What is counselling?
Counselling is a way of resolving your problems. It involves talking confidentially to a trained professional to explore what is wrong and what you might need so that you can live a more rewarding and satisfying life. Psychotherapy works on the same principles but is usually longer-term but deals with more serious, long-term personal problems. Counselling or psychotherapy are talking therapies which help you to get back in touch with your own needs and support you in clarifying the most appropriate ways forward in your particular circumstances.
What are your qualifications and what training do you have?
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in counselling from Strathclyde University (2000-2002) and gained my MSc in Counselling from the same institution in 2011. I also have an HNC in integrative counselling (1998-2000) as well as a Certificate in Counselling Supervision from PCT Britain (2006).
In addition to my professional qualifications I have undertaken additional training to enhance my practice, including workshops in Pre-Therapy (with Dion van Werde, 2004, 2006), in existential philosophy and therapy (2005), in Emotion-Focused Therapy (2008, 2016), in difficult client process (with Margaret Warner, 2003), and in developmental trauma (2006). I read professional journals and books and attend further training to continually expand my knowledge and therapeutic ability.
How confidential is it?
The counselling I provide is completely confidential. This means I will not disclose to others any identifying information you reveal to me without your explicit agreement. There are some legal and ethical limits to the confidentiality I offer. These limits are clearly specified in my confidentiality policy and have to do with minimising the risk of serious harm to yourself or others, and with complying with the requirements of the law.
How much does it cost?
My normal fee is £40 for a sixty minute session. There are practitioners with far less training and experience who charge more for their services.
How does it work?
I recommend that we meet for an initial appointment before deciding whether to work together. An initial appointment lasts up to one hour and costs £20. This gives you a chance to meet with me and to ask any questions you may have about myself and my counselling approach. You are not expected to make a decision about working together at the end of the initial appointment - instead I encourage you to go away and think about whether you would feel comfortable working with me and confident about my ability to help you.
If we do decide to work together after this initial meeting then we would agree how we will work together in our first sessions and I would give you a written copy of this agreement. We would normally meet once a week for an hour and would review after six sessions to see whether the counselling is helping and to consider whether any changes are needed to our working agreement. We can continue working together with regular reviews for as long as needed to address your problems.
What is your theoretical approach?
I am a person-centred and experiential therapist. This means that I spend most of my time listening carefully to try to understand your perspective and that I use a variety of means to help you to clarify what you are feeling in your particular situation. I offer compassionate, non-judgemental and empathic listening and will work with respect for you as a unique person. I also seek to be straightforward, trustworthy and honest.
What issues do you work with?
I am happy to work with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, stress, panic attacks, loss, bereavement, self-esteem, general unhappiness, anger management, relationship problems, adoption issues and life transitions. I have particular experience of working with trauma and with the consequences of child sexual abuse and/or sexual violence, having worked in this area for more than twenty years. I am an LGBT-friendly therapist and I organised Scotland's first national conference on LGBT-affirmative therapy (Out of Mind, 2000).
I do not work with couples, people under 16 years of age, or people seeking personal counselling for drug and/or alcohol dependency. I am happy to refer you to experienced colleagues if this is relevant to you.
What are your professional standards?
I work to recognised professional standards: I am accredited as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist with both the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and COSCA and work within their published ethical codes. I am also registered with COSCA and BACP. Both registers are accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. I have a published confidentiality policy and complaints procedure.
Do you offer counselling near me?
I work from a quiet and private counselling room on Hopetoun Crescent in central Edinburgh, a short walk from Broughton Street and the top of Leith Walk and close to transport links. There is a small flight of steps up to the front door and buzzer entry to the building.
Registered Member MBACP (Accred), AccMCOSCA, FHEA