Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know who is the right counsellor for me?

When you talk to a counsellor, you should feel you can trust them and that you would be comfortable talking with them about very personal thoughts and feelings. If you don’t feel this is the case, you may want to consider finding someone else who you feel is more suited to you. You may want to meet with more than one counsellor before choosing someone.

How do I know if my counsellor is qualified?

Ask your counsellor for details of their qualifications and to explain to you what they mean.  If you are still unsure, contact the counsellor’s professional body in order to check their qualifications.

What questions should I ask the counsellor before counselling begins?

Here are a list of recommended questions but do ask your counsellor any others you think of:

  • How many sessions will I have?
  • What type of therapy do you offer?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What happens if I miss a session?
  • What happens if I want to take a holiday, will I still have to pay?
  • Will the counselling be confidential?
  • Will you make notes during the session, and if so, what happens to these?
  • Can I contact you in between sessions?

How long does counselling take?

Counselling can be just a few sessions but it may continue over several weeks or months. This depends on your individual situation. Your chosen counsellor should discuss this with you before and during your counselling.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

The terms “counselling” and “psychotherapy” are often used interchangeably, but some see a distinction in the length of time a client is seen for. Counselling can refer to short-term work and psychotherapy to longer-term work but I see them as meaning the same.

Does counselling work for everyone?

Counselling can help people to a greater or lesser extent depending on many factors including other sources of support, emotional readiness to change, and the clarity and realism of goals. The relationship between counsellor and client can also be an important factor, so any particular client will find that some counsellors will suit them better than others. Clients may even have a preference in relation to the gender or age of their therapist. The working relationship seems to be the most significant aspect in whether counselling / psychotherapy works.

There are lots of myths about counselling and this short video may help dispel some of them for you.