I work in a collaborative and empowering way. I help individuals to increase their emotional strength by supporting them to talk freely about the issues they are struggling with. I then help them to 'step back' and look again at their responses. This promotes insight and enables individuals to develop new and creative ways of responding to the challenges they face.
What is 'psychodynamic' counselling?
A psychodynamic understanding of how we relate is based on the idea that we all have with in us a complex and constantly changing 'internal world' shaped by our experiences of past as well as current events and people in our life. We might not be able to remember early or more traumatic experiences well or at all. These might be stored in us in other ways e.g. an emotion such as fear, troubling image or recurring dream. Alternatively we might shut ourselves off from these memories and find ourselves being drawn into destructive relationships or situations in ways which do not seem to make sense. Understanding how these deep 'unconscious' currents pull us in a particular direction can help us to take them into account in plotting a new and more rewarding life course.
How long does it take?
As a general rule the more recent the difficulty the shorter the time period that is likely to be required. Therefore, someone who has otherwise been coping well but who has been thrown by a difficult loss such as a bereavement, redundancy or health problems might only require counselling for a relatively short time. On the other hand if this is complicated because it is connected with earlier losses or is part of a recurring problematic way of relating, longer-term open ended counselling may be advisable.
Starting counselling can be a daunting prospect. Therefore, I offer two trial sessions during which you can see if you feel confident in talking to me and so that I can make sure that my approach to counselling is suited to you. If you decide to continue we would meet each week at a regular time for an agreed period of time or on an ongoing basis. You can also call me to discuss the possibility of counselling.
Safety & Confidentiality
Everything I am told during counselling remains strictly confidential. The only exceptions to this are where:
- I am required by law to break confidentiality e.g. about a terrorist act or if a court orders disclosure, or
- where a client is at real risk of seriously harming him or herself or another, in particular if a child or a vulnerable adult is at risk.
For further information about 'professional boundaries' in counselling see:
I have regular supervision as required by the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I am supervised by a highly qualified and experienced consultant psychotherapist This is to ensure that I am adequately supported and able to work in the best interests of my clients. I do not disclose the surnames or addresses of clients to my supervisor.
All records belong to me and are kept in accordance with ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (‘BACP’). I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office under the data protection (registration reference ZA120878). Clients can request a copy of the information I hold for a fee of £5 per session note. I keep records for up to 6 years after the completion of the counselling. I retain two types of records:
- Key Information
I keep paper records of a client’s full name, date of birth, contact details, GP details, a copy of the counselling agreement, any completed evaluation forms, the contact details of any other relevant professionals involved, any relevant correspondence and any family trees. I also keep electronic records of my clients contact and GP details whilst I am working with them. These are kept separate to the 'therapeutic records’ and contact details may be shared with a colleague in the unexpected event I am unable to make contact with a client myself e.g. through illness.
- Therapeutic records
These cover the main themes of the sessions, any changes in ways of relating, progress towards the client’s goals in counselling, any risk issues and how they are being managed and any discussions about the counselling agreement as well as a record of payment and attendance. The therapeutic records are kept to help me to enhance the therapeutic process and to manage risk.
The therapeutic records are recorded electronically on a system called BACPAC set up as a a joint venture between BACP, and Mayden, which has been vetted by the NHS for hosting confidential medical information. These therapeutic records are kept separately to the 'key information’. They do not include any identifying information.
For further information about counselling generally see:
BACP fact sheet