These are a few of the questions you may ask. Please contact us if you have any further queries.

How do I know if I need counselling?

Only you can decide whether you want to try counselling. Just talking to someone confidentially who is not a friend or family member can make all the difference. Counselling provides a regular time for those who wish to explore their feelings and talk about their problems. A counsellor can help you develop better ways of coping with or resolving your difficulties.

What is the difference between talking to a counsellor and talking to a friend?

The relationship with your counsellor is not one that is influenced by the responsibilities and needs you might have with friends or family. A counsellor is trained to listen and talk with you in a particular way, one that aims to help you become clearer about how you feel and what you want to do in relation to the difficulties you face. Counsellors are trained to value your experiencing of feelings and will not be uncomfortable with displays of emotion. With a counsellor you have a scheduled time that is specifically for you to talk about whatever you want.

How do I know which counsellor to choose?

The most important part of counselling is how you connect with your counsellor and this is likely to determine how successful counselling is. So we would suggest you look at our profiles and also at the different approaches we offer and make an initial appointment. If you don’t feel comfortable with your counsellor, it would be good to discuss why, and if it is not resolvable you can be referred to another counsellor.

How can I be sure of the practitioners’ professionalism?

All our counsellors are fully qualified and belong to professional bodies, either BACP or ACC, which means they have met certain requirements set by the professional bodies, and must abide by an Ethical Framework and complaints procedure. These organisations have taken on the role of self-regulation of counselling.

What do I say to my counsellor?

It doesn’t really matter how you present your problems. You can say whatever you like. Sometimes there may be silence, sometimes you may find yourself saying things you had not expected to say. The counsellor will help you explore and clarify your feelings and thoughts.

What is the difference between pastoral care and counselling?

Counselling is a relationship that exists primarily for a therapeutic process with the potential for change, growth and development. A counsellor will work in a formal setting and work to particular codes of ethics and standards of practice. In the process of counselling certain areas, such as skills, training, accountability and supervision take on a huge significance and are key to its safety and efficacy. Pastoral care is primarily about a more general area of supportive help, practical care, spiritual well being and encouragement.

How many sessions will I need?

At the end of your initial session, your counsellor may negotiate a particular number of sessions or leave it open-ended. However, ultimately you decide on whether you want just one session or more. We will work together with you to find your own solutions at your pace. Counselling will be more effective if you commit to the process.

What is Person-Centred counselling?

Person-Centred counselling is based on the belief that human beings are essentially trustworthy, social and creative and that given the right conditions they can work through their difficulties. The counsellor creates a safe space where the client can freely express their problems, difficult emotions and feelings. The Person-Centred approach takes the view that the client knows best with regard to themselves & their inner world and the counsellor enables the client to explore issues and gain self-understanding plus greater self-esteem. The long term aim is the development of inner resources and the ability to perceive oneself as a whole person with the power and freedom to grow & change.

What is Psychodynamic counselling?

Psychodynamic counselling focuses on the importance of unconscious processes and past experiences as central in understanding present thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It recognises the importance of the relationship with the counsellor to understand how they have developed ways of behaving and relating to others, based on experiences with those who cared for them in early life. Psychodynamic counselling enables the client to freely explore these often difficult feelings in the safety of the confidential therapeutic relationship where the counsellor listens unconditionally and attempts to understand the inner world of the client. This allows the client to begin to develop insight into how their experiences of past relationships have influenced experiences during their lives, especially the development of self worth.

What is Therapeutic Play and Play Therapy?

Therapeutic play and play therapy is when a special one to one relationship is created between the therapist and child in a safe and trusting climate, so that the child is free, if he/she chooses to do so, to express and explore the feelings and thoughts, conscious and unconscious, past and current, that are affecting the child's life in the present. These may be communicated directly in words, or through behaviour and play. The therapist listens, understands and responds to these communications in a way that helps the child towards greater understanding, growth and change. The child's inner resources are enabled by the relationship. The emphasis is on enabling a child to move from being at the mercy of hidden feelings to gaining some control over them.

What is Integrative Counselling?

Integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative counsellors take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.

Is counselling guaranteed to make me feel better?

A counsellor will never offer to ‘cure’ you. A counsellor will help you understand your issues and provide a safe place where you can work through your feelings. As you discuss your feelings and issues you may sometimes feel worse before you feel better – all sorts of emotions may surface that have been hidden. Going through this process may help you to move forward. There is good research demonstrating that counselling can be very effective.