Asking for help is never easy. Making the decision to seek professional help can seem daunting. I aim to make this process as easy as possible.
The most important factor for success in counselling is the relationship between the client and the counsellor. It is vital to find a counsellor that you feel safe and comfortable with. I feel the only way to know if you’re going to feel safe and comfortable with me, is to meet me and have a chat about what is going on for you. This is what an introductory session is for.
Do I have to sign up for a number of sessions?
No. An introductory session has no obligation for further sessions. At the end of the session, we will spend a few minutes discussing the best way forward for you. You may decide to return for regular sessions, or you might decide not to return. You can of course, take some time after the session to decide. It’s in your control.
Is it confidential?
Yes. The same confidentiality rules apply to an introductory session. To read more about confidentiality in a counselling session see my blog post here.
How long is an introductory session?
An introductory session lasts 50 minutes – exactly the same length as a regular counselling session.
What information do I need to provide?
Nothing. To book an introductory session I simply need your name, a contact number/email and the payment. You do not need to provide any information and you don’t need a medical referral. During the session, we will discuss your situation and I will ask relevant questions, but it’s up to you how much information you wish to share.
How much does it cost?
Introductory sessions are charged at the same rate as regular sessions. You can find my fees here.
Confidentiality is a key part of any therapy. There is no legal protection for therapist confidentiality. I am a member of the BACP and as such I am bound by their ethical framework. Ethically, I am bound to protect your confidentiality, but there are a few exceptions which are important to understand.
Danger to self or others
If I believed you were a danger to yourself or to anyone else, I am ethically bound to take steps to protect vulnerable people. In order to keep people safe, I may have to breach your counselling confidentiality. Should I have any concerns in this area, I would always try to address them with you directly.
As part of my BACP membership, I am required to have regular supervision. I discuss my case load with my supervisor. Both my supervisor and myself are bound by the BACP ethical framework.
As I mentioned above, therapists’ confidentiality is not protected in law. Therefore should a therapist be asked by a court to provide information they are legally obliged to do so.
Confidentiality is a one way street
While your therapist is ethically bound by confidentiality, the same restrictions do not apply to clients. You are free to discuss (or not discuss) anything about your therapy with anyone you like. Some people find it useful to discuss
Sometimes the world can seem like a very small place. If you were to see me outside of the therapy room, I would not approach or acknowledge you. I’m not ignoring you, just leaving it up to you whether you would like to say hello.
If you have any questions regarding the confidentiality of therapy, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss these with you.
What a year 2020 turned out to be! The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world forever. As we start to ease out of our 3rd national lockdown, the question of what the ‘new normal’ will look like becomes more present.
It seems that the Monday to Friday daily commute into the office may be a thing of the past. A lot of companies have now adopted the working from home model. But how does this sit with you? Some people will have enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of working from home. Whereas other will have missed the separation between home and work.
Anxious about returning to the office
Many people will have enjoyed the shortened commute to their newly created workspace crammed in a corner at home and there may be uncertainty about heading back into the office. You may find yourself wondering ‘what will it be like to get back on a packed train?’ or ‘how safe will it be in the office?’.
Anxious to return to the office
Working from home can create a feeling of isolation, a lack of separation between work and home. Some people will have ended up working longer hours. Driven by thoughts of ‘everyone else is always available’ or a desire to prove how hard they are working. You may not have previously thought of yourself as a social person, but you have missed the little interactions with your colleagues. A shared coffee run, a quick hello and catch up in the morning. You might be struggling to understand colleagues who feel differently and are not keen on returning to the office.
Dealing with uncertainty
It is important to find the right work / life balance. In this respect, we are all individuals. Wanting to be at the office, doesn’t mean you dislike your family. Equally, wanting to be at home, doesn’t mean you hate your job.
Whichever category you fall into, it is ok to feel unsure about the changes ahead. The pandemic has given us all time to reflect; a chance to step off the treadmill and see what really matters to us. Counselling can provide a confidential, neutral space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings. I can help you work out what you want your future to look like, and how to take the steps to make it happen.
During the pandemic, I am doing everything I can to ensure I can continue to provide counselling and psychotherapy services safely.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.