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FAQ

FAQ

FAQ Counselling

 

I have tried to include the most common questions regarding counselling. Please contact me on richard@counsellorsinlondon.org if you have any other questions.

 

Fees

 

My fees are £55 for 50 minutes, payable one day in advance.

 

Will my sessions be confidential?

 

What we discuss in our sessions is confidential but there are some exceptions.

 

Exceptions

 In certain circumstances, I may have to make exceptions to the general rules of confidentiality:

 

  1. Where you as a client give consent for the confidentiality to be broken.  

  2. Where I feel it is appropriate to consult with or involve other professionals such as your GP in circumstances where there is a risk of harm to you or to a third party. In such cases I will aim to discuss any action with you first and seek to gain your co-operation.

  3. Where in extreme cases I am legally compelled by a court of law.

  4. Where statutory law requires me to inform the relevant authorities (such as terrorist activities, drug trafficking or abuse of a child or vulnerable adult).

 

All counsellors are required to be in supervision, and I will take relevant issues from the counselling relationship into supervision but  I will take care to preserve clients’ anonymity according to the BACP Ethical Framework. (BACP,  2020)

 

How does therapy help you?

 

In a busy world with so many things to deal with, we rarely have time to sit and reflect on our life. Therapy gives you the time and space to explore and reflect on your issues without interference or judgement. We all have different needs but therapy usually involves some kind of change or personal development.

 

Understanding our problems and becoming more aware of ourselves and how we interact with others gives us the opportunity to change. Techniques can help us to self-regulate when stressed and building structure and routine can also help us manage our daily tasks. However having the courage to be completely open and vulnerable with a therapist and addressing and taking control of our issues gives us the autonomy and independence to change our life for the better.

 

What is the success rate of therapy?

 

Estimates of success rates of therapy can vary depending on many factors including the relationship between therapist and client, the type of therapy used and the presenting issues. A study in America showed that “on the average, the typical therapy client is better off than 75% of untreated individuals” (Smith et al , 1980). The latest data from the NHS demonstrates that 66.5% of referrals to IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies ) showed reliable improvement.(NHS Choices, 2022). Links to other research are included below.

 

What are the benefits of therapy?

 

Potential Benefits include:

 

Confidential space to talk freely without judgement.

 

Assistance with a challenging event or situation.

 

Assistance with a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.

 

Understanding physical symptoms and developing coping strategies for coping with daily tasks and stress.

 

Better management of health challenges such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

 

Better communication skills

 

Greater autonomy and independence, empowerment, improved mental function and productivity.

 

Better relationships with family and friends

 

Improved mood and physical well-being.

 

 

What does therapy feel like?

 

Therapy can feel different for every client. It can be daunting at first to open up to a stranger about your feelings but it can also feel liberating to share for the first time.

 

What do you talk about in a counselling session?

 

Usually on the first session the counsellor will look at what issues you would like to work on and what you would like to see at the end of therapy. After that, you are free to talk about whatever you feel would be important to you. Talking is not the only part of therapy and sometimes it can help us to sit and reflect on our issues. Silence can be as important as talking.

 

Do I have to tell my therapist everything?

 

You are in charge of your recovery and free to take time to talk about your issues at your own pace. It will help if you are as transparent as possible so the therapist can understand your issues but you shouldn’t feel that you have to disclose everything if you’re not comfortable doing so. Once you have built a good relationship with the therapist you may feel more relaxed about sharing but you are in charge of the process at all times.

 

How long does therapy take to work?

 

Every client is unique and it depends on your needs. However, therapy does take time - to build trust to share about your feelings and to understand your issues. Short term therapy with minor issues can work in 6-12 weeks but deeper problems may take longer.

 

What is the end goal of therapy?

 

This depends on your needs and is different for every client. This will be worked out in our first session setting the initial goals for therapy. Goals also change as we understand more about ourselves.

 

Can a therapist give advice?

 

The client should be in charge of their therapy at all times and really are the expert of their issues and how to improve their life. Therapists are trained not to suggest or give advice to clients as it is important that you make all the decisions about their personal development. They can however provide information on techniques to help the clients such as breathing, mindfulness etc. and methods that have worked for similar presenting issues such as phobias.

How do I tell my therapist something hard?

Sharing difficult feelings can be very hard but once the relationship is built up between the client and the therapist it will be easier to discuss uncomfortable issues. I work to the BACP Ethical Framework and it is important to remember that everything you discuss is confidential and there is no judgement.

 

Only when we address our issues can we hope to deal with them.

 

 

Does therapy have to be painful?

 

No. You are in charge of your therapy and sessions and what you would like to discuss. However if you feel it is important for you to work on an issue that is painful for you then we can do this delicately and at your own pace. Research shows that you don’t need to reveal every detail of what is troubling you to work on a problem- only what is still affecting you in the present. We can work on this step by step until you feel comfortable dealing with it as a whole. You can also stop at any time and come back to it later if it feels too uncomfortable or overwhelming.

 

What are appropriate boundaries in counselling?

 

The therapeutic relationship should be professional at all times and the client and therapist should attend on time, be dressed appropriately and not under the influence of any substances such as alcohol or drugs. Communication between client and therapist will only be with regard to the scheduling of sessions and generally by email or text. No contact on social media will be permitted.

 

Does going to therapy change you?

 

The purpose of therapy is to look at ourselves and form a greater understanding of our issues and patterns of relating with others. This may involve some change or personal development.

How do you know if therapy is working?

Generally, therapy will be working for you if you have a good relationship with your therapist and trust them. Your therapist is professional and understands your issues. You have set achievable goals for therapy and are meeting them

References:-

 

Smith, M.L., Glass, G.V., & Miller, T.I. (1980). The benefits of psychotherapy. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.

NHS choices. Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/psychological-therapies-report-on-the-use-of-iapt-services/january-2022-final-including-a-report-on-the-iapt-employment-advisers-pilot (Accessed: 24 November 2023).

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