There are lots of different counsellors and psychotherapists, and lots of different counselling models and theories as well. Here are a few factors, which you may wish to consider when thinking about entering into any counselling or psychotherapy relationship
Do I feel that I can work with this person, and develop a relationship where I can be open and honest about how I think, and feel, and act?
As a therapist my main aim will be to establish a therapeutic relationship with you that is characterised on my part by non-judgmental acceptance, my ability to really understand you from your own point of view, and to be real with you. This safe environment should allow you to talk about any issues that are important to you.
I have explored many sensitive issues with my clients, such as their experience of being abused as children, bereavement, depression, anxiety, anger management, addiction to pornography, relationship issues, sexuality, faith issues, spirituality, etc. Many clients have told me that as a result of being able to explore an issue in a safe and confidential and non-judgmental environment they have felt better about themselves and made constructive changes to their lives, over the course of the therapy.
Is everything said really confidential?
There are only two circumstances where I am obliged to breach confidentiality. They are as follows:
- If you tell me that you are going to join a terrorist organisation, then I am legally obliged to inform the authorities
- If you might be at serious risk of harming yourself or harming others, then I would be obliged to breach confidentiality
I would always try and talk to you first before taking any action. Apart from those two examples, I would not breach confidentiality.
Can my Therapist help me develop skills that assist me with dealing with life issues outside of the therapy room?
As a therapist I aim to explore with you ways that help you to work on issues outside of the therapy room. For example, we can explore relaxation methods, which can be helpful for people with anxiety problems. We can identify what happens in your relationships, and how you might handle them differently, so that they change and improve. The skill of Focusing can be a really good tool for helping with anxiety, addiction, depression, and other issues as well, and you can learn this skill as part of your therapy, and use it outside of therapy in your everyday life.
How will I know if the therapy is working?
If the therapy is working, then you will know that it is working, because you will experience yourself beginning to change in a way that is positive and forward looking. This change may happen quickly, or it may take some time, but you will definately know that something is changing. You may experience times when therapy feels stuck, but sometimes wrestling with this can be positive, and lead to life changing insights. You are the best judge of whether the therapy is working for you, as you are aware of what you are experiencing.
If you are interested in working with me, then please contact me for an initial first interview where we can discuss these matters further.