How do i get started and what is the process?
Once you have made the initial contact with me (see details here), we will liaise to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet. During that first meeting, you have the opportunity to get a feel for how I work and for me to understand what brings you to counselling. In order for the counselling to be effective, it is vital that you feel comfortable with the process so it can be a good idea to see a few counsellors at the start so that you can be sure you are working with someone who feels right for you. Should you decide to proceed with me, we will arrange a day and time that works for you and maybe see each other at that same time each week although that does depend on your circumstances and if necessary, we can make each new appointment as we go.
how long does counselling last?
That really is dependent on your needs and your circumstances. I would normally recommend an absolute minimum of 6 sessions in order to have any therapeutic benefit but it is not unusual for clients to continue on a longer term basis. Sessions last 50 minutes and as mentioned above, they usually take place at the same time every week or every other week.
the issues that i have WHICH ARE making me consider counselling don't appear on your website, can i still come and see you?
Absolutely! The list is by no means exhaustive and sometimes it can be hard to label our feelings in a way that fits neatly into an umbrella term. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you just want to check out whether I can help with whatever it is that is troubling you. If I feel that my skill set would not be appropriate for your needs, I would always try and sign post you in the right direction.
how do i pay?
For our first session, I take payment via cash or cheque. Any further sessions can also be paid via bank transfer if that's preferable for you. Details of fees can be found here.
Do you offer discounts?
I do offer discounted rates which I would be happy to discuss with you.
How do i get to you and can i park?
There is free parking on my drive or there are often plenty of free spaces on the street after 6.30pm. I am situated a roughly 15 minute walk from both Surbiton and Kingston train stations and I am on the K1 and K2 bus routes. More details can be found here.
do you work evenings and weekends?
Yes I do although those spaces do tend to get booked up pretty quickly. Please contact me to check availability.
what happens if i can't make a session?
Please let me know with as much notice as possible and we can re arrange or continue with our next scheduled appointment. Sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice or with no notice may still be charged.
what if i am running late?
If you are able to, please let me know that you still plan to attend and that you are running late. I would not usually be able to go over our allocated time so we would have a shorter session.
are our sessions confidential?
Yes they are. I abide by the BACP's strict code of ethics surrounding confidentiality and as with all counsellors and therapists, I have a supervisor but I would not give your full name during supervision. Circumstances in which I may break confidentiality would be if I felt you were at harm to yourself or someone else or if there were a child protection issue but I would always try, if possible, to speak to you first.
can i bring a friend/relative with me?
It can feel daunting to embark on counselling and it is understandable that you may feel more comfortable coming along to sessions with a companion. However, it is important that sessions are on a one to one basis in order for them to be as therapeutically effective as possible. If you have someone who is able to assist you getting here or walking you to the door then by all means use that as it may be very helpful but if it simply feels too daunting then it might be worth waiting until such time that you do feel ready. Guides for the blind and language interpreters including sign language specialists are the exception.
do you have disabled access?
My room is on the ground floor although I do have 2 small steps leading into the building.
I feel i might need anti depressants, can you prescribe them for me?
Counsellors and psychotherapists do not diagnose psychiatric conditions or prescribe medication but if I felt that was the support you needed, I can signpost you in the right direction.
If your question doesn't appear here, please don't hesitate to contact me...