Here are some questions which people sometimes want to ask when considering going to counselling.
My problems and worries are private. Will you tell anyone else what we have talked about?
No. What you talk about is confidential. That means it's between you and me. It's your time and space to be with someone who is there for you and nobody else. Obviously if you want to talk to anyone else about what you have discussed in the counselling session that is up to you.
We will talk about this confidentiality in more detail when we first meet.
However... there could be times when it may be important to share concerns with someone else, primarily if you or others close to you are at risk of significant harm. I would always try to talk to you about this first.
How will I know if counselling is right for me?
The best way to find out is by talking to me. I am happy for you to ring me or email me, and you can ask me any questions you like. This will be completely free. You can find out how you feel and go from there.
How long will counselling last?
Counselling may be for just one session, a few sessions, or longer term. We will discuss this in our first session, and we will review it regularly to make sure that progress is being made. The decision is always yours.
Where and when will counselling take place?
Counselling will normally be weekly, and will take place in a private room at The Broad Street Practice, Stamford.
How much will it cost?
Sessions cost £40 and last 50 minutes.
I am a parent / carer / member of the family. Can I support the counselling work?
Yes, very much so. Experience shows that the most helpful thing others can do is to show an acceptance of counselling as a normal and useful activity, and to show an interest in it if the person wishes to talk about it, but not to press them if they don't. I am aware that this isn't always an easy task, and it is quite natural for family to feel anxious about what may be being said in the sessions.
It is always my hope that talking with a counsellor will lead to greater openness, although sometimes it can take a little time for this to happen.
If a member of my family wants to see a counsellor does this mean that I am failing?
Absolutely not! We all experience occasions when it feels hard to speak to those closest to us about things which are bothering us. Often this can be because we don't want to worry those we love best, or because we want help thinking things through with someone else outside of the family.
I will not be judging you or anyone else, but looking to help to find a way through whatever is causing the difficulties.
Here are some organisations that I think are particularly helpful if you want to explore issues around counselling and mental health.
- Provides information about what counselling is, with some factsheets on good practice in counselling, and advice on how to choose a counsellor
- The UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people
- An online guide to life for 16-25 year olds in the UK. Provides non-judgmental support and information on everything from sex and exam stress to debt and drugs
- The UK's leading mental health research, policy and service improvement charity
- A charity which helps parents deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life. Provides a 24 hour confidential helpline, support and advice
- Led by Mind and Rethink Mental Awareness, England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination
- Provides advice, support and information on mental illnesses.
- www.childline.org.uk - 0800 1111
- Provided by NSPCC, a private and confidential support service for young people up to the age of 19
- A specialist NHS Foundation Trust providing social and mental health care services
- Provides information about Mindfulness and how it can help you to manage your thoughts and feelings
- A brilliant website giving advice and information to parents about all things digital.
- A website dedicated to suicide prevention of young people.