A list of questions and answers that may be of help to those who are new to counselling and psychotherapy.

Why do people come into counselling and psychotherapy?

There are many reasons why people may be drawn to seeking out counselling and psychotherapy and clients tend to bring a wide variety of subjects into sessions. Some people want to find out more about themselves, while others may be going through a crisis. Often clients find that it can merely be helpful to have somebody to talk to about what is happening in their lives.

In my therapeutic work, I have had experience of helping clients understand and work through the following issues, amongst others -

  • Anxieties and panic attacks
  • Bereavement and loss  
  • Childhood issues
  • Compulsive thoughts, actions and addictions 
  • Cultural issues
  • Depression
  • Difficulties with parenthood
  • Femininity issues
  • Health issues
  • Internet addiction
  • Issues around sex and sexuality
  • Issues around spirituality
  • Masculinity issues
  • Phobias
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Self-development
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Stress
  • Work related issues
  • Working through blocks to creativity


What are the differences between counselling and psychotherapy?

Although there are no clear external boundaries between the two fields, there are distinctions between counselling and psychotherapy. Generally clients come into counselling when they want assistance with a particular period or issue in their lives, like a bereavement, or a breakdown of a relationship, and they are looking for a place to express and come to terms with how they feel. Clients who come into psychotherapy, on the other hand, in addition to seeking a place to explore their emotions, are also interested in looking at their lives as a whole and how their upbringing and underlying beliefs influence their approach to relationships and life in general. Counselling generally lasts from between six to sixteen sessions, whereas psychotherapy, owing to the deeper nature of the work, would usually last for longer with clients sometimes coming for years.


How often do you see clients, and how long is each session?

I see clients on a weekly basis and each session begins on the hour and lasts for fifty minutes. It is important to arrive promptly as even if you arrive late we will still finish at the same time. Once you start counselling with me, your time slot will remain yours permanently, unless my, or your, circumstances change.


How many sessions will I need to have?

This is discussed in the initial consultation, and will depend on the issues you bring and are looking to work with. I generally contract with clients initially for six sessions, meeting once a week, to give them a chance to experience working with me and to see if they find the work helpful. Following this there is the option to continue into longer-term work if this feels useful to them and is appropriate. Some clients choose to come for just the six sessions, whereas others opt for longer-term or open-ended therapy without a particular finish in mind.




How long does it take for you to see people after they contact you? Do you have a waiting list?

Generally I am able to see most people within ten days after being contacted, and I do not usually operate a waiting list.  


Are the sessions confidential?

The sessions are strictly confidential and the only person I will discuss your work with is my own individual supervisor, but this forum is confidential also. This enables the environment we work in to be contained. The only time that I may have to breach confidentiality out of this setting would be if there was a risk to yourself, or to someone close to you, but in the event of this occurring, unless there were legal reasons preventing us from doing so, we would endeavour to discuss any breach in our sessions in advance.


Do you adhere to a code of ethics? Are you insured and DBS checked?

As an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I adhere to their ethical framework. I also have full indemnity insurance, and hold a current valid Disclosure and Barring Service check.


What days and times are you available for sessions?

I currently work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and offer slots from 9am in the morning until 9pm at night. Please contact me to find out my present availability as I will do what I can to accommodate your needs.


How do I begin the process?

Before we begin our work together, we would have an initial consultation where you would be able to tell me the issues that had brought you into counselling and therapy, and where I could also get some further information about yourself and your background.  It is also an opportunity for us to meet each other and to see if we feel that we would be able to work together, and to assess whether counselling and psychotherapy is the right forum for you. Depending on the material that arises, consultations can last for up to fifty minutes, and if we decide to proceed with counselling work together we will book our first session at the end of the assessment. Should you decide after the consultation that counselling is not for you, there is no obligation to book any further sessions. 


Where do you hold your consultations and subsequent sessions?

I hold the consultation and further sessions at my practice room in Northampton, and will provide you with full address details during our initial conversation. If you would like to book a consultation, please contact me in advance as I am unable to offer drop-in appointments.


Do you offer telephone or Skype sessions?

Although counselling sessions traditionally take place in a face-to-face environment, I do on occasions offer telephone or Skype sessions and understand for some clients these are more practical for various reasons. If you are looking for telephone or Skype counselling, please feel free to get in touch so we can discuss your needs and whether it may be an appropriate medium for you. Please note, for these sessions I request payment two days in advance through the 'Payment for Telephone Sessions' page on my website.


Are you able to offer corporate training?

I am experienced at working with groups and organisations and am able to offer corporate training upon request. Prices are available on application.


Are you able to work with families, couples or young children?

Work in these fields requires specialist training and at present I do not offer psychotherapy services to these groups. Relate Northamptonshire is a local organisation which specialises in this work, offering a childrens servicecounselling for couples and also therapeutic work for families.


Are your rooms wheelchair accessible?

There are two small steps into my practice room, so it may not be suitable for wheelchair users.