Frequently asked questions

“Do you think you can help me?”

One of the main purposes of the initial appointment is for both of us to assess whether or not counselling is going to be useful to you. This session can result in a number of different outcomes. We may decide that counselling is not going to be appropriate for you at this moment in time, and there may be other therapies that will be more useful to you. If that is the case, I can help direct you towards those alternatives. You may decide that the type of counselling I am offering, is not what you are looking for. Again I can offer you guidance in finding an alternative. Most of the time the outcome will be that we decide we can work productively together and further sessions will be booked. The important point to note is that this is a joint decision and nobody is going to put pressure on you to come back. Once we have decided that we can work together, the next thing to do will be to find out what it is you want from counselling. What changes do you want? What goals are we working towards? Setting goals and reviewing them from time to time keeps us on track and allows us to evaluate how successful the counselling is being in producing the changes you want

“How many sessions will I need?”

The answer to this question is largely determined by the aims we have set and the changes being sought. Sometimes a client may only be seeking sufficient change to alleviate immediate stress. For example, a student overwhelmed by homesickness in the early weeks or months away from home may only wish to feel sufficiently happy that they can function adequately on their course. They may not be seeking deeper understanding of why they felt that particular way in the first place. For cases like this, 6 sessions or even less may be all that are needed. Problems that have taken a long time to build up, are deeply entrenched or have originated in childhood are likely to require longer term counselling if real changes are to be achieved. Again the important thing to note is that this is something that will be discussed with you and not imposed upon you. Counselling is a partnership in which you are an equal partner