“Therapy offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. It allows you to talk to someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things.”
This is how therapy is described on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website www.BACP.co.uk
For me, therapy is about exploring your thoughts and feelings and gaining an awareness of yourself and a deeper understanding of the things going on around you. It provides an opportunity to talk to someone about things and issues that you may not be comfortable discussing with friends or family.
Therapy is not an instant solution. It may however, enable you to view things differently and with that new understanding, make the changes you want to. It may take time and a lot of effort before things start to look any different. That said, I have seen people become much more comfortable with themselves and have some sense of control over their life after only a few sessions of therapy.
I practice Person Centred Therapy, a non-directive form of therapy which puts the client at the centre of the process and it is the client who dictates the pace and direction of the sessions. It's about making sense of things and exploring the issues that are causing difficulty and getting in the way of living life to the full. .
I gained my Level Four Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling in November 2013 after a three year period of (part-time) study at Warrington Collegiate.
As part of my studies I worked on placement with the Salvation Army, providing counselling to homeless male residents at their hostel in Warrington. During this study period I also gained a placement with CRI Pathways, a drop-in treatment facility in Warrington for individuals suffering addictions. Following my qualification I remained with CRI/Pathways as a volunteer counsellor for a further twelve months. The experience I gained with both these services was invaluable, particularly with individuals living on the edge of our society and their struggles with addictions, depression and anxiety.
I am also a volunteer support worker with Warrington Bereavement Support a charitable organisation providing support for those suffering grief.
I am currently part of a counselling service for students at Lymm High School.
I would describe myself as a mature counsellor working in the person centred framework. The person centred approach appeals to me because it is less about the counsellor telling a client what to do, more about collaborating with the client to assist them to create a greater awareness of themselves.
As an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I am bound to undertake thirty hours each year continual professional development. This involves elements of self study in the form of reading and on-line research, as well as attending courses. I have participated in the below listed formal training:
Counselling sessions are for a period of one hour and it is usual to meet once a week.
My fee is £30 per session, with concessions for students and clients on low income.
The sessions will be held in comfortable therapy rooms within the Warrington area. I am able to make arrangements to conduct counselling sessions at other locations should this be necessary.
I try to be as flexible as possible in my availability and am happy to arrange sessions during the evening and have some availability for sessions during the weekend period.
All fees are payable at the conclusion of each session.
One of the main elements of successful counselling is the issue of confidentiality and I think that it is important that individuals know what happens to the personal details that they provide.
There are of course exceptions to what will remain confidential and I will fully explain those exceptions at our first contact. Essentially, what is said in the room stays in the room. I do not talk about clients outside my counselling environment and I never disclose their identity within the boundaries of confidentiality.
In accordance with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, I attend counselling supervision each month where my client work is discussed without ever referring to anyone by name. This supervision process is to ensure that the clients needs are being met by my experience and knowledge.
In addition, I am bound to provide evidence that I am keeping my knowledge up to date by way of attending courses and studying relevant publications.
Once we have agreed to work together we will enter into a contract which outlines the details of what I as your counsellor can provide. You as the client will be provided with a copy of this contract along with an information sheet about counselling. I will ask that you complete a contact sheet which will give details of someone to be informed in the in the event of a medical emergency along with your GP details. This is not a mandatory piece of paperwork and is held in a sealed envelope only to be opened in the event of a medical emergency. At the completion of our therapy together the sealed envelope will either be returned to you or destroyed.
I maintain a client register which contains the name and age of each of my clients and from this each is allocated a unique client reference number. This register is securely stored quite separate from any notes or other information. Following each of our sessions I will compile notes. These notes are identifiable only by the unique client reference number and refer to my interpretation of how the session went and do not contain any names mentioned or the name of the client. These notes are for my professional reference and can only be viewed by third parties with the clients consent or at the direction of a court order.
I do ask that each of my clients complete a very brief outcome questionnaire. Once again, this is not a mandatory form and I fully understand if a client does not wish to complete this paperwork.
I adhere to the guidelines set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. For example, all client details will be held securely for a period of seven years after the completion of counselling sessions. At this point they will be destroyed by way of shredding or electronic deletion.
I have been in private practice now for over four years and have put together a presentation around what I did to prepare myself and set myself up as a counsellor. This comprehensive presentation has been successfully delivered to individuals, small groups and to a large group of counsellors and prospective counsellors. If you are interested in finding out more about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch.