ONE TO ONE COUNSELLING IN EAST LONDON

"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination." Carl Rogers

WHAT COUNSELLING MEANS

Counselling means that a counsellor / therapist sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having or distress they may be experiencing. It is always at the request of the client themselves as no one can properly be 'sent' for counselling.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All the material that you bring to therapy is confidential and those notes I do keep will be minimal and kept under lock and key. I have some legal obligations as a therapist -- I must report certain acts, including terrorism or active child abuse. However, I will attempt to discuss this with you before I make such a report in the unlikely event such disclosures should emerge. If you want to know about this, please ask me.

Sometimes, if you are actively suicidal and I am worried for your safety, I will ask that we discuss who else we can contact to help support you and keep you safe: your GP or other support services, for example.

OUR FIRST MEETING

No therapist has a crystal ball or the ability to read minds, so they will not know what you are thinking unless you tell them. Some people find it easier to write down their needs for the therapist, rather than saying them out loud. It might be that you are entering therapy for the first time and you have no idea what will happen, you just want some kind of inner pain to stop. That's why our first meeting aims to clarify what does help and what to expect.

I will ask you to fill in a basic questionnaire to help us clarify your emotional strengths and weaknesses. This is not a test. There are no right or wrong answers, it is only to understand where you are at when you first visit.

It is very important that you express all your thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears to the counsellor throughout therapy. Often over time you may want to return to these challenges or goals or change parts of them. That’s OK. It’s part of the normal growth process.

TIMESCALE

ou can expect counselling to last from six sessions to at least a year depending on what material you are bringing. We conduct regular progress reviews to make sure we're moving forward to our mutual satisfaction.

THE CHALLENGES

The time it takes to build a trusting relationship with a therapist can depend on your life experiences, so please be patient and raise any issues you encounter. It is important that you go at your own pace, that you don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s best not to try to rush things or to attempt a quick fix because you feel you owe it to your family, partner or any other external "should and musts".

We all resist change so do not be surprised if you begin to feel that you want to quit therapy just as some real changes, or breakthroughs that may be painful, begin to emerge. Being committed to therapy will change your life. Be prepared to feel some loss and fear as part of this. Others around you may resist your changes and growth and they may need time to adapt to the new you.

Therapy is hard work and can be emotionally draining at times. After the sessions you may sometimes feel exhausted, more memories may even surface. Don’t worry though as this is normal. That’s because therapy can release emotions and memories that have been “locked in time” for many years. Following a session you may sometimes feel like a child again, or experience your childhood fears once again. It is good to note down these feelings and bring this information to the next session.

It is not unusual that when buried memories start to resurface you might feel like things are getting worse. This shouldn’t last long and really can be managed better if you are open to explaining these thoughts if you encounter them. Becoming a healthy, balanced person can feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first. After all, you are working towards a new way of being. This is normal and to be expected.

FREQUENCY

It is important that therapy is a regular event, ideally weekly for an hour. If you are unable to make the booked appointment you must contact the therapist at least a week in advance or expect to pay a fee. Please be aware that your therapist has many costs and has to pay for the room regardless of your attendance. Therapists also have many other professional expenses including professional body membership and further training, so it is unacceptable to repeatedly miss appointments unless you are in a genuine crisis.

Therapy and counselling take time. No one can wave a magic wand to immediately remove your pain. Therapy is hard work - it takes money and energy and most importantly a commitment to change. It is important that you talk to me about what your expectations are. Just like any relationship the more I know and the more you are able to communicate about what you need, the better the chance you’ll get those things. Therapy works best when it is an honest two-way process of communication where both parties have an equal responsibility.
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