FAQs

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.



General

I am unsure if I need therapy?

There are not many people in this world who could not benefit in some way from an honest look at their emotional life, their relationships with those around them or to reflect openly on the human condition. Unfortunately, most of us are drawn to therapy because of a particular incident, crisis or breakdown that has become or is becoming difficult to manage.

Is it normal to be nervous?

Most people find the beginning of the first session at least a little bit nerve-racking, I will do my utmost to help you relax as much as possible but it is important to be aware that sometimes therapy can be challenging. Generally, people feel much more at ease when they realise it is an entirely non-judgemental and safe environment for them to express themselves.

What if I decide it is not for me?

If for any reason at all you feel that therapy is not for you or that you are uncomfortable with the therapeutic process you can decide to finish at any time, remember – you are in charge of your therapy. Counselling or psychotherapy should be a collaborative process, we will be deciding together what areas are a priority for you and your preferred way of working together. The only proviso is that if we have been working together at depth, I will suggest that we have at least one session before we finish the therapy to close the sessions.

What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

These terms are often interchangeable although it is generally accepted in the UK that Psychotherapy may involve working at greater depth and may be longer term than Counselling but there is considerable overlap between the two terms.

Do you teach Mindfulness?

Yes, I can teach mindfulness techniques on a one-to-one basis and will often incorporate some “attention or awareness training” into your therapy if and when appropriate.

Will I have to lay down on a couch?

No, couches are usually the hallmark of long-term psychoanalysis; I prefer a pair of comfortable armchairs.

Do you follow up?

Yes, if agreed together, I usually follow up at 6 months, one year, two years and five years by a pre-agreed method, this is to assess the effectiveness of our work together in the longer term.

How long will it take?

Many people prefer to work in an open ended way were they continue as long as they are seeing progress toward their goal. It is impossible to give definitive information on the duration of your Counselling or Psychotherapy as it varies from one individual to another. For guidance it is usually best to discuss this after the first few appointments and agree on a certain number of sessions before having a review so that you can monitor your progress. As a general principal I focus on a more intense, shorter-term therapy.

The Sessions

How much will it cost?

  • Sessions are 50 minutes and are £75.00 in the City of London, £65.00 in Clapham, Tooting and Haywards Heath.
  • Couples £85.00 in the City of London, £75.00 in Clapham, Tooting and Haywards Heath.
  • Individual Skype Sessions £55.00
  • Double sessions of 100 minutes are available by separate arrangement.
  • Home visits, online or telephone sessions for those with limited mobility are available on request.
  • Subject to availability, I have two concessionary slots for those who are unemployed, on disability benefit, or with limited resources (documentary evidence required).

Can I have a session at the weekend?

I have sessions from 8:00am on Saturday up until 1:00pm. Contact me about availability or to make a special arrangement.

Can I have a session early in the morning?

I have weekday sessions from 8:00am in the morning by arrangement. Contact me about availability.

Can I have a session in the evening?

I have weekday sessions from 9:00pm in the evening by arrangement. Contact me about availability.

Do I have to do anything outside of the sessions?

We can work together to agree “homework” tasks if you like, engaging with the therapeutic process outside of the sessions is often very useful and sometimes essential to make progress. It may be simply “doing things differently”, “noticing thought patterns”, the “tone of your internal dialogue” or perhaps a short daily mindfulness practice.

In the case of some phobias we may agree that some practical (experiential) work needs to be carried out together outside of the session.

What if I cannot make it to a session?

Please let me know as soon as you can by text message, you will be charged for the session unless we have made a prior arrangement a week in advance. I will of course try to re-appoint whenever possible if we can agree a mutually convenient time, please note that this is not always possible and a charge will be made.

What happens when I go on holiday?

Our arrangements will be as transparent as possible and I ask you for at least 2 weeks notice of a holiday. I will endeavour to give as much notice as possible (usually a minimum of 6 weeks notice) for any of my holiday periods, generally they occur during the school holidays.

Codes of Practice

Are the sessions confidential?

As a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I offer the highest possible levels of confidentiality in order to respect the client’s privacy and create the absolute trust necessary for effective counselling.

However it would be misleading to say that it is absolutely 100% confidential as in rare and exceptional circumstances, confidentiality may be broken if information is requested by a court order or if you reveal that…

  • You intend to harm yourself or another person.
  • A child is being abused or is in danger of abuse.
  • You are a member of a terrorist organisation.
  • You are involved in serious criminal activity.

Confidentiality is a complex area with many ethical dilemmas; the examples above are a guide only, please see the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework

On a more general note any clinical notes or records are filed separately under a numerical code and stored separately from personal details so confidential material cannot be linked to any individual client. Notes may be stored on our secure hosting platform which has been vetted by both the NHS and the Ministry of Defence for hosting confidential medical information, giving you peace of mind that it is safe and secure.

I will not identify myself as your therapist on your telephone messaging system to avoid it being heard by someone else. If I bumped into you in a public place I would not acknowledge you unless you acknowledge me first. This is respecting your right not to reveal our professional relationship.

It is worth noting that any communications via email are subject to potential breaches of confidentiality for this reason no case information will be transmitted via email.

Is my data safe & GDPR?

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Policy

I have responsibilities as the data controller for personal details of my clients. I am registered with the Information Commissioners Office registration reference number ZA256027. I use client management software from a highly reputable company “Mayden” who are ISO 27001 approved.They are also approved by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). Their secure hosting is used and tested by the NHS and the Ministry of Defence for the storage of confidential medical data.This software is protected by username and password and then cannot be accessed without requesting a code emailed to my personal email address. The system manages appointments and stores personal data about each client such as contact details, payment record and their notes from each session.

In addition to the electronic data mentioned above I keep a file with a hard copy of 3 core documents:

    • Our Agreement (includes name and signature)
    • Consent for Audio Recording (includes name and signature)
    • Initial session (does not include clients name, does include details of medication, next of kin, preferred method of contact, GP, suicide risk, referral source & D.O.B)

These are kept in a locked filing cabinet to which I am the sole key-holder until our work together is completed when they are securely shredded. In addition I may record two anonymous (initials only) documents in the same file, a GAD7 & PHQ9 and a client feedback form. Client feedback may be used on my website but only with a specific separate agreement and only ever anonymously.

Audio recordings do not include names and are filed on the device by date and time only. Recordings are a personal reference for me alone and are only ever replayed via headphones. Recordings are erased after 3 months or when the memory is full whichever comes first. Recordings can be erased on request at any time.

All information is held in pursuit of doing the best therapeutic work possible.I take the security of this data very seriously and it can be deleted on request at any time.

Client confidentiality is still subject to the exceptions in accordance with the BACP guidelines outlined in our initial assessment meeting and the document “Our Agreement” and these remain in place.

Do you follow an ethical code?

Yes, I am informed and guided by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and their Ethical Framework.

Do you utilise supervision?

Yes, in accordance with the professional and Ethical Framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy I am informed by their guidelines for both supervision and continued professional development.

What is the BACP?

The BACP is the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, they are a professional body that provides support, ethical guidelines and professional standards to help inform and enhance the therapists practice.

Are you guided by a professional body?

Yes, I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) they are my professional body and provide support, ethical guidelines and professional standards to help inform and enhance my practice.

Are you covered by insurance?

I have full Professional Liability Insurance covering, professional indemnity, public liability, product liability, libel & slander up to £1,000,000 for any one claim.