Counsellors work with specific issues which arise from current life events. There are different specialities such as bereavement counselling, marriage or relationship counselling and debt counselling to name a few.
After a thorough initial assessment your counsellor will agree with you the goals and duration of your therapy. With your counsellor you will decide on how many sessions you will have and your progress will be evaluated along the way. Each session will focus on these goals through dialogue and experimentation. Beyond this, small tasks may be undertaken outside of the therapy sessions to help ensure that the new awareness becomes embedded into your everyday life.
Counselling is available either as short or medium-term. Indeed, the differences between counsellors and psychotherapists are becoming less distinct as there are now longer-term counselling training programmes and time- limited brief psychotherapy treatments.
Counselling is suitable for current issues that occur due to major life events. This includes bereavement, redundancy or divorce, amongst others. Confiding with an independent person can often help you make sense and gain a clear perspective so that you feel less confused and burdened by your current situation. You may, for example, want some coping strategies to deal with stress and anxiety in a work-related issue. Or you might wish to change career and would appreciate a professional perspective to help you make a decide on a new course of action.
Whether you choose counselling or psychotherapy depends not only on your issue but also on how much time and availability you have. You might be in a crisis situation or needing to acquire tools to improve your situation. In this case counselling might be more suitable for you. This is not to say that a psychotherapist could not also suit you. It just might be that even if you wish to address the underlying reasons for your issue, it is not the right time at present – although it might be in the future – so counselling is more suitable. A lot also comes down to your personal resources. Committing to either counselling or psychotherapy means being available on a weekly basis at the same time. If life is very busy or hectic then it might be preferable to book a set number of counselling sessions.
* This list is extensive but not limited to the issues that our trained counsellors can help you with.
The approach you choose will be influenced by the type of issue you are bringing to the table. If you need relationship help, then a couples and marriage counsellor will be highly effective in resolving your issues. If you have sexual concerns then a psychosexual counsellor can help.
We believe that a counsellor with whom you feel at ease is the most important element in choosing a counsellor. We value your sense of wellbeing and recognise that it is the most important factor in creating an effective therapeutic partnership therefore if you do have a preference we will do our best to accommodate this. Please feel free to call us on 0207 118 0407 and a trained and very experienced therapist will discuss your reasons for seeking support and help you make the right choice. It might be that you have several reasons for calling and making a decision about which approach may feel overwhelming. Rest assured we do not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach and are fully committed to your emotional wellbeing. It is for this reason that we have only selected counsellors of the highest calibre and you can relax knowing that the therapist you work with has the skill set, compassion and experience to assist you.
It is important that you are able to commit to weekly sessions so that your private counsellor can support you fully and that you both feel a sense of continuity and progression. At the end of your initial assessment you will be guided as to how many sessions you should commit to. This will take into account your area of concern, your counsellor’s opinion, your time, energy and financial resources. As with psychotherapy, the counselling sessions will take place at the same time every week. Therefore it is important you ensure you are ready to make that commitment in order to get the most out of your treatment.
You should start to feel the benefits from your first session. Often talking to someone who is caring, understanding and really interested in you and your wellbeing immediately helps to make you feel better. Clients find that talking about their issue rather than thinking about it constantly without resolving it is a very cathartic process. It reduces feelings of isolation and confusion, allowing the individual to feel less ‘alone’ and to think more clearly. Our counsellors will equip you with practical skills to to deal with your stressor. This might be breathing techniques for anxiety; being encouraged to challenge unhelpful beliefs and thinking styles, or practising a different way of behaving. You should soon start to feel as if you are empowered to make positive changes to your situation.
We have selected counsellors of the highest calibre. Each of them has undertaken training with a leading UK training institution that includes many sessions of practical experience as well as academic training. They have all worked in wide and diverse settings as well as having acquired much life experience. They combine these elements to offer an understanding, caring, perceptive and helpful approach. All of our counsellors are registered with the leading professional organisation for counsellors, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) where it is possible to check their credentials on the online register. Our counsellors abide by the BACP ethical framework (see below for more information) which includes: being trustworthy; recognising your autonomy as a client; being committed to a client’s wellbeing; avoiding harm to the client; fair and impartial treatment, self-knowledge and self-care as a practitioner.
Just as with a psychotherapy session, we ask you to consider carefully whether you are ready to make a commitment to regular counselling at this moment of your life. We also ask you be realistic. Although you should start to feel benefits straight away, counselling as with psychotherapy may take a few sessions before you see real changes in your life. This is a necessary incubation period where your therapist gets to know you and you become more comfortable and at ease with them. We ask you to be as open as possible with your counsellor both about your reasons for coming and any feelings and reactions that come up during the process of your therapy. Your counsellor holds the opinion that all thoughts and feelings are useful and can hold valuable clues to help resolve your issue.
According to the BACP Ethical Framework, which all our counsellors abide by, the counsellor commits to respecting their clients’ confidentiality and to providing a safe therapy setting. We are aware that information shared often feels very sensitive, particularly if it has not been discussed before. Clients may have feelings of shame or fears of judgement however it is the role of a counsellor not to judge. There are a few reasons why a counsellor might need to breach confidentiality but this would be discussed with you first. In your initial session, your counsellor will tell you more about this.
When you wish to terminate your private counselling session it is important that you discuss your intentions with your counsellor. Your counsellor will not try to change your mind however they will help you to ensure that you have made the right decision. Sometimes a counselling session can stir up unfamiliar or uncomfortable emotions and you might want to end to avoid these. This can indicate that you have arrived close to the heart of your issue and are on the way to resolving it so you might regret terminating too early. In this case we suggest discussing your feelings with your counsellor and asking them to adjust the pace to suit you instead. When a termination has been decided it is standard practice to have a couple of sessions to sum up the counselling, to celebrate your achievements and to identify any remaining areas of work. We might also suggest a follow-up session after an agreed amount of time where you can check in with the counsellor and ascertain if there is anything left to explore.
Should you wish to return to therapy after a break then that is possible. You can see either the same counsellor, subject to availability or someone else. Your counsellor might also offer a follow-up session after an agreed interval of time. This can be reassuring, should you experience any difficulties after ending, knowing that you have a scheduled date to discuss them. Our Care Co-ordinators are also available even after you have finished therapy if you ever wish to discuss further treatment.