How long will I need to come for counselling?
This is probably the most commonly asked question, and the most difficult to answer. Every person comes with a different issue requiring a different amount of time to learn how to make the necessary changes. However, there has been a significant study done which shows that "the chances of recovery are greater the more sessions one attends, and that it generally takes between 13 and 18 sessions for 50% of people to recover." That may help answer the question. (study by Swift - http\://pyscnet.apa.org/journals/ccp)
Do I have to tell the counsellor things I don't want to or am uncomfortable talking about?
No, you don't. It may be that during the course of the sessions together, a bond or trust develops in which you feel that you can begin to explore with the counsellor things that you felt you couldn't talk about with anybody. These are often the very things that are underpinning some of the difficulties that brought you to counselling in the first place. But you only talk about what YOU want to and only when YOU are ready to.
Will the counsellor want me to dredge up my past.
Dredging up the past for the sake of it serves no useful purpose. However, what often occurs in the counselling process is that an experience you are having in your current life can be easily related to an event in the past. That relationship may be useful to help you to understand, say, a pattern in the way you feel or in the way you develop relationships.
What will I talk about?
The counselling session is time set aside for you. You can talk about anything you like: it may be that you have work issues and there are events from your day or week that you wish to explore; you may wish to talk about a person who is missing from your life; you may even want to talk about a disturbing dream you have had.
What if I don't want to talk?
If you don't want to talk, I am very happy to sit and let you remain in a contemplative state. Clearly, it would be helpful if you did use the time for exploration. It may be important that you don't talk on occasion. It may also be important to talk about why you don't want to talk.
What sort of issues can I bring to counselling?
You can bring any issue that is troubling you or that you wish to explore. The nature of counselling is one of non-judgement. That non-judgement is sometimes difficult to feel easy with in the beginning.
Do I have to pay if I miss sessions?
In general, yes. A counsellor sets aside the alloted time each week for you and that time can't be used for any other purpose. It is a common practise for counsellors and psychotherapists to charge for sessions missed by clients. However, if I am given plenty of notice, say, if you are booking a holiday for instance, you won't be charged for that missed session. I will generally try to provide you with an alternative appointment time if, for instance, you can't come due to illness or need to work when you thought you would not be. There is no charge made if I am away or have to change a session time.
If there are questions that haven't been answered here, feel free to contact me via the details on the Contacts page.
Tricia St Clair
Counselling & Psychotherapy
18 Forcefield Road
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