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About our sessions

Autumn trees reflected in a peaceful loch

"We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know."

 

Carl Rogers, A Way of Being

calm sea and beach
What happens in our sessions?

We talk. You choose what we talk about, and the pace we go at. If you’re not sure what to talk about or where to start, that’s fine too – the important things always have a way of coming up.

I will: do my very best to understand you, from your perspective, without judgement or blame.  I know that being truly heard and understood can be transformative.  I'll offer you empathy and respect - all of you, even any parts of yourself you don't like.  I'll ask questions to help facilitate deeper understanding, offer my responses to what you say, and perhaps offer you some alternative perspectives and suggestions.  It will always be your choice whether you wish to accept or reject these.

I won’t: judge you, push you where you don’t want to go, or tell you what to do.

Instead, we’ll work together to find your answers and your way forward.

In order to change, we first need to understand and accept how we are, now.   I'll help you unpack complex feelings, identify patterns in your life, and understand how past issues may be affecting you in the present. Learning in our counselling sessions how to better understand and listen to yourself is something that can stay with you long after counselling ends.

We know that for counselling to be effective, the relationship between us really matters.  I will be fully attentive to you, genuine and honest, and always treat you with empathy and respect.  It's important that you feel comfortable with me, too, so to help you decide if I’m the kind of counsellor you’re looking for, please get in touch to arrange an initial free 20-minute phone call. 

Is it confidential?

Yes.  Counsellors all take confidentiality very seriously.  I do not share the content of our sessions (apart from in my own supervision, which itself is confidential), or any identifying information about my clients, except in a few particular circumstances, namely if I am concerned about your or another's safety, or if there is a legal requirement for me to do so.  I will always seek to discuss this with you first. 

 

Like all counsellors, I discuss my client work with my clinical supervisor, as required by my ethical body, to ensure I am working ethically and professionally and providing you with the best service I can. However, I will not share any identifying information, and my supervisor is also bound by confidentiality.

I am particularly mindful of discretion and confidentiality living here in the Highlands, where the population is small and communities close and interlinked.  If you're a local client, we can discuss this further when we meet.  If it becomes clear at any point, and for any reason, that we cannot continue to work together, I can refer you to another counsellor if you wish.   

How many sessions will we have?                             

 

​The number of sessions we have is up to you, depending on what you want and need.

 

Some people find they only need one or two sessions; others need longer. I’m happy to offer single-session, short-term and longer-term counselling. We can discuss this at the start, and review as we go along.

How often will we meet?


In general, it’s therapeutically helpful to meet regularly, usually weekly, especially at the start.  I'm also happy to meet less frequently - for some, fortnightly can be a good option, or even monthly.  We can discuss together what works best for you.

Where will we meet?


I work face-to-face in indoor locations near Grantown on Spey in Strathspey, in the Cairngorms National Park.  I'm also happy to offer "walk and talk" outdoor sessions, where we walk on good paths in the Caledonian pine forest or by the River Spey.  I also work online and by phone with clients based anywhere in the UK.

 

We can discuss what suits you best when we speak.

 
How do we end? 


It's helpful to take time every so often to review our work together, reflect on how your counselling is going, what you are finding helpful, and any changes occurring in your life outside the counselling room.  If we feel that you are coming to a natural ending, we will discuss this.  It's always your choice when to end, and you are free to stop at any time.  However, it can be therapeutically beneficial to work towards a planned ending, so I would always encourage you to raise your thoughts about ending with me and for us to spend some time in our final session to reflect on our work together and consider how you will carry on incorporating what you've gained from counselling into your life

Complaints...

If you have any concerns about our work together, I encourage you to raise them with me in the first instance.  If this doesn't produce a satisfactory outcome, or if you don't feel able to raise them with me directly, you can access the COSCA Complaints Procedure


 

What does it cost?

A 50-minute session costs £40.  I offer a reduction for those on low income - please contact me to discuss. 

 

How do we start?

Please contact me with any questions you may have, or to arrange a free 30-minute telephone consultation.

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