About The Counselling
Your first appointment is an opportunity to meet with me, explore your concerns, ask any questions you may have and discuss your hopes or fears of counselling.
Together, we can decide which therapeutic option best meets your needs, e.g. Psychodynamic or CBT, the length of the contract and how much you can afford to pay.
The number of individual sessions will usually depend on the severity of your difficulties and/or whether you want longer term therapy or ongoing support.
And during your Initial Consultation, we can identify a specific focus for our work together if that seems helpful.
Different Types of Therapy Offered
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive therapy) and what you do (behaviour therapy) in order to change the way you feel. Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better in the here and now.
The way we think about situations affects the way we feel and behave. If we view a situation negatively, we may experience negative emotions and feelings, which lead us to behave in unhelpful ways. CBT can help you identify and challenge negative thinking to help you deal with situations better. The therapy is very active by nature, so you may be expected to take a proactive role within your treatment, including completing tasks at home. Therapy usually lasts from between 8 weeks to 6 months.
CBT can be helpful for depression, anxiety, stress, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and managing long-term conditions. It looks at how both cognitive and behavioural processes affect one another and aims to help you get out of negative cycles. The emphasis will depend on the issue you are facing. For example, if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, the focus may be on the cognitive approach. If you have a condition that causes unhelpful behaviour (such as obsessive compulsive disorder), the focus is likely to be the behavioural approach.
Like psychoanalysis (which originates with the theories of Freud, Jung, Winnicott, Melanie Klein, etc.), the aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness – helping individuals to unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. In order to ensure these memories and experiences do not surface, many people will develop defences, such as denial and projections. According to psychodynamic therapy, these defences often do more harm than good in the long-term.
Whilst it shares the same core principles of psychoanalysis, psychodynamic counselling is typically far less intensive – focusing primarily on immediate problems and attempting to find quicker solutions. It can help people with a range of psychological disorders to make significant changes to how they make decisions and interact with others. Psychodynamic therapy often focuses on the ‘therapeutic transference’, i.e. the redirection of feelings for a significant person – especially those unconsciously retained from childhood – onto the therapist. Through recognition and exploration of the therapeutic relationship, the client can begin to understand their feelings and resolve any conflicts with figures from their childhood.
Counselling Data Protection Policy and Privacy Statement
Any personal data provided by you through any means, (e.g. verbal, written, text, or in electronic form via email), will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation, for the purposes for which you have given your consent, to provide the services you have requested from me and to meet my legal obligations.
What information do I collect?
Normally people contact me via email or telephone in the first instance. This involves providing me with your name, address, telephone number/s and email address. I may also request information on your availability, brief therapeutic issues and other details, which I deem relevant to processing your enquiry.
Where you have contacted me via other organisation websites, i.e. BACP or Counselling Directory, please also refer to their website data protection and privacy policies.
At your Initial Consultation I will give you a short Registration form to fill out, (which collects some personal information, e.g. name, address, DOB, etc.), and an anonymous CORE form, which provides a current evaluation of your mental health.
At your Initial Consultation I will usually ask about your current personal, social, medical and mental health circumstances, where appropriate. I may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues that are affecting you now. I require this information so that I can assess and decide about my offer of counselling to you and to manage the service I provide to you.
I will ask you to agree to a Counselling Contract, which sets out the terms and joint expectations of my service. I will also gain your signed consent for me to store and use your data.
Those seeking Supervision will be asked to agree to a Supervision Contract plus signed consent for me to store and use your data.
I will give or send you a confidential feedback form at or after your last appointment, in order to measure qualitative client satisfaction.
My website is non-interactive so I don’t collect or store any information when you visit my website.
What do I use your information for?
I use information held about you in the following ways:
- To provide you with the professional counselling service requested from me.
- To offer suitable counselling appointments.
- To notify you about changes to your appointments and any other relevant changes to my service.
- To administer my service, including the arrangement of appointments and invoices.
- To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with me.
- To monitor, evaluate and improve my service to ensure it is provided in the most effective manner for you.
What information do I share?
I will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following circumstances:
- Consent– I may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed I should contact.
- Serious harm– I may share your information with the relevant authorities if I have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.
- Compliance with law– I may share your information where I am required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which I am subject.
How do I keep your information safe?
All information you provide to me is stored as securely as possible. All paper forms, correspondence and brief clinical notes are kept in a locked filing cabinet/office. All electronic records are stored securely on my personal computer, which requires password-protected authentication, or by reputable service providers using secure internet ‘cloud’ technology.
Your identifiable personal information is kept separately from any session notes and other descriptive material. Client notes and other documentation are destroyed 6 years after the end of counselling (or 6 months after initial consultation only).
You have the right to ask me to provide a copy of the information held by me in my records. You also have the right to require me to correct any inaccuracies in your information or to pass your information on to another service provider. If you would like to do this then please speak to or contact me direct.
You may withdraw your consent for me to hold and process your data at any time. However, if you do this while actively receiving counselling, your counselling would have to end in accordance with my confidentiality policy.
Changes to this policy
I may edit this policy from time to time. If I make any substantial changes I will notify you direct.
Last Updated October 2018