FAQ’s

Do you prescribe medication

  • Counselling and psychotherapy are talking therapies, which means that I do not prescribe medication.
  • Being on medication does not preclude engaging with me and typically I encourage you to speak about your mood. I may suggest you enter into a dialogue with your GP about medication, such as antidepressants.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy

  • They often overlap depending on what you wish to achieve and your goals which you may not know and that is ok. We work on your goals together.
  • Typically counselling is for a set number of sessions when a person experiences a specific event that triggers emotions and feelings that they wish to speak about. The types of experiences maybe relationship difficulties or break ups romantic or with family, bereavement, work issues including redundancy and displacement although the list is not exhaustive.
  • Often psychotherapy is of a longer term nature. You may come because you feel ill at ease or unlike yourself or not know what is going on or you notice unhelpful patterns in your relationships.This maybe because there has been an accumulation of events, which may relate to childhood issues or ways in which you relate with others. In this space you experience an untangling of your emotional self in order to gain awareness reflection and insight into yourself as a person which is a key to your personal growth and development.
  • In either case, as we speak about what brings you. I may ask you questions or ask for clarification to facilitate you being able to identify and understand your feelings.
  • I am not directive or an advisor but a source of support whilst you navigate your emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  • As I am not part of your life outside of the therapeutic space, you experience someone who is solely concentrating on you to enable you to gain insight and awareness to see choices when at times it didn’t feel like there were any.
  • Working collaboratively with you the ultimate aim is empowerment and resilience.

Confidentiality

  • What we speak of is confidential between us save if you are about to harm yourself or someone around you.
  • Also, I attend supervision with a experienced and qualified supervisor on a regular basis and will speak about our work. This is in order that I am the most effective for you. This is my ethical commitment to you.
  • In that circumstance, I will only mention your first name and my supervisor will not be able to identify you and will not have any contact with you.

What if I have counselling and psychotherapy as part of my employee assistance programme (EAP) or if I have health insurance

  • If it is through your EAP in my experience you need to contact them and go through their process for onward referral. You may wish to check with them if I work for their EAP and if I do request that the referral is made to me. In some cases this maybe possible say if I work within a certain radius of where you live or work or if as at the moment we are working remotely either online or by telephone. You would usually be referred for a set of sessions, typically 6-12. If you wish to continue after your allocated sessions an EAP typically wish you to take a break before you engage with me privately. In my experience this is likely to be a couple of months.
  • If you wish to come through your healthcare provider I am registered with most household names such as BUPA, Axa PPP, Healix, Cigna and Aviva and others. By all means give me a call to check and I will let you know. The next step is to contact your healthcare provider. Usually you would then go through their assessment process which provides you with an authorisation code. Please supply this together with your insurance policy number your full name and address, email address and contact number and date of birth. Some insurers such as BUPA are allowing you to choose your provider rather than suggesting a range. In such event just look me up on the “Find a provider” profile. If you wish to continue after the initial batch of sessions your insurance provider may sanction more. Otherwise there is no bar to engaging direct.

How often do we engage

  • In order for therapy to be effective all the research shows that attendance once a week is the most beneficial. It is usually on the same day and same time each week and ensures you are safe in the knowledge that I will be available. I do not work in any other way such as once a fortnight as I would be taking your time and money under false pretences as it would merely be a check in.

Cancellation policy

  • In order for you to benefit, our sessions are chargeable so that you commit to the process save for the initial brief free conversation on the telephone.
  • If I am unavailable as I am on holiday or unwell you will not be charged. In either case I will give you as much notice as possible.
  • If for any reason you cannot attend, the session maybe rescheduled in the week of which we are speaking if I have availability but if not and you can’t attend at another time or miss it it is still charged.
  • This is because I reserve your space with me in my diary. I would not be able to fill the slot if you are not able to attend, but also because I would use the session to think about you and our work together.

How do I pay you

  • If we decide to work together and you are attending privately I would ask you pay me weekly on the day of your session online. I will provide you with my bank details.
  • Otherwise if attending in person you may pay me in cash.
  • If you are attending through your insurer if there is an excess they will request that you pay such excess direct to me, but will communicate with you when to do this.

Do I get homework

  • It depends on the approach that we decide on. If it enables you to be able to reflect on our sessions in between times I may make suggestions of homework should you wish.

What if I am in training to be a counsellor and/or psychotherapist

  • It is often a requirement from a training provider that you are in regular therapy with a fully qualified counsellor/psychotherapist.
  • Being fully qualified, I have insight about this and am fully prepared to commit to you for the length of your training.
  • Often people choose to continue after qualification and I am happy to do that.

How do I start

  • You can call me or email me. Either is fine and I usually reply within 24 hours Monday to Friday. If I am not free when you call please do leave me a message. It is entirely confidential as only I have access.
  • On your first contact do please provide a couple of options of times to call you. When I do please note that my call will be from a withheld number.

Bumping into each other outside of our sessions

  • I usually ask about this in our first session together. I will be guided by you as to how you would like me to be. Some people do not want to acknowledge me whilst others may want a brief hello. The choice is yours and either way we would not be engaging in conversation.

I have formulated these answers to FAQs. You may have more. Please feel free to ask them on the telephone when you initially call me or in our first session as I appreciate you maybe unsure and feeling nervous

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