People often feel unable to talk to those that are close to them for many reasons. Here are just a few examples: fear of being a burden to others or wanting to meet the expectations of others; fearing that this may change the way they see or feel about us. We may not want to be seen as vulnerable or we may fear being judged, criticised, or let down. Sometimes people can be dismissive of our feelings so we may not feel safe talking to them. We may also have concerns about confidentiality.
Talking to a trained Counsellor can alleviate some of these worries, allowing you the freedom to talk openly and honestly. To talk and then go home, leaving your discussion in the room with the therapist, can feel a safe way to take time out to explore what's going on, knowing nothing in your life will change until you want it to or feel ready for it. A trained Counsellor or Psychotherapist who belongs to a professional body is ethically bound to provide a professional, confidential service which is respectful and honest. A therapist will want to listen in order to understand, rather than to give advice. They will always work with your best interests and well-being in mind.
There are no laws in the UK regarding counselling and psychotherapy. In order to ensure that your Counsellor or Psychotherapist is properly trained and competent to practice, it is recommended that you check that they are a Registered Member of a professional body such as the BACP, NCS, or UKCP.
No counsellor can say that counselling or psychotherapy will be successful for you. However, there is a lot of evidence out there suggesting that ‘talking therapies’ are beneficial for many people. Counselling offers a safe and confidential space to explore your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Time with a trained counsellor or psychotherapist can offer the opportunity to make sense of what is going on for you, and this, in turn, can often help you to find a way forward and improve feelings of well-being. However, a Counsellor or Psychotherapist only works with what you bring to each session. In order for therapy to be effective and of benefit to you, you need to be open to the process, talk honestly about what is going on for you, and make a commitment to attend regularly.
Building a trusting relationship is fundamental in therapy, so it is a chance for both of us to meet to see if you feel comfortable enough to consider working together. Your first appointment with me is a chance for you to ask any questions and for me to find out what your goals and expectations are with regards to therapy, as well as provide you with information of a practical nature. At this point, we may discuss how many appointments you may require, depending on your goals, and how regularly we plan to meet. I will carry out a short assessment and start the process of getting to know you.
Some therapists work in organisational settings and may work from an office within a building. Other therapists may work privately and rent out rooms or work from home, like myself. The important thing is that wherever you meet the space feels comfortable, private, and guaranteed against any interruptions