People often have questions about counselling and psychotherapy. I have covered the most frequently asked questions here. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
How much do you charge?
My current fee is £50 per 60 minute session. You can read more on my Fees page.
What payment methods do you accept?
You can pay by cash, Paypal or bank transfer.
Do you offer an introductory session?
Yes. I can offer you either a free telephone consultation or I am happy to meet you for a 30 minute session for £30. If you would like to do this, please send me a message with your availability and I will book you in.
What if I contact you and you don’t have any spaces?
You can choose to either be added to my waiting list or I can refer you on to another trusted therapist.
How long do sessions last?
Each session lasts 60 minutes.
Can I have longer sessions?
There may be times when you feel you need more support than one hour a week. Therapy can be emotionally tiring and so I believe it is important to limit the sessions to 60 minutes. It may be appropriate to have more than one session a week and we can discuss this if necessary.
How many sessions will I need?
Some clients only need a handful of sessions, other clients come for a year or more.
Do I have to come every week?
For therapy to be effective, weekly sessions are best. Also it’s important to account for the support you might need while talking about things that are emotionally challenging. It is possible to skip weeks occasionally if you need to be elsewhere.
How can I contact you?
All of my contact details are on my contact page.
Where are you based?
I work from home and my address is 526 Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4EJ.
Do you have disabled access?
My usual room is on the ground floor however there is a steep driveway and steps through the front door, so this is likely to cause issues if you struggle to or are unable to walk. If you have mobility issues and wish to discuss accessibility so that we can work together, please contact me.
Can I be seen at home?
I do not currently offer therapy in your own home.
Do you offer evening or weekend sessions?
If you need an evening or weekend session, please contact me.
What if I want to stop coming?
It is generally best if we agree an end to the therapy in advance – even if that means just one session in advance. Generally we work towards an ending over 4-6 weeks. You can stop at any time for any reason.
What if I need to miss a session?
You can just let me know either during a session or by telephone or email.
Qualifications and Experience
What qualifications do you have?
I have a BSc. (Hons) degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from SPTI, validated by Coventry University. I have also completed various CPD courses since finishing my degree.
What experience do you have?
I have worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist since 2014. You can see a list of the issues I have dealt with on the Services page.
Why is therapy so expensive?
I know it can seem that way and I am certain you will find that it is worth it. My fee is based on a combination of my business costs, my time and the value that I bring to our sessions. I trained for five years and bring to our sessions a wealth of experience and knowledge.
I’m struggling with anxiety/overeating/work stress/some other issue, can you help me?
My mum/spouse/child/friend/colleague thinks I should have therapy, can you help me?
I can. It is important that you are also ready and willing to engage with therapy so if someone else is suggesting it, we can talk about that before we contract for ongoing sessions.
Do you have insurance?
I hold the appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance.
What is the BACP?
BACP stands for British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapist. BACP is a professional body representing counselling and psychotherapy with over 44000 members and works toward a better standard of therapeutic practice. You can read more on the BACP website.
Why do I have to sign a contract?
Our contract is fairly straightforward and simply outlines what is expected of us both throughout the course of the therapy. It covers things like session length and frequency, fees, confidentiality and cancellations. I will send you my contract before you come to see me for the first time. We will go through the contract in our first session and you won’t need to sign anything until you’ve had time to go away and consider what it involves.
What is clinical supervision?
During clinical supervision I see an experienced psychotherapist who has taken a further supervision qualification that means they are able to review the work I am doing with you and support me with my ongoing development. My clinical supervisor is bound by the same confidentiality requirements as me so you can be sure that what you have told me goes no further.
What do sessions involve?
What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Many practitioners disagree on the answer to this question. My personal opinion is that while there is some cross over, counselling deals with day to day struggles or temporary issues and psychotherapy involves more in depth work to do with who we are as people and our longer term styles of relating to others. You can read more about how I work here.
Will you keep what I tell you confidential?
Yes, confidentiality is very important during therapy and anything you tell me will be kept confidential. There are only a handful of exceptions to this – either that you or someone else is at risk of significant harm, or if I have a legal obligation to. I will also discuss our sessions during clinical supervision to ensure you are getting the most effective therapy I can offer. You can read my Confidentiality Policy.
Do you make notes during the session?
I don’t make notes during the session. I may make brief, anonymised notes after our session that are held securely.
Do I have to lie on a couch?
This is certainly a persistent image of therapy but no, you don’t have to lie on a couch unless you want to! My counselling room is a comfortable, cosy place and you can choose whether to sit on a sofa, chair, cushion or even on the floor if you prefer.
Are you going to tell me it’s all about my mother?
Another persistent idea! This image stems from Freud’s work, which is a different type of psychotherapy to the one I practice. Humanistic psychotherapy is much more concerned with your life now than going over your childhood. While it is true that some issues you may have stem from early relationships with your parents, it is not always the case and my assessment involves considering everything that makes you who you are.
What can I expect in the first session?
I aim to provide a relaxed environment, and one of the first things you’ll notice is that the room I practice from is more like a comfortable sitting room than a clinical office.
We can begin by discussing the reasons you would like to have therapy – what you would like to work on, why you have chosen to work on it now, whether you know how you want to work on it or not. Sometimes clients don’t have answers to any of these questions, they just know something isn’t quite right, and that’s fine, we can take it step by step.
After I have a picture of what it is you need from therapy, we will go over the therapeutic contract, which covers things such as session length and frequency, fees, cancellations etc. You are able to take the contract away before you sign it during our second session.
What makes a good therapist?
While there are probably as many answers to this questions as there are therapists, there are a few things to look for when you’re looking for a therapist.
Counselling isn’t a regulated profession but qualifications are still important. Anyone can set themselves up as a counsellor or psychotherapist without having any qualifications at all. I studied over five years and have a BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy. My training included completing 200 hours of client work, 90 hours of clinical supervision to develop my work and having 100 hours of personal therapy to make sure my own experiences don’t negatively impact on my clients.
Professional Membership ensures your therapist is following a Code of Conduct. I am a Registered Member of the BACP and I am working towards becoming an Accredited Member.
Research shows that the rapport between you and your therapist is a good marker of the therapy being effective.