Counselling is a chance to talk about things that are important to you - such as relationships, thoughts or feelings - that can sometimes get in the way of living the life that you want.
A counsellor is a trained professional who provides confidential relationship that can help promote your well-being and bring about effective change in your life and your relationships.
Research suggests that above the theories, tools and techniques of therapy, it is the relationship between you and your therapist that makes the most difference to the best outcomes.
Thus it is important that you find someone that you feel is the right fit for you. We offer a lower cost initial session for individuals (not couples), without commitment to further sessions.
Making the decision to attend a session is a positive step and can offer support beyond that available from family or friends. My aim is to help you find better ways to understand yourself, or to bring about changes to help you manage the way you think or behave, to improve your mental, emotional and behavioural well-being.
Listening carefully is the largest part of what all mental health professionals do. They make sure clients have clarified the problem areas in their own terms and help them decide what steps they want to take next, with the goal of always letting the work proceed at the client’s pace.
The idea of counselling is often unnerving to people, and the idea of doing those sessions with another person can be downright terrifying. Nothing is really going to change that potential dread before your first appointment, but knowing what to expect makes it a bit less unnerving.
What to expect from individual sessions:
In your first session, you may be asked questions about you and your life. This information helps to make an initial assessment of your situation. Questions asked may include why you sought therapy at this time or whether there is a particular issue that may have led you to seek help. It may be however that you are unsure what the problem is, or feel a sense of 'stuckness' and may be looking for a way to better achieve your goals or take positive steps forward in life. Because family situations can play an important role in who you are, you may also be asked about your family history or your current family situation. Other than knowing the reason you sought therapy, you may be asked questions to find out if you’re suffering from any other symptoms related or not to your problem.
It is completely normal to feel anxious at first, particularly if this is your first experience of counselling. It can take a while to get used to the situation, but most people report feeling significantly more at ease as the first session goes along. It can be quite a relief to talk about difficult issues with someone who is understanding, who clearly withholds judgement and with whom you do not have an emotional attachment.
What to expect from couples sessions
Couples therapy sessions are generally 90 minutes long. This is because we can accomplish much more in a longer session and it is very important that you both get a chance to express what is going on for you in your relationship. It is also common for us to need much fewer sessions than individual counselling.
Perhaps you and your partner are arguing about the stupidest things and these rows quickly escalate into something nasty? Or your relationship feels stale, and if the two of you were not so busy leading separate lives you feel you would die of boredom? Sometimes there is a big issue - such as money, sex, infidelity, in-laws or children—about which you cannot get your partner to understand your viewpoint?
The main purpose of couples therapy is to put you and your significant other in a room with a neutral mediator to help you make sense of what's going on. If you're having trouble communicating with each other, then the counsellor is going to help guide you through talking about it. As you'd expect, the aim is to get you talking through whatever issues you have, or to simply figure out what those issues are. In the case of couples therapy, it's useful to find a counsellor who will suit both of you and you can call us to talk over what you're looking for in the sessions before committing.
As you'd probably expect, the first thing that you are likely going to be asked is something along the lines of, "What's going on?" or "Why are you here?" It sounds incredibly simple, but it's worth taking the time with your significant other to prepare to answer the questions.You can prepare yourself to answer a few rudimentary questions during that first session. In fact, the whole process is likely similar to one-on-one therapy, which means the therapist will likely ask about your history and expect both of you to be open, somewhat talkative, and honest.
Depending on the situation, your counsellor might also talk to you both individually for portions of the appointment. Don't expect the first visit to a couples counsellor to produce a miracle. Things might come up you never knew about the other person, or you might let something slip out of your own mouth that you didn't even know you thought.
Basically, couples counselling has just as much potential of being positive as it does negative, but that's just part of the process. Talking about your problems with a counsellor might not be easy. Sessions might pass in silence as you and your partner seethe over perceived wrongs—or you might bring your fights with you, perhaps even arguing during sessions. Both are OK. Your therapist can act as mediator or referee and help you cope with the resulting emotions and turmoil.
If there are underlying issues with one of the couple then it may be appropriate for them to do individual therapy with another provider so that more time in the couples session can be devoted to how they move forward together.
Practicalities / Fees
Our team are currently based in central London (Farringdon / Clerkenwell) and south-east London (Blackheath) for face to face counselling (our exact location is shown by clicking on the take action button below). Fees for Counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) are currently:
Individuals - £45 for the initial session and £90 thereafter for a 55 minute session
Couples - £135 for a 90 minute session
The fee is payable by cash/card payment/electronic funds transfer or cheque at the start of the session. Daytime, evening and weekend appointments are available, either in person or online (via video using a secure, encrypted platform). 48 hours notice is required for cancellation without charge.
If you are interested in finding out more about our counselling services or you would like to arrange to meet, please use the link below…