Things to know

BACP Senior Accredited and Registered Independent Counsellor/Psychotherapist offering sessions and supervision in Kings Heath and Moseley, Birmingham.

On this page you will find some important information about aspects of the agreement we’ll make when we decide to work together.  I usually cover all of this material in a first session, but it’s useful if you have read through it in advance, so that you can think about any questions you might want to ask me.

Expectations

When you make contact by telephone or email, we will set a date and time for our first meeting.  I will usually be able to see you within a week or two of your initial contact.  

Our first session is an opportunity for us to meet and get a sense of one another, and whether we feel we’ll be able to work together.  I can try to answer any questions you might have, and you can let me know what brings you to counselling, and what you’re hoping to get from it.  It may be that you feel clear at the end of this first session that you would like to work with me, or you might need a few days to reach a decision.

If you decide that you would like to continue our sessions, we will establish a ‘contract’ that we both feel comfortable with.  This will make clear the nature of the sessions and the boundaries that we each will observe —  around confidentiality, cancellations, timekeeping, costs —  and will establish our commitment to working together in regular weekly sessions.  For example, we may initially contract to meet for eight weeks, and agree that at the end of that period we will reassess and talk about what will work best for you from then on.  It may be that you feel after that period that your issues have been addressed enough for now, or you may then decide to continue open-endedly.

Confidentiality

Everything that you say in a counselling session is confidential.  I hope that you will feel able to say everything you need to say in our sessions.  This can take time, as you get to know me and trust grows.  The only circumstances under which I would break confidentiality would be if I believed you or someone else was in danger — and wherever possible, I would discuss this with you before reporting the matter to someone who could usefully intervene.

Supervision

All counsellors and therapists are required to have what is known as supervision.  This is a process in which we discuss our work with our clients with a more experienced practitioner.  This process is always anonymous, and no information is given that could link my work to you as an individual.  

Fees

My charges are on a sliding scale from £40 to £60 per session.  What you pay relates to your income — this is not worked out by any strict formula, and I don’t ask for documentation of any kind.  If you have an average income, you might choose to pay £40 or £45 per session; if you are earning well, you would pay more.  I am always open to discussing my charges, and if you are on low income, we may be able to agree to a charge of less than £40.

Cancellation

I appreciate knowing as far in advance as possible if you are unable to attend a session.  If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice, you will need to pay the full fee.  If you cancel within 48 hours, I still need to ask you to pay half of the usual fee.  

Sometimes you might feel like cancelling because you don’t think you have anything to say — these often are the most useful and engaging sessions, so please do come to all our planned sessions.