Talking Towards Your Future...
Through gentle exploration within a non-judgemental, valuing and empathic relationship, counselling will enable you to express your feelings and bring clarity to your experience.
Counselling offers the opportunity to talk through whatever is going on for you in a private and safe setting, with someone who listens carefully and deeply to your experience. A counsellor will not tell you what to do or give you the answers to your questions but they will empower you to make your own decisions and to strive to reach your full potential. A counsellor will help you identify a ‘therapeutic aim’, which will help you focus on what you wish to achieve from your counselling sessions.
You can plan your sessions around your schedule with appointment times being available during office hours, evenings and Saturdays too. Most people have weekly counselling sessions but it is possible to spread your appointments out to fit around your personal timetable or your individual need.
Here, at Way Forward, we also understand how difficult it can be for some to afford to attend long term counselling and adjusting the frequency of your sessions may help. Concessions are available in certain circumstances, it is therefore possible for your individual situation to be taken into consideration if you feel it would enable you to attend counselling.
All appropriately trained and qualified counsellors work to a specific theoretical framework. It is important to meet with a counsellor and discuss their approach in the first session in order to decide if they will be a good match for you. Perhaps think of some questions you would like to ask in order to get the most out of that initial session.
At Way Forward, all counsellors are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), are Qualified and either working towards professional BACP Accreditation or already Accredited. As members of the BACP they adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for Best Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This ensures that clients are cared for within a professional, ethical and safe process, which is mindful of each individuals unique need.
What is the counselling process?
When you attend for your first appointment, your counsellor will explain a little about themselves professionally and about the process of counselling. They will go through a contract with you and explore what has brought you to counselling and gain an overview of your story. As much as it is important for you to feel comfortable working with a particular counsellor, it is as important for the counsellor to decide whether they feel able to work with you and your particular difficulty. At the end of the first session you will decide together if further appointments would be useful. At Way Forward, we want you to be entirely comfortable with your counsellor and they are well used to answering questions so please feel free to ask whatever comes to mind.
Your counsellor will help you to clarify what your aims are for your therapy, these are the things you would like to achieve by the end of your counselling sessions. Making this clear at the beginning will enable you both to check where you are in the process. Having established aims at the beginning gives the counselling process intentionality, a sense of direction and purpose.
Your counsellor will also talk to you about something called 'Outcome Measures', this is a routine way of monitoring your progress through therapy. They will also form a part of your regular review process. You can ask to see your Outcome Measures at any time, counsellors are happy to share this information and for it to be used as a focus at times in therapy.
Following your initial appointment, and if you are happy to continue, your next appointment will be made for you.
How long will counselling take?
Sometimes clients attend counselling for only a few sessions, sometimes they choose to attend for much longer. however, it is usual to have ‘an ending’ which is an arranged conclusion to therapy whether after only a couple of sessions or a longer period of time. There is no limit to the number of sessions you can attend although you will receive a regular review every 6 sessions to check your progress and to make sure you are still benefiting from counselling. It will be useful to review your progress in terms of your original aim, generally ‘an ending’ usually occurs naturally and is mutually discussed as your aims are hopefully gradually achieved.
Contract, Boundaries and Confidentiality
When you meet for the first time with your counsellor, they will go through a contract with you, this will explain the professional boundaries which surround counselling, it will help you to understand what you can expect from your counselling experience. You will learn about practical issues such as parking, cost and length of each session as well as asking for information about previous counselling or any specific mental health treatment or diagnosis you may have had. Any information they ask you to disclose will be held with the deepest respect and within the usual boundaries of confidentiality, it will enable your counsellor to assess how best to help you and to be mindful of your individual needs.
Your counsellor will also talk with you about confidentiality and how whatever you disclose in the session will remain confidential unless there is concern you may be at significant risk of harm, or someone you know may be at risk of harm. Your counsellor will explore confidentiality in more depth with you when you meet so you are clear about the established and lawful limits of confidentiality. This aspect is understandably really important to clients and also central to building the foundations of a trusting relationship.
Through gentle exploration within a non-judgemental, valuing and empathic relationship, counselling will enable you to express your feelings and hopefully bring clarity to your experience.
If you feel you would like to know more then please telephone, text or email with your enquiry (contact), At Way Forward we understand that everyone’s story is unique and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.