Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to respond to an enquiry?
I will get back to enquiries usually on the day, but certainly within 24 hours.
Is this confidential?
Yes. What you disclose to me is confidential; I am duty bound to protect what you tell me, and I take this very seriously. There are very rare circumstances where I would breech confidentiality - this would be discussed when we meet.
Do you offer online counselling?
Yes, I offer short term and ongoing Online counselling.
Can counselling and psychotherapy help me?
Talking helps. At its base, discussing your concerns with a professional listener (who is not a friend or relative) can be both a relief and a release. What is also very important is to gain some understanding, a perspective, and an awareness of your difficulty - counselling can facilitate this and enable you to be in a better position to make informed decisions about your life.
Will we just talk about the past?
No, but the past will inevitably be in the present (it always is!) and in this sense, we will be thinking about your past experiences in order to understand and reflect on your current circumstances.
How do I know how much counselling or psychotherapy I will need?
Counselling will generally be shorter than psychotherapy, and usually for a fixed amount of sessions (time limited). Although this is explorative; that is, we will explore what you bring to sessions without a rigid agenda; it is likely that we will agree a focus to the work. Psychotherapy is longer in duration and often open ended - there is no fixed end date. This is also explorative; the focus is on you and what you bring to your sessions to explore. Its open-ended nature gives more time to work with problems that may have been troubling you over a long period. Some people decide to work initially on a short term basis and then decide to work in an open ended way. For others, a few sessions can feel enough. You are under no obligation to start your therapy with me after your initial consultation.
How often do you work with people?
I offer once weekly or twice weekly therapy; this will be dependent on your needs and circumstances and will be discussed in your initial consultation and reviewed together during therapy.
What is your approach or modality?
I am a psychodynamic therapist. This is psychoanalytic in origin and works on the premise that we all have a past, and that our early relationships and our experiences are vitally important to how we have developed, relate to others, and understand ourselves today. There is an appreciation of the 'unconscious'; an area of the mind or psyche that we are not fully in touch with in our day to day lives. Sometimes in times of difficulty or pain, or when life becomes difficult and lacking in pleasure, people seek out a professional listener - a therapist - to help them to understand their pain or symptom. None of this is achievable without a good rapport with your therapist.
Why do you only offer psychodynamic therapy ?
After many years of studying different theoretical models and ways of working I decided to concentrate and focus on studying one modality in depth. I work psychodynamically and this is my specialism. I am very much interested in other ways of working too and keep engaged in new developments in the field of counselling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis through continuous professional development.
Do you work with a psychoanalytic couch?
No. We sit opposite each other.
Do you recommend 'homework' or should I prepare in some way?
No. I encourage you to bring whatever is on your mind to your sessions. I believe this space and time is yours to see what emerges, and for us to work together on what you bring. This provides an opportunity for new understandings to emerge.
Do you work with medical health insurance?
Yes - I am approved and registered to work with BUPA , AXA PPP, AVIVA , ALLIANZ, CIGNA and WPA.
What are concession fees, how do I access these?
This is a reduced session fee offered to those who might struggle to pay my standard session fee. For example, that might be for someone who is unemployed, some students, someone who is retired, or others who might be in financial difficulty. I offer a limited number of these concession spaces, so its always best to contact me to discuss this. It may be that a low cost counselling or psychotherapy organisation would be more appropriate and could be something to consider too.
How do I know you have the right qualifications to help me?
I am a qualified, registered and Accredited counsellor and psychotherapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). You can check my credentials on the BACP register here
In addition to being a registered member, I have also completed the BACP's accreditation process - the BACP uses the term 'Accredited' to "show registrants who have sought a higher level of quality assurance through the BACP accreditation scheme, over and above the minimum registration" (www.bacpregister.org.uk/join/FAQs.php)
Accredited therapists have to show and evidence best practice over a number of years after qualification, and pass the accreditation process too.
The BACP register is also scrutinised by the Professional Standards Authority to help protect the general public. Click here
I am also a registered member of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) the leading UK professional association and voluntary accredited register for the psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy profession. Registrants must meet high professional standards to be included on the register.
I adhere to the BPC's Code Of Ethics.
Is there a written agreement?
Yes. It is a short, simple document that outlines our responsibilities on both sides - such as when and how we meet, cancellation and holiday policy, confidentiality and so forth. This will be discussed in depth when we meet.
Do you have a car park?
NCP Car Park London Bridge (24 hour) - Kipling St, London SE1 3RU. Some pay and display in and around borough - some free after 18:30.
For information about the professional body I belong to as a counsellor and psychotherapist - British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have a profile you can view via their 'search a therapist' tool here