Frequently asked questions
or, ones that might be on your mind
What is counselling?
Psychotherapists or counsellors are trained to understand and help people to cope with a range of issues such as anxiety and depression, relationship difficulties, sexual and gender issues, abuse and trauma, or problem-solving life events.
We won't give you advice or solve your problems for you but we will listen to your experiences, which are unique to you - even if lots of people go through similar things. We try yo help you to understand yourself better and make positive changes in your life.
How could counselling help me?
Therapy offers a safe, confidential place to talk to a trained professional about your feelings, worries, issues and relationships; including the one you have with yourself. So, you might consider seeking therapy because you are struggling with something, or with someone.
This is a 'talking therapy', so we will spend time talking and in doing so, you will enable me to understand the things that trouble you, or perhaps things that you want to do differently - and in this process of talking about the things that concern you, and working alongside each other, therapy can help you to better understand yourself and your behaviour.
What happens in a counselling session?
So, what will happen when we meet? I will see you at the practice in Cambridge. For our first meeting, I can see you together with your parent or carer, if that feels more comfortable. After our first meeting, if you want to continue, you and I will usually meet once a week, for 50 minutes.
You are the 'expert' in your life and you know yourself best. My role is to listen and to 'hear' you, and to try to understand your experiences. Then, we can work together to enable you to feel better about things.
I provide a safe space, free from judgement, for you to talk freely, about the things that concern you.
Are the sessions confidential?
I do not share personally identifiable information or details of the sessions. I write up notes after our sessions, which are anonymised. Identifiable information, such as contracts, are kept in a locked cabinet. I have supervision with a counselling professional, where I do discuss individual cases - but all information is anonymised.
In certain circumstances, or when required by law, I may have to break confidentiality to share information with a parent/ carer, your doctor, or to outside services, if I have concerns about risk of harm to yourself or to others. If this is the case I will always try to speak to you about this beforehand. These are in keeping with ethical guidelines to which I adhere.
How many sessions will we have and can I stop when I want to?
You will usually have a number of planned, regular sessions lasting for around 50 minutes. The number of times we see one another will depend on your individual circumstances and we can discuss this when we first meet and we can review our plans as we progress.
I typically see people for between 6 to 12 sessions - but each person has different needs.
You are free to stop the sessions when you wish; all I ask is for 24 hours notice, please.