About My Approach
The Introductory Session is free, and provides an opportunity for us to meet, and to discuss your emotional/psychological support needs - without any commitment to continue. If it is not appropriate for us to work together, I will help direct you towards other sources of support.
Initial Assessment & Therapy Action Plan
Counselling starts with a formal assessment of your main issues of concern, and any risk issues, during which I will assist you to construct, verbally, and often diagrammatically, a clearer understanding of your main emotional/psychological difficulties, background factors and current triggers which maintain your problems, and objectives for change.
Using National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE)-approved psychological therapies, I work with people presenting with single issues, such as specific phobias, or panic disorders, mild-moderate depression, or trauma; and with people with complex health, social, and risk issues.
I offer an INTEGRATIVE approach, drawing on my formal training in several therapeutic approaches, including: Person-Centred (Humanistic) Counselling; Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies; Brief Psychodynamic Therapy; and Systemic Approaches.
I am able to address different single issues, and different aspects of complex cases by drawing on a range of psychological therapies as appropriate, such as: Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) to help individuals whose thought patterns are maintaining anxieties or depression or dysfunctional behaviours; Brief Psychodynamic Therapy to help address attachment, separation and loss issues; and Systemic approaches to explore and address family, environmental and institutional factors which may be preventing change. The core conditions of Person-Centred Counselling: unconditional positive regard, empathy, and congruence: underpin all my therapeutic work.
Monitoring & Evaluation
My therapeutic work includes use, as appropriate, of formal assessment measures, to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of related thoughts, emotions, and behaviours (change and risk indicators), and both interim and final outcomes.
Life in Britain in the 21st Century is extremely complex and often insecure, and as a result presents many challenges. Few people are sufficiently equipped through their formative and educational years in the development of sufficient emotional and psychological resources to cope with many of these challenges. I have a special interest in helping people build their resilience and emotional wellbeing, in order to respond positively to the many of the life, health and social challenges they encounter, especially: ageing with complex support needs, or as an older carer; Sight deterioration/impairment; learning disabilities/difficulties; and suicide bereavement.
I have a special interest in assisting people to adapt positively to many ageing-related challenges, including loss and bereavement, physical health issues, chronic illnesses, mobility difficulties, sight impairment, memory difficulties, needing/providing carer assistance, and the associated emotional/psychological pressures.
I also have a special interest in supporting people who are experiencing difficulties adjusting to sight deterioration/impairment, and the associated effects on their lives, such as loss of driving licence, and the impact on their work, home life and relationships.
I have 10 years’ experience of adapting approved psychological therapies, including a computerised cognitive behaviour therapy programme for anxieties, to enable people with learning disabilities/difficulties to access 'Talking Therapies'. I also have extensive experience of working with relatives and carers of adults with a range of levels of severity of learning disabilities/difficulties in a range of community settings.
Few people have permission from others to talk of their grief associated with the death of a person by suicide. I have a special interest and specialism in providing psychological therapy support to people bereaved by suicide.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ‘Counselling Psychology’?
Counselling Psychology offers a safe place in which you can talk in confidence with a professional who is trained to listen attentively, without judging or advising you, to help you identify the often complex psychological, social, health, and environmental factors contributing to your emotional difficulties, and to help you address these issues, using approved psychological therapies.
In a series of regular sessions with a Counselling Psychologist you can explore your thinking and feelings about yourself, others and key events in your life, and associated behaviour, which may be causing you particular concern. This can be distressing at times, but it could help towards a greater understanding of yourself, and your actions, a clearer view of your options for change, or help you come to terms with past experiences that cannot be changed. The main focus will be on building your emotional and psychological resources, in particular your resilience and emotional wellbeing, to help you cope more effectively with the life, health, social, or age-related challenges which may be contributing to your difficulties.
Is Counselling Psychology for you?
People seek counselling and psychological therapies for many reasons. You may be finding it difficult to come to terms with a bereavement, the end of a relationship, redundancy or retirement or other life changes. You may have experience of trying to adjust to disability or chronic illness, as a patient or as a relative. You may have experienced abuse or trauma(s). Or you may be feeling wholly unable to cope or generally down and confused, unsure of yourself or in which direction you are going, in response to major life changes.
Counselling Psychology can also help with a wide range of specific problems, such as: anxiety, bullying, depression, eating disorders, obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviours, panic attacks and phobias.
Counselling Psychology is often helpful for people with more complex issues and specialist support needs that cannot adequately be met by self-help initiatives, or manual-based therapy approaches.
How often and when will we meet?
You will be given a regular time and day for your sessions. Sometimes this is not possible initially and you may have to wait for a regular space. However, once this is established it is important to keep sessions as constant as possible. Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes. If you arrive early for a clinic session, please wait in your car until the appointed time, to give any previous client time to leave.
I also offer telephone and internet counselling, including Skype and Facetime.
What if I need to cancel a session?
24 hours’ notice of cancellation is required. If you are unable to attend a session without notice, you will be charged the full fee, if another session for that week cannot be arranged.
How much will I have to pay?
Fees will be negotiated at the free Introductory Session, together with arrangements for how and when to pay. Receipts will be provided for all payments. Fees will be reviewed annually.
My fees for counselling for self-financing individuals and/or their relatives/carers with specialist therapy needs, are £35 a session - half my full rate of £70. I also offer a limited number of free therapy sessions to those individuals and/or their relatives/carers who would not otherwise be able to access specialist counselling psychology services. Please ask if you think you would qualify for this service.
What if I need to contact my therapist between sessions?
Contact may be necessary between therapy sessions if you need to change or cancel sessions, or if a crisis arises which you wish to discuss. Please e-mail, or leave a telephone message. If you do not receive an immediate reply, your message/call will be returned as soon as possible.
How many sessions will we have?
The initial assessment usually takes between one and three sessions, to clarify the main issues, and develop a therapy plan. Therapy usually involves 6-8 weekly sessions, after which progress is reviewed, and any need for further therapy sessions is discussed. The time between sessions may increase towards the end of therapy, after which follow-up/monitoring sessions are offered. Ideally, therapy would end by mutual agreement and in a planned way, although you are free to end whenever you wish.
Will our conversations be confidential?
Our telephone and face-to-face conversations will be between you and me. I will need to discuss our work together with my clinical supervisor, but without disclosing any information which would enable my supervisor to identify you personally.
I am also required to keep brief notes of our conversations – again without including any information by which you could be identified. For instance, I use a code system in my notes to refer to each client. My notes are kept in a secure place. They will be destroyed as soon as appropriate after we finish working together, in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
I will ask for details of your GP, and ask you to inform them that we are meeting. I will also ask you for your permission for me to confer with your GP, as appropriate.
If you tell me about any serious and immediate risks to yourself, or to others, especially children or vulnerable adults, I will ask you to inform your GP, or the appropriate authorities. If you do not wish to do so, I would contact them on your behalf, with your knowledge and, preferably, with your permission.
What if I am not satisfied?
I subscribe to the codes of ethics and professional practice of the British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you have a complaint, please raise it with me first. If you are not satisfied with my response, you could take the matter up with these professional bodies.
Please CONTACT me for more information, a confidential discussion of your counselling support needs, to make a referral, or to book an appointment on:
Tel: 01473 311606 (answerphone available)
If I am not able to take your call, please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.