1. What is counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy are talking therapies with a mental health professional specially trained in active listening and counselling/psychotherapy skills as well as in one or several specific types of therapy.
Counselling tends to be shorter-term work (6 to 12 sessions) and is usually focussed around one or a couple of issues the person is finding difficult.
Psychotherapy takes place over a longer period of time (12 to 36 or more sessions). It often evolves naturally from counselling when the client wishes to explore his or her experiences in greater depth.
2. How often and how long are the sessions?
The counselling sessions take place weekly unless otherwise agreed and last for 50 minutes.
3. How long will my therapy take?
The length of the therapy will depend on your individual needs. We can discuss these throughout our work together.
It is possible for us to meet initially for a set number of sessions, usually six, after which you may decide to continue the therapy on an ongoing basis.
4. Where will my sessions take place?
Wallingford-based sessions are available at a quiet central location in Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10, within easy reach of Henley-upon-Thames, Didcot and Oxford.
In Reading I practise from the centrally-located Therapy Centre.
Click here for more detailed information on all practice locations and convenient transport links.
5. Are the sessions confidential?
All sessions including your initial consultation are confidential.
6. I am thinking about giving therapy a go. Can you tell me how it is different from talking to friends and family?
Counsellors and psychotherapists receive special training in active listening skills and therapeutic intervention. In addition to academic and skills practice requirements, a number of training organisations require trainee counsellors to complete a significant amount of personal therapy prior to qualification. This is to ensure counsellors explore their own life experience and how it has shaped them as a person in order to be able to offer clients a non-judgemental 'sounding board' for their difficulties. It also means a therapist is very likely to have been a counselling client him- or herself and knows what this experience might be like.
A counsellor's main aim should be providing a safe space for their clients to work through their difficulties. Bringing concerns to a compassionate professional who is not a family member or friend can be most helpful for those of us who find it challenging to talk about our problems with our loved ones. We might shy away from sharing our problems due to feelings of guilt and shame. We might not want to 'burden' those close to us, or don't trust we'll be understood and supported when feeling vulnerable. The opportunity to talk freely and openly can be liberating, and many people report feeling seen and listened to for the first time in their therapy sessions.
7. What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a psychotherapist or counsellor?
A psychiatrist is a fully medically trained helping professional who can diagnose and manage mental health issues and prescribe medication to treat their symptoms.
Psychology studies the mind and how its functioning translates into how we think and behave. Psychologists receive psychology training following which they engage in research or use their skills in clinical practice with patients.
A psychotherapist or counsellor helps clients understand and overcome a range of emotional, behavioural, mental health and social issues through talking therapies. Counsellors and psychotherapists undergo training in psychotherapy and counselling. The title registered/ accredited counsellor or psychotherapist means this person has received a high level of training in accordance with an industry’s professional body such as the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
8. How much does therapy with you cost?
The fee is £60 or £70 depending on location. You can view this information here.
9. How do I start?
You can contact me by phone or email as a first step. We'll then speak on the phone about what you are looking for and arrange to meet in person for an initial consultation - a 50-minute first appoinment during which we'll assess your needs together.
You can contact me if you would like more information or to make an appointment.
10. Are you regulated?
I am a registered and fully accredited member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) which is the industry’s professional accrediting body in the UK.