1. How does counselling help?
Counselling is a place where you can talk about the difficulties in your life and identify where you are stuck. It is a non-judgemental space where all feelings and issues can be aired in safety and worked through. Therapy helps us find our inner strengths and get going once again. It is a journey of self-awareness which uncovers fresh energy and new directions.
2. When will things improve?
This will depend on a number of factors including the reason you came to therapy and your readiness for change. I will facilitate exploration of your needs, the challenges you experience and how they impact on your world. Reflecting on painful feelings can be very challenging and also very rewarding – a catalyst for new beginnings. This tends to provide more self awareness and will offer you choices to consider other ways of being which may ultimately encourage change.
3. Will I be told what to talk about?
No. What you tell me is up to you entirely. The counselling session is your time and space and you may decide what to talk about each week. I will not give advice, but will listen with empathy. You are the expert in your world. I will however help you to make sense of your thoughts, behaviours and feelings to find your own solutions to your challenges. Sometimes the conversation will flow, sometimes there may be silence.
Occasionally I may suggest working in a non-verbal way, with pen and paper, for example, or by focusing attention on what you are feeling in your body.
4. How long will it take?
Counselling can be for an agreed number of sessions or can be open ended. The number of sessions or the length of time people attend counselling varies from person to person. It depends on you, what you need and find beneficial. Counselling sometimes involves dealing with painful issues or memories and this has to be done at the clients own pace.
5. Is counselling confidential?
Confidentially is a core element of counselling. All personal information is treated in the strictest confidence. In a first session I clearly explain about the occasions when confidentiality might be broken and will answer any questions you may have.
6. Do I need to be referred from my GP?
While I do take referrals from G.P.’s and other medical and non-medical professionals you can self refer to me directly.
7. Will my therapy impact on others?
It is possible that those nearest to you will notice changes in you.
8. How often will we meet?
We will meet for sixty minutes, usually once a week. It could be more frequently by arrangement depending on your needs, what we jointly agree is best for you and the availability of appointments.
9. What’s the difference between counselling & psychotherapy?
Counselling tends to focus on more immediate, external/conscious difficulties which are happening in one’s life at that time. The work is often short term and more solution-focused in how to move forward in life.
While psychotherapy can include certain aspects of counselling, it is also an opportunity to explore problems at a deeper level. It tends to be more open ended and explores a person’s unconscious world.
A psychotherapist helps you find connections between whatever is going on now and elements of your past. This may include looking at underlying patterns and beliefs in your life which can then, over time, be better understood and resolved.
Often the skills of both counselling and psychotherapy can overlap, according to your needs.
10. How much does it cost?
My fee is €50 and this is payable at the end of each session.
11. What should I expect on the first appointment?
I hope to put you at ease about the process of therapy and see if we are a good fit to work together. I may spend some time asking general questions to find out about you, your background, your relationships and your family context.
We will discuss your hopes for counselling and what has brought you to see me.
If you have any concerns or questions this is a good opportunity to discuss these.
At the end of this session if you are unsure whether or not to proceed with therapy, there is no obligation to do so.
If we agree to work together, we will agree a contract i.e. the time and frequency of appointments and cancellation arrangements.
12. How will I know if counselling has been successful?
At the beginning of counselling we will discuss what has brought you to therapy and what you hope to gain. As a result we will set out agreed goal(s). We will revisit these from time to time and observe what is working or not working.