What is counselling?
Counselling and Psychotherapy provide a safe and confidential space for you to talk through your issues and concerns. As a trained and experienced therapist, I can help you to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and others. By engaging in therapy, you embark on a therapeutic journey that is navigated safely, to help you get to where you want to go.
What is Pluralistic Counselling?
Pluralistic counselling and psychotherapy has emerged as an integrative model, informed by current research evidence regarding what is helpful to clients. It is a framework that allows therapists and clients to work together to find the best way of addressing what is troubling them, using ideas and methods from both the therapy literature and client's life experience. The basic principle is that ''different people are helped by different processes and activities at different times, and that the best way of deciding on how therapy should proceed is to engage the client in a process of shared decision-making". It is organised around a specific set of procedures for collaborative working that is there to avoid therapists making assumptions about what will help the client and for clients who may feel ''stuck'', to know that they have a choice on what they would like their therapy to look like.
I am a firm believer that clients are their own experts, and therefore, conversations are centred around understanding your therapeutic direction, i.e. what you would like to get out of counselling. Therapy is then structured within the pluralistic framework to identify your therapeutic goals (further direction), tasks and methods. Alongside the continual check-ins and feedback, this lays the groundwork to working through any problem. It's important to know that the goals, tasks and methods can be fluid and dynamic to meet your, potentially changing, therapeutic needs.
If you're interested in more information, I am more than happy to discuss this with you. Additionally, you're welcome to read 'What is the pluralistic approach, and how is it different from integrative and eclectic practise' found here: https://pluralisticpractice.com/2019/07/15/what-is-the-pluralistic-approach-and-how-is-it-different-from-integrative-and-eclectic-practices/.
What happens in counselling?
Counselling can take different forms depending on your needs and what type of therapy may be suitable. Most therapy takes place in planned, regular sessions which last for 50 minutes. There are exceptions if you're looking for an emergency appointment, check-in appointment or interested in receiving One At A Time (OAAT) therapy. How often we have sessions and how many sessions you have will depend on your individual circumstances, and will be agreed before counselling starts.
During a session, the focus is on structuring a therapeutic session that best suits you. This may mean that you would like us to go through specific exercises designed to help with your problem, or you might want to have more general discussions about how you're feeling. What you talk about will vary depend on what you want help with and can include:
your feelings, emotions or thoughts
past and present life events
situations you find difficult
You can be assured that I will be understanding, where all discussions are welcome with warmth, empathy and openness. I will listen to you without judgment and help you explore your thoughts and emotions. If you'd like I can offer information, but counselling does not offer advice.
What to expect?
Once an enquiry is made, you can expect me to contact you the way the initial contact was made i.e. an email will be responded to by email and an answer phone message by a phone call. From this, we will arrange a free chat (approximately 20minutes) to introduce each other, outline your reasons for therapy and how I can help. Overall, it's a useful conversation to also see whether I would be right counsellor and/or psychotherapist for you. It is OK if you need time in between this conversation and the start of counselling to decide if you would like to proceed. If you would like us to therapeutically work together, we can then arrange date, time and preferred method of therapy.
During the first session you can expect:
Where we will spend a few minutes solidify our introduction and making you feel at ease, which might include sorting out the basics things like where you would like to sit, and whether we use first names or stay more formal.
I may ask you if you would like to give a history of the problems you’re experiencing, ask you to complete some forms, or we might go through information I've received about you, such as a letter from your GP. Depending on your preference, I may just ask you to ‘tell your story’ What's important is that you have had the opportunity to tell me what is troubling you, in a way that suits you the best.
As with all therapist working within an ethical framework, therapist should agree the terms, or contract with you, about how they will provide their services. At Counselling with Zoe, this will either be a printed or electronic document for us both to sign.
Please know that it is also OK if you don’t want to continue with therapy after the first session as it is important to receive therapy from the right therapist. If you're unsure, I have a therapy preference assessment questionnaire that you can fill in which would allow me to understand the sort of therapist you're looking for,.
What if I miss a Counselling Session?
A charge will incur for a missed session unless there was 48 hours notice given; however, discretions may be given under special circumstances.
If there are any questions that you would like answered, please do not hesitate to contact me here.