Is counselling confidential?
What we talk about in counselling is confidential and what is discussed stays between us. Maintaining your confidentiality is one of my highest priorities. However, there are a few exceptions to this, which I will discuss at our first meeting.
How many sessions will I need?
Rather than asking, "How many sessions will it take before I'm fixed?" a more useful question would be, "What would it take for me to start doing something different?"
It varies and for some a few sessions might be enough. For example, if you're struggling with a career decision and just need to play around with some ideas, a few sessions may be enough to help you choose the right path. Or, you might be experiencing some mild anxiety and you want to explore a few tips and behavioural techniques to help you feel more free, so you may only need 6 sessions.
Some choose to attend counselling far longer, for months or even years. For example, if you're working through some difficult trauma, debilitating anxiety or depression, or recovery from an abusive relationship, it may be helpful to attend counselling for several months up to a year or more. During this time we will build and develop a strong relationship and you will grow and heal, moving from survivor to thriver. On average, I find that most of my clients come to 12 sessions and may then return for monthly check-ins to evaluate their goals.
Will I still benefit even though I don't feel I have a major problem?
This is one of the most common questions I get asked, as often people feel counselling is only for those who have experienced serious mental disturbance or difficult trauma. Lots of people feel like this. In fact, this is part of the suffering for a lot of people, as they put off working on their problems because "it could be much worse". In my professional opinion, there are no shortcuts through our pain and struggles. And just because "it could be much worse" doesn't mean the experience will go away, so why not get some support and free up some mental and emotional energy?
What is therapy like?
Exploring past and present family hurt can be an important part of the work, but so is working out what you're going to do with the life you've been given when your alarm goes off in the morning. If you're not ready to stop blaming others, then you're probably not ready to make a major change in your mental health.
99% of your outcome is dependant on what you do after you get up and walk out of the room. Are you taking better care of your mind and body? Putting yourself in difficult situations to grow and learn? Reacting maturely when your family annoys you for the millionth time? Therapy is like learning to strengthen muscles/skills – at some stage you have to go out and practise them for real and see what happens.
Does therapy really work online?
Absolutely! In fact, many people prefer it to seeing their therapist face-to-face. Read my blog post to find out more about the benefits of online counselling.
What is Focusing?
The process of Focusing was discovered by Eugene Gendlin. He found that therapy was most effective when a client had moments when they could slow down and describe what they were feeling, through connecting with their body or being able to sense an ‘all-round knowing’ when something felt more right or more wrong for the client. It's an experience that often involves grasping for words to describe what’s going on, and can lead to a deeper and more powerful way to connect with your feelings.
The process can help with difficult feelings where we can learn how we really feel and what are the next steps for us to take. In counselling, I may encourage this process through one-to-one guided sessions to help you cultivate and develop your ability to connect with your body, or through having a sense of an ‘all-round knowing’.
What is EFT?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a form of counselling intervention that draws on principles of acupuncture and is based on the knowledge that everything is energy. It can release blockages within the energy system which are a source of negative emotions or discomfort. As a counsellor, I can help you identify those negative emotions and invite you to move through a guided tapping session to help process and clear those feelings.
This involves the use of fingertips, rather than needles, to tap on the end points of your energy ‘meridians’ which are situated mainly on your head, face, hands, fingers and upper part of your chest area. The process is very gentle and relaxing, as I show you where to tap on your body, and it's a technique you can easily use at home.
EFT can be a highly effective way to get to the source of discomfort and often, even after a very short session, you may experience a positive shift in your feelings.
When does therapy end?
You will know when you're ready and I encourage working towards an ending so that we can assess and value the totality of the work. It's always advisable to arrange for at least one closing session. This will allow for us to wrap up and bring closure to any of the work we’re doing.
If I see you in person, what steps have you taken to ensure it's safe during the Covid-19 pandemic?
In order to keep my clients and myself safe, I'm following government guidelines and ensuring all precautions are taken to reduce the risk and spread of Covid-19. I'm also happy to say that I now offer counselling online, which has many benefits.
Can I get a free consultation?
Yes. I offer a free 20 minute consultation either by phone or video where you'll have the opportunity to share a brief summary of why you're considering therapy and to ask any questions about the therapeutic process. You'll get to share your needs and we can explore if we're a good fit for working together. I’m really keen that you ‘shop around’ to find the right person. I may or may not be that person, and that's why I like to provide a free consultation, so we can find out.
Helped me tune into my body...
"Rita helped me tune into my body and tap into how I was feeling."– Anonymous
Ready to take the next step?
Book a free consultation to see if we're a good fit for working together