Sessions during COVID-19

During the pandemic, I am doing everything I can to ensure I can continue to provide counselling and psychotherapy services safely.

Remote Sessions

If you are unable to attend my counselling office in person, for any reason, I am happy to offer remote sessions via online video chat (zoom).

In Person

I am able to provide in person sessions at my office in Worcester Park. If you are currently attending sessions in person and either you, or anyone in your household, develops symptoms of COVID-19, please contact me to arrange a remote session. If I, or anyone in my household, develops symptoms I will contact you to discuss further.

Below are the safety precautions I am taking.

Government Guidelines

I am following all the relevant guidelines, both nationally and locally. Should the advice changes, this may result in short notice changes to my practice.

Safety Procedures

I sanitise the counselling room between each client. All soft furnishings are sprayed with anti-bacterial spray and all hard surfaces are cleaned with anti-bacterial wipes. I frequently wash my hands.

Social Distancing

I have set up my room to allow for social distancing in the counselling room. This means there is a space of over 2 meters between the chairs. In addition, there are two large windows that can be opened for ventilation.

Face Coverings

As per the Government advice, face coverings are required when entering and leaving the counselling room. Once we are seated, your face covering may be removed as we will be able to maintain social distancing for the duration of the session.

COVID Agreement

If you decide to attend the office in person, I will ask you to sign a COVID agreement to show you are aware of the procedures I am following and that you agree to the conditions under which in person sessions are offered.

In The Press – Borough Business Article

Willow Tree Counselling is featured in this month’s edition of Borough Business Magazine (Issue 17 – summer 2020). In the ‘Ask the Expert’ feature, Lindsay Roadnight talks about how business can help staff adapt to changes brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

You can read a digital version of the article here (page 21).

If you’d like to know about how counselling could help support you or your employees, drop us an email.

“You Should Go And Speak To Someone”

It’s such an easy comment to make to someone who’s struggling. But what does it mean to go and speak to someone?

How to find a counsellor

There are many ways to find a counsellor. Google searches, professional directories, personal recommendations are amongst the most common ways. Here are some things to look for with a counsellor:

  • Membership of a professional organisation (such as the BACP)
  • Recognised qualifications (if you don’t recognise it, don’t be afraid to ask)
  • Someone who speaks to you on a personal level – Think about what you like in a person and what sort of person you feel comfortable around.

If you’ve got questions, you should feel free to ask. Whether it’s via email or over the phone.

Once you’ve found a counsellor, make an initial appointment to go and see them.

And then what…?

Client’s are often unsure during first sessions. Naturally, there are a few bits of housekeeping that needs to be done during a first session, but there should be plenty of time for you to talk about what’s brought you to counselling and what you’d like to achieve (if you know that!).

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about opening up to a stranger. In order to find out whether the counsellor feels able to support you they will ask you questions. Honesty is important, but so is going at your own pace. There’s no requirement for you to open up until you’re comfortable to do so.

Counselling is different things to different people and sometimes it’s different week to week for the same person.

As a counsellor, I’m trained to listen and support you. As a person, I aim to connect with each of my clients and ensure they feel safe and heard.

If you’d like to find out more about counselling with me, you can use the contact form to send me a message.

Can Anyone Call Themselves A Therapist?

BBC News have created a video highlighting the unregulated nature of counselling (you can view the video here).

The article correctly states that currently the only regulation in the industry is voluntary. Doctors have to be registered with the GMB in order to practice. There is no equivalent requirement for counsellors.

There are calls for counselling to become regulated and the article likens the industry to the ‘wild west’ due to its lack of regulation. It can be hard for a client to know what to look for when there are no agreed standards.

The article suggests that you contact your GP to see about a referral for an NHS counsellor. Whilst this is a good suggestion, waiting lists for NHS counselling can be lengthy and some GPs are unable / unwilling to recommend specific private practitioners. The article goes on to quote the charity MIND’s list of what to look for in a counsellor:

  • Someone who is registered with an accrediting body
  • Check their professional qualifications, training and experience
  • Don’t sign up for treatment unless you’re totally happy

Accredited body

I am a member of two of professional membership bodies – the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS). In order to become a member I had to meet their training requirements. As part of my membership I agreed to abide by their Ethical Frameworks as well as committing to ongoing continued professional development (CPD) and regular supervision sessions to help me monitor my caseload. Should a client wish to make a complaint about me, they can register that complaint with either of these membership bodies both of whom have a details complaints procedure designed to support clients.

Qualifications, Training & Experience

I started training as a counsellor in 2014 and qualified in June 2018.

  • Introduction to Counselling Skills (AQA, June 2014)
  • Level 2 Counselling Skills (CPCAB, June 2015)
  • BA (Hons) in Integrative Relational Counselling (Middlesex University, June 2018)
  • 150 hours supervised practice
  • 2 years working as a voluntary counsellor at Kingston Womens Centre
  • 3 years working a voluntary counsellor for Royal Borough of Kingston (In house employee counselling service)

Counselling With Me

I offer all clients an introductory session, which is a chance to come into my counselling room and experience me as a counsellor. In this way you can judge for yourself whether or not you think I would be the right fit as a counsellor for you.

To book an introductory session, or if you have any questions for me please get in touch. You can use my contact form or send me an email