What kind of things can counselling help with?
Counselling can help with a wide range of presenting issues: anxiety, low self esteem, depression, friendship problems, stress, self harm, bullying, loss, bereavement, sleep issues, attachment problems, relationship problems, panic attacks, behavioural issues; to name but some.
In the initial phone call we can discuss the nature of the issue and whether counselling might help.
Is online counselling as good as face to face?
There are many advantages to online counselling: it is not limited by geographical location - I can work with you wherever you are as long as you find yourself a private (and hopefully comfortable) spot. Security and confidentiality are vitally important, and I can give you more information on this.
Sometimes it is easier to find a mutually agreeable time to meet - you don't have to factor in travel or parking.
Some people find it easier to talk about personal or sensitive issues when they are somewhere they feel safe and secure, and not face to face with the counsellor. For some people, phone work can be easier for this reason.
It is harder - but not impossible - to assess body language, and sometimes you can be subject to technological or connection issues. I always discuss a fallback plan if the internet should let us down.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies, and there are many factors to take into account. It is a good idea for us to talk about whether we are looking at short term (eg. 1-6 sessions), medium (eg. 7-12 sessions) or long term work (13 onwards) when we first talk. Sometimes we have to stick to a certain amount, and sometimes we renegotiate this along the way.
How can you tell if it is working?
There are several questionnaires we can use to measure how we are doing - CORE 10, GAD7 Anxiety questionnaire and PHQ-9 Depression test questionnaire - are commonly used, but we can also use some more specific measurements if they are useful.
It is common in counselling to feel worse before you feel better though - which can happen as we uncover and explore past trauma or distress. This is why it is important to go at a steady pace, not trying to do too much too soon.
Is it confidential?
The work we do stays confidential, unless I become worried about your safety or the safety of others.
If you are below the age of 18, I follow West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership protocol https://www.westsussexscp.org.uk/professionals/.
If you are above the age of 18, I follow West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board protocol https://www.westsussexsab.org.uk/professionals/policies-and-procedures/