How much do sessions cost?
Sessions cost £35 and last for 50 minutes. If my prices go up existing clients will be given 6 months notice before they are asked to pay a higher price. Reduced sessions will not be affected.
Are there any reduced cost sessions?
Yes. If cost is an issue then please let me know. I can offer some sessions at £25 and some at £30 depending on income. If your circumstances change whilst we are working together then we can look at how this impacts on costs and move them down (or up!).
How do I pay?
The first payment must be in cash and should be paid at the end of the session. After that you can choose to pay in cash or to make direct payments to my bank account. Bank transfers should be paid before the session.
What happens if I miss a session?
If you notify me 24 hours before the appointment (by email, text or voicemail) then there is no charge. If the notice period is less than this I will normally expect full payment unless we can rearrange for the same week. Sessions missed with no notice will normally have to be paid in full. Having said this I do try to be flexible and do understand that not all situations can be foreseen.
What sort of things do you work with people on?
I work with clients on all sorts of issues. These include: bereavement, redundancy, work stress, relationship issues, parenting issues, gender and sexual identity exploration, being a carer, chronic illness, miscarriages, abortion, stillbirth, infertility, life choices, historic abuse (sexual, emotional, physical and neglect), sexual assault, retirement, isolation and loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, living between communities, faith/spirituality issues, unresolved issues from the past, uncertainty about the future.
Is there anything you do not work with?
I don’t work with people whose main issue is to do with addictions. If this is your main area of concern the BACP website and other directories will identify counsellors who are specialised in this area.
Yes. Some people want to explore these identities, others just want them to be acknowledged whilst we address issues such as a bereavement, relationship difficulties, parenting issues or work problems. In addition to working with a diverse client group in my independent practice I also work as a counsellor with the LGBT foundation in Manchester.
Can clients bring up issues to do with their faith or spirituality?
Yes. Some people want to explore these, others want to share their importance as they consider other matters ie gender or sexual identity and the interplay between this and their faith/faith community. I also work with clients who have experienced spiritual abuse.
Do you provide support between planned sessions?
I normally work with people on a weekly basis but occasionally I see clients twice a week if they are in a particularly difficult position and want additional support for a short period of time. This is on a planned basis. I don’t provide support by phone, text or email between sessions. I do work with clients to identify a support plan if they think this will be helpful and are worried about self-harm.
Do you offer sessions every week of the year?
No. I will take some time off around Easter and again between Christmas and New Year. I will normally have about two weeks off at some other point during the year. Clients will always be given good notice of this. Occasionally I will rearrange sessions in order to attend training or conferences.
Is counselling recommended by the NHS?
Yes, and many people are referred for counselling by their GP as this video demonstrates. Following this route should enable you to access free counselling but there may be a long waiting list and you may only be able to see a counsellor for a short time.
Is it possible to access counselling free of charge?
Yes. Your GP can put you on a waiting list for counselling (see above) and many charities also provide free counselling. I work as a counsellor for the LGBT foundation and used to work as a counsellor for Age UK, both of which provide free time limited counselling. Contact the charities and ask about opportunities for counselling – you cannot normally choose your counsellor but can often express a preference with regard to gender or age. Some of the counsellors will be students on placements and some will be fully qualified.
Are sessions confidential?
Yes they are. I do not talk about you to anyone. I keep notes securely and you can ask to see them if you wish in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Do you ever break confidentiality?
In very limited circumstances. If there is involvement in money laundering or terrorism then I will inform the relevant authorities. If there are concerns shared about self-harm or harm to a vulnerable adult or a child then I will discuss this with you and then I will make a decision based on the BACP code of ethics as to whether or not I need to refer this to other professionals. This is about keeping you and other vulnerable people safe.
Do you belong to a professional body?
Yes, I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and am eligible for accreditation. I abide by the BACP Code of Ethics and work with a supervisor who is also a member of the BACP. This also includes the process for dealing with any complaints or concerns that clients might have.