Frequently ASKED QUESTIONS [Source BACP]
- Where can I find a therapist?
Find a Therapist on the BACP Its Good to Talk website enables you to search for a therapist in your area.
Accessing therapy also provides information on alternative ways to access therapy.
Always enquire whether a potential therapist is a member of BACP or another professional body.
I am Registered and Accredited by BACP and will also refer you on to others who can help you, if I cannot.
- Is there a counsellor or psychotherapist for my situation?
Therapists practise in all walks of life and all parts of society, helping people in a range of settings, from NHS clinics to the business workplaces. Therapists are trained to deal with a diverse range of situations including helping people to cope with: anxiety and bereavement, relationship difficulties, educational dilemmas, sexual and racial issues, child abuse and trauma, as well as personal problem solving.
I work in the NHS and with clients referred by Employee Assistance Programmes. I have over 15 years' experience of helping people to cope. You can set up your own appointments directly with me by clicking on the CONTACT page.
- Will Counselling work for me?
I always say to my clients that they have already taken the biggest step by walking through the door! Acknowledging that you would like some help and doing something about it shows that you are ready to start making changes in your life. I believe that everyone has within them everything they need to move forward in their life, and that with the support of a trained, experienced, caring and non-judgmental counsellor they can grow to fulfil that potential.
- What should I ask when I contact a counsellor or psychotherapist for the first time?
Ask about the time, place, cost and duration of meetings plus any charges for cancelled appointments and holidays. You may also wish to enquire about the counsellor or psychotherapist’s professional membership, experience and training. During this time you will build up an idea of what is involved and you will be able to decide if this is a person you can work with. It is important to be clear about what you want and what the practitioner is able to offer.
- Charges - I charges £35 per 50 minute session either face-to-face at my office or via phone.
- Cancellations - If you are unable to attend please rearrange appointments as soon as possible. Missed appointments not cancelled or rearranged on the previous day will be charged at full price.
- How can I be sure a counsellor or psychotherapist is properly trained and qualified?
BACP recommends that therapists should have undertaken a minimum of 400-450 hours college-based therapy training. Ask your therapist for details of their qualifications and to explain what they mean. I have a degree in Psychology, attended post graduate training in Counselling and have over 15 years of experience with professional counselling services such as the Police and NHS where I currently work as a Senior Counsellor.
It is also good practice for a therapist to be a member of a professional body such as:
BACP members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, which sets the standards for good and ethical therapeutic practice.
- How can I find a counsellor or psychotherapist who speaks my language?
I practise in English only. If you wish to communicate in a language other than English then do use Find a Therapist to search for a therapist with your preferred language. I am happy to work with an interpreter provided by you at your expense subject to their acceptance of the Harrogate-Counselling.com confidentiality agreement.
- What if I am deaf or hearing impaired?
I am happy to work with a sign language professional provided by you at your expense, subject to their acceptance of the Harrogate-Counselling.com confidentiality agreement. You can contact BACP via its minicom service on 01455 550307 for assistance in trying to locate accessible practitioners or services.
- What if I am not happy with the counsellor or psychotherapist when we meet?
During the initial assessment or first session be prepared to trust your instinct because your relationship with the therapist is at the heart of the process. If you are unsure about the therapist, seek another one. Having confidence in your therapist is very important and will enable you to get the best out of the process. Always remember it is you who is the customer. If no therapist seems suitable, it may be time to consider whether you would like to proceed or not.
- Have you had therapy yourself?
Yes! I had therapy prior to becoming a counsellor – it was part of the reason I wanted to train as one! During my training I had 40 hours of therapy, and I have had occasional further sessions in the 15 years since. My own experiences of therapy have been invaluable in helping me grow as a counsellor, and deepened my understanding and empathy for my clients.
- How do you cope with your job? Doesn't it get you down?
No! Counselling is definitely a vocation for me. Of course, I find clients' stories moving, but I am trained to work with this positively. Also, I have regular clinical supervision which means that I see a BACP Accredited Counselling supervisor on a regular basis to explore how things are going. If any client issues are mentioned, this is always done anonymously, and within the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice
- What if I bump into you at the supermarket?
In the unlikely event that we meet in public, I would not acknowledge you, as it is important for you to be in control of this, and for reasons of confidentiality. If you choose to say hello I would of course be happy to say hello back! But for obvious reasons we would not be able to say more than that outside of the sessions. All these issues will be discussed at our first session.
- Am I "normal"?
I hear this so often from my clients. What I would say is that we are all different, and respond to what life throws at us in different ways. Because many problems aren’t spoken about, we can believe that we are the only person feeling this way, The vast majority of feelings, thoughts and experiences clients worry about, even seemingly quite ‘unusual’ ones, are in fact very common, and I have many information sheets which can quickly dispel fears like these.
- How many sessions will I need?
Everyone is different, and has different needs. Some people many only need a handful of sessions, and others may wish to continue for longer. Generally I tend to suggest up to six sessions to start with, to be reviewed as we go along. I have worked with people for three or four sessions, and also worked with people for many months, as felt appropriate by both of us and agreed together. With longer-term work, I would be reviewing this regularly to make sure that it was not becoming a habit, and was still helping you. My ultimate goal is for you not to need me any more!
Remember – attendance for counselling is completely voluntary, and you would of course be free to end therapy at any time.