FAQs

These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding how we work

Making an Appointment

When are you open?

My hours are from 0800 to my last appointment at 1900 Monday to Thursday and 0800 to 1200 on a Friday, however I only see a maximum of six clients per day.  I do not work weekends.

How quickly can you see me?

Every effort is made to offer you an initial assessment appointment within two days. 

Can I just turn up?

No.  Sessions are by appointment only.

Do you have facilities for the disabled?

The practice in Shepton Mallet is fully equipped for disabled access and facilities.

Can I talk to you before I make an appointment?

Yes, I offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation.  I do not offer free sessions.

About the sessions

How long is each session?

Usually 60 minutes.  For those travailing a long distance I can be flexible on this.  I am working with a research concept called deep counselling which works in blocks of 90 minutes – please see website for details.

How long is my commitment?

There is no commitment beyond the current session.  I do however, consider it useful to agree with clients to work together for an initial series of six sessions to enable us to develop a therapeutic plan.

How many sessions will I need?

This is obviously difficult to answer before the initial consultation as individual’s circumstances vary considerably.  On average clients attend for between 8 and twelve sessions.

Are appointments at set weekly intervals?

Not necessarily.  Whilst it is preferable to see clients once a week at an agreed time, for therapeutic reasons, counsellors must live in the real word and be flexible to suit the client’s life outside of the counselling room.  This would be discussed at the initial session.

Are you qualified?

What are your qualifications?

In terms of my counselling qualifications they are:  MSc in Counselling, Postgraduate Diploma from University of Bristol in Counselling, Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Diploma in Hypnotherapy, Certificate in Community Mediation, Certificate in Life Coaching. 

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Bristol.

I am a member of National Counselling Society (Membership Number: NCS1502028)

I have worked as a counsellor, hypnotherapist and coach for the last 14 years during which time I was an Executive Board member of BACP Workplace

About how I work

What theoretical approach do you use?

I  have a broad based theoretical expertise from which I draw on ideas from a variety of approaches; in particular I work within what is known as a grounded therapy framework.  This is a very conversational, and one must add challenging, style.

I am very focused on the future; the past is may be explored to help in form the way ahead but it is not somewhere to stay for a long time.

Do you specialise in any particular areas?

Yes, I have a particular interest in issues around conflict and conflict management, especially bullying, in its different forms – both from the side of the accused and the recipient (I do not use the words bully and victim as they are highly judgemental and subjective and do not help).

Relationships are not just about other people they are about how we communicate with ourselves also. My main aim in counselling is to try and help people express themselves; people who can talk together can live, work and play together. 

Are there any issues you do not deal with?

I do not see anyone who is younger than 18 years old, so I do not deal with children's issues; also chronic substance abuse and severe mental illness/psychosexual difficulties would be referred on to more specialist agencies.

What happens at the intial session

What happens at the initial consultation?

The focus is on the counselling relationship; explaining the process, gathering relevant background material, and identifying aims and goals. It is an opportunity for you and I to assess where we can work together and also to ensure that I am the right person to help you.  Some clients are referred on to other counsellors or agencies who may be better qualified to help. It is also a chance for you to ask questions about any aspect of counselling that is of concern to you. Last but not least it is a chance for you to identify some of your hopes of counselling.

Is the service confidential?

Yes.  The content of the sessions is confidential to you and me in accordance with the professional and ethical guidelines issued by my professional body.  Only in extreme cases such as if human life, or a child's safety was at risk, would I contact the authorities.   I must say that I do not have the same privileges of a priest or a doctor, if I am required, by law, to provide information I must comply.  In any case where I am concerned I would allows discuss the matter with you before acting.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, partners, friends and family members, including children, are welcome.  You must however be very comfortable about talking about issues in front of them – I would ask anyone who is considering this to think very carefully about it.

What is your success rate?

What is your success rate?

This is difficult to answer honestly as I really do not know for every client I have seen.  Of those I know about many clients have found counselling has had a positive effect on their lives.  I occasionally hear back form clients to let me know how they are getting on but that is something I discourage - I come into your life for a specific purpose and my aim is to make myself redundant so you can carry on living your life.

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