I’ve tried to answer some of the questions that might occur to you as you consider whether you would like to contact me about counselling. If you think of any more that you would like to ask here, please feel free to add them in the comments box below or use the contact form on this website.
Where does your counselling take place?
I am based in North Herefordshire and work in Kington and Ludlow in Shropshire, and will soon have availability in Leominster. All these locations offer a secure and confidential environment for counselling.
Are the premises accessible?
For the rooms that I use for private counselling: in Kington these are fully accessible for people with mobility difficulties – unless you have a very large motorised wheelchair, in which case please check with me beforehand; in Ludlow the room is on the ground floor but there is a first-floor toilet there. In Leominster everything is on the ground floor, but access to the building includes two steps.
How long are the sessions?
Sessions take place once a week and are 50 minutes in length. The number of sessions varies according to your own needs and what you want to get out of the counselling. To give you an idea of timescale, if you go to your GP and he or she refers you for counselling under the NHS, the funding normally covers 6 sessions, but can sometimes be extended under some circumstances. If you are coming privately, there is more flexibility, but in either case the lead will come from you as counselling progresses, either to finish earlier or to carry on further.
Are you a member of a professional body?
Yes. I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. As such I work in accordance with the BACP ethical framework; you can find out more about this by visiting the BACP website. The BACP is the largest professional body in the UK covering counselling and psychotherapy.
Is the counselling confidential?
Yes, absolutely. It is extremely important for you to know that the sessions and everything talked about within them are confidential (with two important exceptions which will be explained in the first session). This aspect of counselling will be something I will discuss with you from the outset so you are clear about it, as it is a paramount condition for counselling.
What are the differences between NHS-funded or private counselling?
The level of counselling you will receive will be the same whether you go through an agency (such as Relate, Tracs, etc) or through private practice; there is no difference to the actual counselling at all. Many counsellors, like myself, work in different settings, for example with counselling agencies who are contracted to carry out NHS work, and with charities, as well as their private work. What will vary in each setting will be the availability of choice of therapist (and sometimes the type of therapy available), cost, and possibly the flexibility with regard to length of therapy. Waiting times under the NHS tend to be quite long, usually two to three months but sometimes as long as six; if you go privately, you will be able to see me or another counsellor very quickly, if not straight away. Your GP may be able to recommend a counsellor, but if you do not want to go through your GP, research online is also a good way of finding out what different counsellors offer. If you are not sure which route to take, I am happy to talk it through with you without any pressure and help you decide the best route for your own counselling.
Do you offer couples counselling?
No, currently I only counsel individuals.
What do I have to commit to?
The first session will be a chance for us to meet each other and I can answer any questions you might have before we start, therefore the amount of time in the session for counselling will be shorter than usual. After you have got a feel for the counselling process in this way, you can decide if you want to go further. From there on, you decide for yourself how often and when you would like to see me (it’s usually weekly), and when you feel ready to stop. You can stop at any time.
When do you work?
My usual client hours are Tuesdays to Fridays 9 am to 6 pm with the last client starting at 5pm.
What does it cost?
The charge is £45 per session. Payment will be made at the beginning of each session, and can be in cash or by cheque. In certain circumstances, it can be by invoice and bank transfer.
PLEASE NOTE that I may also charge a cancellation cost of £10 per session if there has been less than 24 hours’ notice.
Please use the contact form on this website if you want to ask me any more specific questions, or ring me on 07795 324 575 for an informal discussion about it.