What is counselling?

Counselling is a ‘talking therapy’ and allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environment. The term can mean different things to different people, but in general it is a process people seek when they want to change something in their lives or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth.

A counsellor is not there to sit you down and tell you what to do – instead they will encourage you to talk about what’s bothering you in order to uncover any root causes and help identify your specific ways of thinking and any patterns of behaviour. The counsellor will then work with you to look at options for reconciling your issues and find ways of coping.

Counselling encourages empowerment, independence and confidence in managing life and its various difficulties. It is something that many people find invaluable at difficult times in their life and may come back to now and again to help understand and realign their thoughts and feelings.

What is relationship counselling?

Relationships can take different forms, experience different stages and encounter different difficulties.

Relationship counselling can help clarify and define what’s happening, any causes and influences, and look at what might be helpful in resolving things. It provides space for all parties to share their thoughts, feelings and difficulties, and be listened to and heard, without judgment.

Communication is often a considerable factor and learning different ways to communicate with each other and listen to each other can bring real change.

What is psychosexual counselling?

Psychosexual counselling addresses difficulties around sexual function and enjoyment, whether individually or within a relationship (monogamous, polyamorous or any other).

A psychosexual therapist can help to explore these difficulties and find helpful tools and techniques to ease their impact on your life, manage anxieties and increase sexual pleasure and fulfilment.

Psychosexual counselling can also help with any issues you may be experiencing around sexuality or gender identity.

What can I expect when I come to my first session?

The initial appointment is an opportunity to meet each other and decide if we would like to work together. I will ask you questions about what’s brought you to counselling, what you’re hoping for and some further information on your life and background.

There is no obligation to continue with counselling sessions but if you decide you would like to I will give you a contract to review and sign. We will agree the day, time and cost of your regular sessions.

How many sessions will I need?

There is no set answer to the amount of sessions that you’ll want or need. It’s useful to review after a few sessions to see how you’re feeling about the counselling and whether it’s helpful to you. Some clients prefer to say at the start if they only want to undertake a certain amount of sessions but more often it’s open-ended, with regular reviews throughout to ensure the work still meets your needs.

Are counselling sessions confidential?

Counselling sessions are completely confidential, meaning that whatever is talked about within the session won’t go any further or be disclosed to anyone else.

There are exceptions to this which are:

  • If there is a risk of serious harm to you or anyone else
  • If there is a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult

Even in these circumstances, we would discuss what to do next before any further action is taken.