“Counselling is a psychological interaction involving two or more individuals. One or more of the interactions is considered able to help the other person(s) live and function more effectively at the time of the involvement or in the future. Specifically, the goal of counselling is to assist the recipients directly or indirectly in adjusting to or otherwise negotiating environments that influence their own or someone else’s psychological well-being.” (Votaress 1988 pg7)
Research has shown that outside of therapy people rarely have a friend who will truly listen to them for more than 20 minutes. In addition, friends and relatives are often involved in the problem and therefore do not provide the "safe outside perspective" which may be required. Nonetheless, people often attempt to solve their problems by talking to friends, relatives, co-workers, religious leaders, or some other confidant in their lives, or by thinking and exploring themselves. Whilst this can be beneficial the more structured approach of a client / therapist relationship has been shown to have far greater impact in helping people to solve their problems and resolve their issues. Indeed, apart from the relationship itself the discipline of having appointments and setting aside time to consider the issues has been shown to create a measurable improvement for some clients. Even making the first appointment can be an indicator of readiness to tackle change.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy describes counselling as a confidential relationship that is based on a contractual arrangement made between the therapist and the client. Within this relationship the client explores their personal distress and dissatisfaction or loss of direction and or purpose in their life. The therapist will not give advice or tell you what to do. Counselling can be used short term for specific problems or long term for more deep rooted issues which can be life changing.
All clients are initially assessed before a contract is agreed. The contract outlines the time, place, cost and likely duration of future sessions. The therapist will explain about the rules of confidentiality. Confidentiality is, of course, an integral part of the therapeutic relationship and all counselling and psychotherapy in general. The therapist may also encourage and support you to explore any concerns you may have about counselling.
You will have regular opportunities during your sessions to review your work within the therapy.
The team has extensive experience of helping people with a wide range of issues including self-confidence; assertiveness; bereavement and loss; relationships; and stress management. All our counsellors have at least six years’ post-qualification experience.
The team is happy to accept self-referral from private clients but people are also referred from a variety of settings - from business, public and private sector organisations, educational establishments, and the National Health Service.
All UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) registered therapists and a Members of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) are bound by, and abide by, the Ethical Framework for Good Practice of those professional bodies. The ethical frameworks and codes of good practice can be seen on the web sites of these organisations.
The therapists at the Centre use a variety of techniques in their counselling according to the needs of the client, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Neuro-linguistic Programming, and Emotional Freedom Technique. For those who would like further information about those techniques Jo will be happy to discuss what each of them involves.