Do I have to see a GP before attending counselling?
No, although doctors can refer individuals to counselling, it is not necessary to go to see your GP prior to attending counselling.
What happens after I make initial contact?
You will be telephoned in order to arrange to make a convenient time to undertake the assessment.
Having undertaken the assessment, if we are both happy to continue on to counselling sessions, we will arrange a mutually convenient time to meet on a weekly basis.
Should either of us feel that it would not be appropriate to continue with counselling, I would be able to provide you with details of other counsellors in the area which you could try.
How often are sessions and how long are they?
Sessions are usually held weekly and are 50 minutes in length
Who is told about why I am attending?
Confidentiality is crucial in counselling, it goes against the BACP code of ethics to breach a client's confidentiality. There are only a few incidences in which your situation is discussed outside of the counselling room and these occasions are considered to be done in your best interests:
1) Counsellors are obliged to attend supervision each month. This is where the counsellor discusses their cases with their supervisor to ensure that they are working ethically and are considering all angles of the client's situation. The counsellor will only ever refer to their client by their christian name or their initials during supervision.
2) If your counsellor feels you are going to come to significant harm, or harm yourself.
3) If your counsellor feels you are going to significantly harm someone else.
4) If your counsellor feels you are involved in a drug trafficking situation; an act of terrorism or that you are money laundering
5) If there is a requirement for your counsellor to divulge your circumstances for a consultation with a health professional.
6) If the police or other part of the legal system requests your files.
Nobody will be able to help me!
Often when dealing with difficult circumstances, we feel that we are the only individual who has ever been through this situation.The reality is that there are likely to have been others facing a similar situation. Whilst counsellors do not hold a magic wand to make everything better, having the opportunity to explore your situation and look at it from different angles can provide an opportunity to understand yourself better and gives you a chance to consider it from different angles. Whilst counselling doesn't give you the answer, it can assist you to find the answer that you require.
What will you make me talk about?
The short answer is "nothing"! Should you decide to come for counselling, the counsellor will not make you discuss anything you don't want to discuss. If you are asked something which you would rather not answer, then your counsellor will steer away from that subject and will talk with you about something you would rather talk about.