Frequently Asked Questions
What is counselling for?
Counselling should help you to think about yourself and what you might like to change in your life. The counsellor should listen and accept you.
I believe counselling has helped me to think, feel, think, feel in a way that I find very useful.
How much is this likely to cost me?
You can come for an initial meeting for £20. My standard fee is £40 per session, however I believe that cost should not prevent people being able to access counselling if they feel it may help them, so I am happy to negotiate on fees if for example you are on a low income or benefits.
Why are there so few male counsellors?
Maybe because feelings are seen as a female thing ? It is worth thinking about how you feel about seeing a male counsellor, gender is sometimes an issue here whereas it probably doesn't matter whether our bus driver is male or female. If you decide you would rather see a female counsellor I could refer you to a female colleague. I would not be offended!
I want to know more before I decide whether counselling is what I want
I am happy to talk to you either on the phone or answer emails for free, or face to face in an initial meeting at a cost of £20 for us to see if we want to work together.
I am fed up with people trying to tell me what to do to solve my problems.
I will not do this!
I am worried about confidentiality
I am happy to talk to you in more detail if you are concerned about this.
Will you ask me about my childhood?
You can decide what you would like to talk about.
Why do I seem to get myself into situations that keep causing me problems?
This is probably a bit complicated, but what is familiar to us can be very powerful, even if we don't like it, so we often repeat patterns of the past because of this.Exploring and recognising this can mean we feel more in control of our own lives.
PRIVACY, DATA PROTECTION & GDPR
I have always protected any data or information I may receive from people, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation has encouraged everyone to look at what information they store and what they really need to store. I don't ask for any identifiable information when an enquiry is made, though of course people do give some, including email addresses, phone numbers, addresses etc. All I require to arrange a meeting is an email address and a mobile number, and these are the only pieces of information that I keep as I may need to contact you to re arrange an appointment ( this is rare). Otherwise I don't contact people unless they ask me to respond. Emails addresses and mobile numbers are password protected on my PC or mobile phone,the mobile number is stored without your name.
Emails are deleted when replied to along with any information about the reasons for seeking Counselling.
I sometimes make notes after Counselling sessions to help me to remember details, and also because it helps me think about what we have discussed and how I can best help you the next time we meet. These do not contain names or any obvious identifying details, I write by hand and on the PC, if on the PC notes are printed off then deleted. Notes are stored securely in a locked drawer, and destroyed once our Counselling work has ended.
If you have any concerns about your privacy and the security of any information you have given me please do contact me and I'm happy to discuss this further. There is some confusion around GDPR including some misconceptions,Counsellors do need to abide by the new regulations, but by storing the absolute minimum information the risk of a data breach is lessened, although of course phone numbers and emails need to be protected. I would never pass on information to anyone or mailshot people.