Counselling – Frequently Asked Questions
What is Couples Counselling?
Couples Counselling, also known as Marriage Counselling and Couples Therapy, is a private and confidential ‘talking therapy’, that involves exploring difficult and/or concerning issues, experiences and feelings within your relationship, with a professional who is there to listen and support you both, impartially.
Couples therapy differs from individual therapy in that it focuses on the problems existing in the relationship between two people, therefore making the ‘relationship’ the focus of attention rather than each individual. As your therapist I will help you and your partner identify the conflict and issues within your relationship, and help you decide what changes are needed in the relationship, and in the behaviour of each partner, for both of you to feel satisfied with the relationship.
Couples therapy involves learning how to communicate more effectively, and how to listen more closely. Couples must learn how to avoid competing with each other, and need to identify common life goals and how to share responsibilities within their relationship. Sometimes the process is similar to individual psychotherapy, sometimes like mediation, sometimes educational. The combination of these three components is what makes it effective.
What is Youth Counselling?
Youth Counselling is a specialist counselling approach working creatively with young people to support and empower their wellbeing and sense of self. Sessions are individually tailored to work with the young person’s communication style and needs, seeing the use of drawing/art, music, drama, creative writing, or talking.
The sessions offer a safe and consistent space in which clients are free to express their anger pain and sadness, with a therapist who freely allows and works with their feelings and emotions in a non-judgmental way.
Counselling works as a joint relationship between the young person and their counsellor, where they work together to explore, understand, and work through past and present experiences; finding methods to deal with anger and shame, and working towards a therapeutic journey of understanding current concerns.
I’ve been told to seek counselling by my partner and/or family and friends…
Counselling should be a voluntary commitment where you yourself feel it might be of help. Most importantly, you will benefit most if you enter counselling of your own free will. Sometimes, a well-meaning friend or family member, who might be concerned for you but unable to help directly, might suggest counselling. It may be helpful to engage in a first session of counselling to see what it is all about. However to take full advantage of the service available it is preferable if you decide for yourself that it is worth trying.
I’m not sure that I can talk about these feelings and experiences…
I understand that people enter into counselling with deep-rooted pain and experiences. I will therefore ensure to work with you at your own pace, never pressuring or forcing you to talk about anything. Instead, i will listen to you, and work with you to build a therapeutic relationship of trust, mutual respect, and honesty. Although everyone judges, I will not hold negative judgements about you, instead, accepting you, whoever you are, regardless of your status, lifestyle or whatever the issues you face, and I will be open to listening to your experiences when you feel able to discuss, or just tell me about them.
My Child, Friend or Partner won’t attend counselling, what should I do?
It is very difficult to tell another person that they will benefit from counselling. In fact, it’s very difficult to encourage anyone who is not aware of, or interested in counselling, to attend. Due to the stigma that counselling has; being for those who are ‘mental’ or who have ‘issues’. I would therefore recommend approaching the subject sensitively; talking to the person calmly about your feelings and concerns, and allowing them to fully express their own concerns, feelings, and possible upset about your suggestion; also respecting if they refuse to share these with you.
It’s very important to let them know that they do not have to attend, and if they do attend they will not be forced to continue. During the first session, if it is a young person, or someone who has been referred to me, I will discuss with them their feelings about attending and will explain the process and way I work, this allowing them to decide if it is something they want to continue. I can also have a brief chat with someone before they attend, to give them some information about what to expect, and reassure them of the process.
The benefits of entering counselling can be the opportunity for them to meet with someone who will listen to their side of the story, without judgment or telling them what to do, while offering a safe, private and confidential space where, when they’re ready, they can share their experiences through talking, writing, music or art, and work with me to understand and make sense of some of the things that have happened or are currently happening in their lives’.
I would encourage parents to give the young person my telephone number so that they can call/text me for a call-back. I will then call them back and they can discuss their feelings, concerns or queries in more detail. You can also direct them this website to see me, learn a bit more about me, and even look at my Youth Social enterprise; which gives more details about my ‘adventurous’ teenage years, at www.theyouthcaterpillarproject.org.uk
How long are sessions for?
Individuals: Sessions last for 50 minutes (known as a therapeutic hour)
Couples: Sessions last for 70 minutes
How do I/We Pay?
Payment is made in advance either via a bank transfer or card payment. For weekly appointments you can pay by cash, debit/credit card, or via bank transfer or PayPal (before the session).