What is counselling?

There are times in life when you really want to talk to someone.

Friends and family can be helpful and supportive, however there may be issues  that  you don’t want to talk to family or friends about. Perhaps you don’t want to feel you are burdening them; or you want to talk to someone outside your social and family circle.

Counselling is a professional relationship that offers an opportunity to spend time talking about what is important to you, your feelings and experiences, in a safe, non-judgemental and confidential environment.  It can help you explore what might need to change in your life, or has already changed, and to make sense of your feelings.

Counselling is not advice giving: it is a chance to explore your own inner resources in a supportive environment. It is 50 minutes in which you can talk without being judged. Don’t be surprised that I don’t talk much about myself: counselling is time for you!

Counselling is a way of taking control of your situation and finding your own way to make changes.  You may feel overwhelmed: it may help to write down all that troubles you and explore this in counselling. It is ok if you come to counselling not really knowing a specific cause for your feelings, we can look at this together.

I am trained in Person Centred counselling, which aims to provide a safe space to look at yourself and your life. Carl Rogers, the founder of Person Centred counselling explained the process of Person Centred counselling like this:

“it is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried”

It is my job as a counsellor to encourage, support and sometimes challenge you as you go to these places.

It is really important to chose a counsellor who you feel you can talk to and trust. I offer an introductory telephone call to talk briefly about why you have come to counselling, and if you want to book a face to face meeting .  Our first meeting is a chance to discuss this further,  and see if we feel we can work together. This session  covers confidentiality, data protection and your written consent for me to hold specified information about you. If you decide to proceed we will usually meet weekly for 50 minutes.

You may be concerned about confidentiality. What is said in session is confidential within limits: for example disclosure as part of my duty to protect a child, a vulnerable adult, yourself or the public; to report knowledge of serious crime such as terrorism; or when required by a court of law. A fuller description of confidentiality and its limits may be found in the counselling contract and the privacy policy. We can discuss any specific concerns about confidentiality at the initial meeting.

To work within ethical boundaries I undertake regular counselling supervision. This is to ensure I work safely and within my capacities and experience. No client is identified by name in these sessions. I also undertake regular continuing professional education.

Sometimes things go wrong between people, and this is true of the counselling relationship too. Complaints may be made to me in the first instance. However, should you be dissatisfied with my response you may consider contacting BACP for further information and advice through the  Ask Kathleen service  on 01455 883300 or online at https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-therapy/ask-kathleen/

This page was last updated on 23/8/18