of our on-going review process. I do not require you to commit to long-term work as a matter of course.
How long does a session last?
I work to a 'therapeutic hour' of 50 minutes duration.
How often will I attend?
There is an expectation that sessions will take place on a regular basis, usually weekly. This is particularly important at the start of the work when the therapeutic relationship is being formed. Sometime clients prefer to re-negotiate their attendance in light of changing personal circumstances. This we can discuss as and when it occurs.
What if I'm late?
Punctuality can play a key part in ensuring that the work remains safe and effective. There is always the possibility that clients might be late from time to time due to unforeseen circumstances. If you are late we might be able to work to the agreed time we would end the session. However there may be occasions when this might be of little therapeutic value due to insufficient time remaining.
What happens if I can't attend a session?
Please give as much notice as possible if you have to cancel a session. Once a session has been booked in my diary that timeslot is reserved exclusively for you and is no longer available to be booked. Late and last-minute cancellations of sessions that can’t be reallocated result in a complete loss of income for that time-slot. If this were to go unaddressed it would result in my practice becoming unviable. In order to address this and have clarity around cancellations, I operate the following cancellation policy. If you provide more than 48 hours notice (from the time of the session) there is no cancellation fee. Cancellations within the 48—24 hour period incur a cancellation fee of £25. This . A cancellation fee of the full session fee will be charged if less than 24 hours notice is given. Cancellation fees are charged regardless of the reason for the cancellation. I would discuss the situation with you if non-attendance was becoming a matter of concern
I would like my services to be as accessible as possible and I am always willing to explore how I might be able to help you within any financial limitations you might have. This might include telephone or email counselling.
My standard fee for individual clients attending a 50 minute session is £45. I am able to offer a limited number
of concessionary fee places to trainee counsellors and clients on low income. These places are subject to availability. I charge a higher rate for corporate clients or if I am asked to invoice for my fees.
I review my fees annually and provide my clients with notice of any changes in the fees I charge.
Fees can be paid by debit/credit card at the time of booking or at the end of the session. I do not accept cash payments of electronic transfers into my bank account.
Your safety and well-being is my major concern and I will do my best to ensure that our work together remains ethical and safe.
Two of the keys features that play a part in this process are confidentiality and supervision, which are explained in more detail below.
I provide counselling work within a confidential setting. In broad terms this means that anything you share with me during a counselling session will remain private and will not be shared with anyone else. You should be aware that some details of my work is shared in supervision, although you do not have to be identified in this process. I can explain how this works in more detail when we meet
There may be rare occasions when it might be necessary for me to consider breaking the confidentiality agreement. If this was the case I would want to bring this to your attention so that we can both explore how it would be best to proceed. At our initial meeting I can negotiate our confidentiality agreement and include any specific elements that might be necessary to keep the work ethical and safe.
Regular and on-going supervision of my work is an ethical requirement of my membership of the BACP and is an activity all qualified counsellors engage in.
More information on the BACP Ethical Framework
is available here
Supervision ensures that my work remains ethical and safe.
In supervision I explore my professional practice and clinical work with clients. The purpose and focus of supervision is on how work. I can do this without the need to identify you as my client.
I hope you find our work together to be productive and beneficial. However, even with the best intentions sometimes things can go wrong.
During our work together I would welcome your feedback and encourage you to bring anything you are unhappy with to my attention. By doing so will enable us to explore what is going on in an open and honest way and hopefully resolve the situation that fells OK for both of us.
If you have any serious concerns about the way I work with you these can be addressed through the BACP Professional Conduct procedure
. I can provide you with details of how to this. You can also find out more by following the link above.