How do I know if counselling/psychotherapy is right for me?
If you would like to gain a deeper insight into your thoughts and feelings, have a better understanding of relationships and find your own solution to problems, then counselling and/or psychotherapy can help. The first session is an assessment session; the purpose of this session is to gather some basic information about you, as well as to find out some of the essential details of your life. We will talk about what you would like to achieve from counselling, and we can decide together whether this is the right approach for you.
How many sessions will I need?
This is something that we can talk about when we first meet. Some people find that as little as six sessions can be enough to work through a specific issue, while others prefer to stay with counselling/psychotherapy for several months. If you do decide that longer term work is right for you, we will have regular reviews to ensure that you continue to get the most out of the sessions.
Are the sessions confidential?
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance and is a fundamental part of the BACP Ethical Framework
There are some exceptional circumstances when it might be necessary to break confidentiality, for example if you were at risk of serious harm to yourself or others, but I would always aim to discuss this with you first.
Will you give me advice or tell me what to do?
My aim is to help you come to your own decisions or conclusions about your life, if that is why you are seeking counselling. I will listen non-judgementally and will help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings. Only you know what is right for you, and I will help and support you without giving advice.
Do I need to be referred by my GP or other health care professional?
No, you can simply get in touch with me directly using the contact details here.
Can I make an appointment for someone else?
If your friend or relative is too distressed to seek counselling for themselves, then it is likely that they will not be feeling well enough to fully participate in counselling sessions. It may be best to contact their GP in the first instance. An exception to this is if you are making an appointment for someone under the age of 18; in this situation I would aim to have a telephone conversation with you first.
I feel desperate and can’t wait for an appointment. What can I do?
There are several things that you can do if you are feeling desperate. You can contact your GP and ask for an emergency appointment or dial 999 if you feel that you are experiencing a serious crisis.
Alternatively, the Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust Single Point of Access Service is the first point of contact to access mental health services and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. People can refer themselves or enquire on behalf of a family member or friend. Tel: 0800 0234 650 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to talk to someone in confidence at any time, you can contact The Samaritans. Their National Freephone Number is: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).