Will you answer questions that I have before I make an appointment? Yes. You can call me with specific questions or send me an email. I will not enter an ongoing online chat with you (one or two emails is enough. I will reply as quickly as I can. If you email me it is unlikely that I will answer immediately. I do not carry a laptop, ipad, iPhone or have conversations via text.
How do I book an my first appointment? You can contact me by telephone or using the contact page on this website. If you use the contact page you must input a contact telephone number. I will call you within 24 hours Sunday to Friday to arrange a suitable appointment. If you do not answer this first time I will leave a message. I will call you once more. If I do not get a reply on my second call I will not call you again.
How do I book an appointment electronically without talking to you? This is not an option that I offer to anyone as a way of making an initial appointment. I only make initial appointments directly with new clients on the telephone. This helps ensure that I offer counselling for the issue that you want to discuss and that I have feel experienced enough to work with you. It allows us to start building a relationship with each other. If during the call either of us feels that we are not right for each other we can stop before we go any further.
How long do I have to wait for an initial appointment? I can usually see you within 5 working days. I work in several locations and my availability is limited by where you want to see me as I prefer to only work in one location each day. Evening appointments can be more difficult to get simply because those times are more popular for people working a nine to five routine. I do not own the premises that I work in, so it depends on room availability.
How long do sessions last? Sessions last for 50 minutes.
Do you work with couples, families or friends sharing the same accommodation? No. I work with individual adults over 18 years old and only one person from a family/relationship unit at a time. I additionally don't work with people how co-habit is to stop me becoming piggy in the middle of a household and any relationship problems.
How do I know that you are the right counsellor for me? You can get an idea from reading this website and if you take the next step and call me you will have the chance to talk to me, that will give you a quick idea as to what I am like. The first session will give you an idea of what I am like to work with. There is absolutely no obligation for you to stay for the full session or to come back. This is a decision for you to make. Not every therapist is right for every client, so this is a personal decision for you.
What happens at an initial session? It gives you the chance to meet me, talk about the issues that have made you decide to come to therapy. An initial session with me will last up to 50 minutes, as do all subsequent sessions. I will explain and discuss confidentiality with you at the start of this session. It usually allows us to start to work together on one topic, of your choice. This give you an idea of what it would like to work with me. Near the end we can discuss whether we want to continue working together and agree the topics we will work on. You do not have to agree to any more and you are very welcome to say you want to go anyway and think about it. If I do not think that I can work with you or believe that you may be better working in a different way I will let you know then as well. The session will also allow you to ask me any questions that you may have. If you decide to carry on working with me I will ask you to read a copy of my working agreement and we will both sign and retain a copy each. It does not tie you into attending a number of future sessions. A copy of it is on this website on the Terms and Conditions Page.
How often do I have to come? To begin with I see people once a week or fortnight and at the same appointment time. However, I know that this is not always possible and I am flexible when possible. There is no limit to how many sessions that you have. You are not contracted to a minimum or maximum. Sometimes people come once and I never see them again. Often for counselling it is between 6 and 12 sessions. Can I make an appointment for someone else? No. I am happy to take enquiries but I insist that I speak to potential clients on the phone before I meet them. It is very important for therapy to be successful that coming is your choice. If you are coming at someone's request you may well be wasting your time and money.
Is there a right time to come for therapy? Yes. When you feel ready to talk and want to change.. How will you know? That is for you to answer for yourself.
Can someone come into a session to listen and make sure that I am telling you everything? No. This ensures your confidentiality. You may want to talk about the person you wants to come in. The therapy is about you not someone else. You can tell me the information that you feel comfortable to talk about, at a pace that you feel able to. You may feel that after a few sessions you feel able to trust me and talk about something that you have not mentioned before. This is not unusual.
Can someone else come into a session to give you some information about me or join in the session? No. My agreement is to work with the client, not a partner, friend or family member. If you choose not to tell me something I will not know. That is your decision and your responsibility. The effect of someone else coming could cause serious problems. You cannot guarantee what they may say, the following consequences and for them to then walk out.
Can I bring someone with me for moral support? Yes, but they must remain outside the room where waiting areas are available. In Edinburgh, this is not possible as there is no waiting area at this office. There are plenty of places nearby in which they can wait. I hope that you will feel comfortable enough to be able to stay for a full session. I always reinforce that you can stop a session at anytime.
Can you give me advice and tell me how to fix things? No. Giving you advice is not counselling. You can ask you family, friends and work colleagues if what you want is advice. Counselling gives you the space, time and opportunity to talk about whatever is concerning you and to explore the choices for change that are available to you, for you. It is you that has to make and live with your choice.
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