If you are considering coming to counselling for the first time, you might have some questions about how it all works. I have put together a list of some of the things that might be on your mind. If there is something else you would like to ask and don’t see the answer below, please feel free to get touch using the details listed on the About & Contact page.
Where do I start?
Feeling listened to, being taken seriously and having time and space to think through your problems can be very important in helping you feel less anxious and that life is more meaningful. The first step in accessing help can often be the hardest, particularly if you have been used to dealing with things by yourself or have some uncertainty about how it all works. When you feel the time is right, you can contact me to arrange an initial assessment appointment.
In this relaxed session, we can chat about what brings you to counselling and what you would like to get out of our sessions and what I can provide to help that process. At the end of the session you can decide if what I have to offer will suit your needs. If you would like to carry on, then we can work out a regular timeslot that suits. There is no obligation to continue on past this first session.
With current social distancing restrictions in place, for the time being appointments will take place primarily over the phone or by a secure video calling platform. Phone/video sessions cost £40 and both options are easy to set up. The benefits are an increased flexibility of appointment times and no travel requirements. You will need access to a room/space where you can speak privately and without interruption.
What are the benefits of counselling?
Counselling can provide a safe place where you can unload the things you need to without judgement. The process of counselling can bring up uncomfortable feelings, and can challenge people to face things that are difficult or that they have been avoiding. It is my hope that you will feel safe in my counselling room and we can begin to work through the problems you are facing together. Counselling can help you grow and develop by finding new perspectives, getting to know yourself better and helping you become more in touch with your own internal resilience and values. This will hopefully allow you to feel that your problems are more manageable and allow you to feel less anxious and have more enjoyment from life.
What types of people do I work with?
Reflective of the diversity of backgrounds and identities in Belfast, I am open minded and enjoy working with people from all walks of life (over 18). My background is in working with a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, identity, loss, making life changes, thinking negatively about yourself, issues of self-worth and self esteem, work or life stress, or relationship problems, and themes around sexual orientation and gender identity. .
How long do the appointments last, how often should I come and how many will I need?
Appointments last for 50 minutes and sessions are generally weekly. Some clients come for a short amount of time and find this is enough and others attend longer term. The amount of sessions that you may want to have is completely individual and depends on your own needs.
Is it confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of counselling. It is important that you feel like you can talk about what ever you need to without fear of it being shared outside the counselling room and that I respect your right to privacy. There are some circumstances where confidentiality has it’s limits, and I will explain these carefully so you can be aware of what they are before we start working together.
How much does it cost and where are you?
I am still currently offering appointments primarily by phone or by Zoom video call. However I do have a small number of appointments available at my counselling room which is located on the Malone Road in Belfast, near Queens University.
What are your counselling credentials?
I hold a Pg. Dip Counselling and Therapeutic Communication from Ulster University and I am an Accredited Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (membership no. 00823345) . I work within the BACP Ethical Framework which keeps both my clients and I safe.