There is no fixed process set in stone. Everyone is different and I use my experience and knowledge to find a process that will work for you and to address your particular needs. I understand that the pain you are going through is more often than not the result of an unfortunate set of life experiences. I never judge my clients. My role is to help them move forward not to judge them. Very often the situation they find themselves in is no fault of their own or is beyond their control. Even if my clients feel they are to blame lets face it, we all makes mistakes - It’s part of life.
There are of course some common themes that run through all of my work with clients:
A discussion at the outset of what changes you would like to make and how you would like to feel in the future. In other words “What would you like to get out of counselling?”
Exploring with you the life experiences that have led you to this point
Working together to facilitate you moving forward
Challenging unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours that Are preventing you from living the life you want
Empowering you with the tools to make the changes you want
Most clients that walk through my door for the first time feel nervous or anxious about what’s ahead. However, they usually discover that once we start to talk it’s actually far easier talking to me than it is to the people close to them.
It helps clients to know that whatever they share with me will remain strictly confidential. It allows people to be open and honest. I’m not going to dictate to my clients about what they should or shouldn’t do. They don’t have to worry about upsetting me or protecting my feeling. I’m not going to interrupt or tell them they are wrong. How often do we get that opportunity to be truly heard in everyday life!
The sessions take place in my studio at Hailes, just outside Winchcombe. The wooden clad studio is a new structure and offers a lovely light airy feel. It also allows for privacy and discretion being situated in such a rural location. Once inside you can choose to relax on the sofa or in the armchair or sit round the table. Quite often one of my dogs will be in residence as many people find it more relaxing to have the dog curled up next to them or nearby.
The first session is free. This is so that you can decide whether you feel that we can work together. It’s important that we can build a trusting relationship so this is your chance to check me out, talk a bit about how you’re feeling and ask any questions. This session normally last around 30 minutes. There is absolutely no obligation to continue. It is important you feel comfortable and I appreciate I may not be right for everyone.
E N D I N G T H E T H E R A P Y
It may seem strange to talk about ending when we haven’t yet begun! But right from the beginning we have the end in mind. It is not an open ended process which meanders gently towards no particular goal whilst I take your hard earned cash week on week. Rather it is time-limited and focused on your goal; whether time-limited means 6 weeks or 6 months depends on your particular issues.
One of my clients told me that when we started to work together she thought she would have to see me every week for the rest of her life. I saw her for ten weeks and when we finished our work together she had achieved what she had wanted to achieve. That said, the ending does not have to be absolute and it can be reassuring to know that you can always come back if you need to.