Any Questions?

Would you ever break the confidentially of the counselling sessions?

It is crucial that you feel safe with me and I will do all in my power not to betray that trust. There are, however, extreme circumstances, for example where I believe either you or another person is at risk of being seriously hurt, when I may need to break confidentiality. I would always attempt to discuss the situation fully with you first, and would act only if I felt that there was no other way forward. I will explain this fully to you when we initially meet before we agree to work together.

Will I have to lie on a couch during my counselling?

No, that method was associated with Freud, and that is not how I practise. You will be in my designated counselling room either in a comfortable chair or on the sofa facing me. The room is quiet and full of books!

How many sessions will it take?

Counselling can be seen as a part of your journey through life, and you will know when you reach the end of that stage of your journey, or want to stop off somewhere for a different experience. Some, with a specific goal in mind, may only need three or four sessions, others as many as 15-20. The methods I use and the skills I employ generally mean that my clients feel benefit from the counselling almost immediately and we do not need too many sessions together. I conduct regular reviews to revisit your original goals and check that you are happy with the way the counselling is going.

For those who are looking for someone to share their life’s journey on a regular open-ended basis I offer weekly, fortnightly or monthly sessions.

How can I find a counsellor in another area?

Contact the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, at BACP House, 15 St John’s Business Park, Lutterworth LE17 4HB; Tel: 0870 443 5252; Fax: 0870 443 5161; www.bacp.co.uk . They keep a register of counsellors in the UK and will let you have the counsellors and supervisors for your area. Alternatively, there is an on-line counselling directory at www.counselling-directory.org.uk .

What if I get upset during my sessions?

Certainly tears are one of the releases that sometimes come as a result of sharing your experiences and are a valid part of the process. Rarely is it as bad as people anticipate. I will not judge you whatever happens during your session.

Is there anything I can do alongside my counselling?

Yes, sometimes it is helpful to keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings or responses in your world, or to draw something. There may be occasions when I will ask you to think through an issue, or monitor what prompts a particular emotion or behaviour. This can be used as a basis for discussion, and complements what we do in the sessions.

Does it help to find a counsellor from my own culture, or sexual orientation?

I am experienced in working with clients from other cultures, and of different sexual orientations. Having said that, most counsellors will seek to understand all clients from their particular place so it is not really necessary for the counsellor to be the same as you; in fact sometimes it can be advantageous if they are not.

Is it OK for me to have an alcoholic drink before I come to the session?

I would want to meet you ‘in a real way’ and if you have had any stimulants then it could get in the way of you taking a real look at yourself, so they are best avoided.

I am scared of what may come up from my past, and how I will deal with it.

The idea of counselling is that you have a shared journey. If what happened in your past is not affecting you now then there is no need to take it out and examine it. If, however, your life now is being affected by things from your past then you may want to examine these events in a safe place with someone whom you trust. Very often just the act of taking them out and looking at those locked-away feelings is enough to allow a moving on for you. You are in control, and it is your choice. If you do not feel strong enough to cope let me know and we will do something else. I am not bound to any one way of working.

What do I do if I can’t afford to continue coming to you?

The most important thing is to tell me. We will then discuss what can be done. There are various ways forward. I ask my clients to pay one session in advance: that means that in their first session they pay for two, so that we are always working with one session in hand. Thus a client is never in the position where they cannot afford to make the next session – it is already paid for! Furthermore, we can reduce the frequency to once a fortnight. Finally, I offer a reduced rate for students.

Isn’t finding out my MBTI type simply putting me in a box?

This is a sentiment expressed by many, but handled properly finding out your MBTI type should be like the opening up of new possibilities, the beginning of a new chapter of your life. Far from being boxed in, you should feel a sense of liberation not only as you get to understand and accept yourself better, but also as you get to understand and accept others who are different to you better. One MBTI consultant prefers to think of it as platforms, rather than boxes: we all have a particular platform where we feel at home and can rest – but we regularly wander and journey from platform to platform experimenting with other ways of being and behaving.

How can knowing my MBTI type be of help to me?

As I have said above, initially it gives a great sense of freedom as you better understand and accept yourself and others. But it doesn’t simply leave you there. It helps you to identify your strengths and your weaknesses, and gives guidelines as to how you can move on and become a more rounded person. It has a lot to say about stress management and reactions, conflict, leadership styles, emotional intelligence, communication styles, decision making, lifestyle… the list goes on! It is a journey where you understand yourself more and more as time passes.