Who can have counselling?
Anyone over 16. You do not have to have a mental health diagnosis to come to counselling. It is for anyone who may be struggling with their emotions or any other problem and feel talking may help. I am open to working with people from all walks of life including different races, religions, genders and sexualities. Being mixed-race myself, I have lived experience of racism and have undergone further training on working with racial trauma. I also have a good understanding of neurodiversity and have experience working with individuals with autistic spectrum conditions.
What if the weather is bad?
If weather is forecast that is dangerous, for example a storm or heavy snow, I will get in touch with you to determine what you would like to do. In these circumstances, I can offer an online video or telephone therapy session instead, cancel the session at no charge or may be able to rearrange the session dependent on availability. I do work outside all year round and this may mean working in cold or rainy conditions. We will discuss and agree in our initial session what conditions you are comfortable outside in and it may be that you prefer to switch to online video sessions over winter or on rainy days.
What should I wear / bring?
As a general guide, I would recommend wearing trousers or leggings to avoid scratches or stings from plants. The paths can get muddy in wet weather so I would advise walking boots, wellies or trainers you don’t mind getting muddy. I would also suggest a raincoat as it is England and you never know when a downpour is around the corner! On hot summer days, it is advisable to wear sun cream. It is also a good idea to bring a bottle of water or perhaps a flask of tea in the winter. You do not need to have any specialist equipment, the woodlands where I work have well trodden footpaths.
How many sessions do I need?
There is no maximum or minimum number of therapy sessions. We can discuss in your initial session if you have a particular timescale or budget to work to and agree on a set number of sessions if you would prefer. Alternatively, I am happy to work in an open-ended way and will check in and review progress with you regularly. I offer weekly sessions as this helps to build a relationship and momentum within the therapeutic process. As we move towards ending sessions, it may be possible to reduce to fortnightly.
What about confidentiality?
Everything that you say to me during sessions will be kept confidential. The only times I may need to break confidentiality is if I believe you or someone you mention is in danger or if I am asked to do so in a criminal investigation. If we are working outdoors together, whilst I aim to work in areas that will be relatively quiet, as these are public spaces I cannot guarantee we will not walk past other people or be overheard. I will discuss with you what you would like to do in such circumstances when we meet for our initial session – for example, we may wish to move off the path and let the people go ahead. No-one else needs to know you are in a counselling session; to the outside world we will just look like two people going for a walk. I have regular supervision but any issues discussed with my supervisor are anonymised.
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
I understand that life is busy and from time to time you may not be able to make a session. Please do your best to give me at least 24 hours notice should this be the case.
Can I contact you in between sessions?
If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, you can call, text or email me. I may not be able to answer a call as I may be in a session with another client, but I will get back to you as soon as I can. I aim to respond to any calls or emails within 2 working days.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
As my Post-Graduate Diploma is in Psychotherapeutic Counselling, I am both a counsellor and a psychotherapist. Definitions vary and some argue the amount of sessions or content covered varies, but the terms are largely used interchangeably. I am happy to work with you for as long as you need and will be led by you on the issues you want to work on. I am happy for you to refer to me as your counsellor or your psychotherapist or neither – whatever you are comfortable with.