Frequently asked questions

What is counselling?


A dictionary definition of counselling is - the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems. Counselling is a talking therapy and can be either 1 to 1 or in a group setting. There are different styles of counselling, but the majority rely on an effective client - counsellor relationship, which aims to give the client a safe and supportive space, in which to explore the issues they are facing. My primary training is in Person Centred Counselling and I have had subsequent, specialist training in counselling survivors of rape and sexual abuse.




What is a counselling working agreement?


A counselling working agreement is sometimes referred to as a counselling contract. The content of the document may vary from counsellor to counsellor. It should describe the boundaries of the client - counsellor relationship and also describe the individual counsellor's approach. A contract / working agreement may cover some or all of the following areas: Aims of counselling
Client contact details
GP details (in case of emergency)
Frequency and duration of counselling
Fees & Payment
Detail of sessions
Cancellation and holiday policy
Confidentiality
Contact details
Complaints You won't normally be tied into a contract and the length of time you are in counselling will be determined by you, after discussions with your counsellor.




What is Skype counselling?


Skype is a video conferencing service that allows people to connect face to face over a webcam. For counselling, this allows both the client and the counsellor to see and hear each other and can be a very convenient and effective way of having a counselling session, when distance, travel limitiations or mobility means that physically being face to face is not possible. Skype can be accessed via an app on a tablet or smart phone (if it has a front facing camer). It can also be accessed on a PC or Laptop with either a built in or external webcam. It best to join the session from a quiet place, where you won't be disturbed.




How do I set up Skype?


The following instructions and Youtube video give guidance on how to set up Skype. https://support.skype.com/en/faq/fa11098/how-do-i-get-started-with-skype Skype: Setting Up Your Computer for Skype - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOy0dL6CqoQ New to Skype - A Full Tutorial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMAeAeyh7zM




Who are the BACP?


The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is the professional association for members of the counselling professions in the UK For details on the BACP click here.




What if I have a complaint?


If at any point you have concerns about the therapy you're receiving, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherpy (BACP) offers a support and advice service for clients. https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-therapy/ask-kathleen/




How much does counselling cost?


Sessions are £35




Am I tied into a contract?


No, you will not be tied into your contract. There will be no specific number of sessions you'll be required to attend. However, the success of counselling is largely depedent on the development of an effective therapeutic relationship, which may take a number of weeks. That being said, you may get what you need from just one session. If that's the case, then great. You will always be in control of the this decision.




What do I do, if I want to finish counselling?


If you feel you have got what you need from counselling or just feel it isn't right for you at that time, you can choose to end the counselling relationship at any time. I'd hope that you are able to talk through this decision with me, so we can bring the sessions to a safe, comfortable and natural end. However, I fully understand that is not always possible.




Can I contact you between sessions?


There may be times when you feel you need extra support between sessions. It may be possible on occassion to arrange additional sessions outside of our agreed schedule. However, this may not be possible, so It's important to have other avenues of support. If you feel that what you're experiencing requires immediate support there are agencies you can reach out to in an emergency. NHS 111: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust provides a Mental Health Access Line to support people’s mental health needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you, or someone you care for, is feeling unwell, you can access the line, by calling the NHS non-emergency services on 111. Mental Health Helpline (Lancashire): 0800 915 4640, open Monday to Friday 7pm – 11pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 midday to 12 midnight for people concerned about their own health or that of a friend or relative. Samaritans: call 116 123 to access the listening service, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, free from any phone.




How many sessions will I need?


The amount of sessions you need will likely depend on the complexity of problems you are facing. We will have regular reviews to check that you are getting what you need from counselling and to check how many more sessions you feel you will need. Working ethically means that I will never try to keep you in the counselling relationship longer than you need to be. Ultimately the decision on how you choose to stay in counselling is up to you.




What if I need to cancel or can't attend a session?


Life can often throw curveballs that are unavoidable. Under normal cirecumstances I will always aim to give you as much notice as possible of any holidays, training workshops, conferences or illness that might prevent me from being available at the time/day of the scheduled session. In such cases I will always aim to offer an alternative arrangement. Likewise, I will expect 48 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend. Cancellation of sessions with less than 48 hours’ notice or none attendance where no notice is given may incur the full fee. In the event of a serious accident, sudden illness, emergency, or other similar situation outside of your control, please deal with your situation first and notify me at the earliest convenient time, or I will follow up with you typically within 24 to 48 hours of the missed appointment. To help avoid missed appointments I offer a free text reminder service.




How do I pay for my sessions?


Payment will be made ahead of each session and can be made by: Cash
Bank Transfer We can discuss your payment preference at our initial consultation (if you decide you'd like to work with me!)




Is what we talk about confidential?


If you have referred yourself for counselling, then no one apart from me would need to know you have attended or what was discussed.

Providing a secure and confidential space for you to explore issues and concerns, is for me, a crucial part of a successful client - counsellor relationship. I am a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work in accordance with their ethical framework.

For details on the BACP click here.

For details of BACP ethical framework and what it means for you as a client, click here In certain circumstance, It may be necessary to make exceptions to the general rules of confidentiality. For example:
  • If I think there is a serious and immediate risk of harm to yourself or others.
  • Where I cannot contact you but suspect you are in danger. For example, if you had not been seen for several days and colleagues and friends felt concerned, I may disclose information without your agreement.
  • Where there is a legal requirement to disclose information. This could be because it has been ordered by a court, or because the law requires, for example under the Terrorism Act 2000 or the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986, for information to be passed on without consent.





Fulwood, Preston

© Steve Watt 2018

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