Frequently Asked Questions
If you are in Brighton, Moulsecoomb, Lewes, Hove, Portslade, Southwick, Shoreham by Sea, Rottingdean, Peacehaven and Lewes, you can easily access my practice. I am five minutes' walk from Moulsecoomb station and on major bus routes.
Directions - please phone or email me for my postcode in order to use Googlemaps.
My email form is for enquiries about counselling sessions only. I am unable to respond to business-to-business emails.
Higher Bevendean is next to Moulsecoomb, is easily accessible by car or bicycle from central Brighton and ten to fifteen minutes drive from Lewes and Hove. Eastbound, leave the A27 at Hollingbury exit to Lewes Road. Westbound, take the A270 road into Brighton from Falmer. Then turn into The Avenue, opposite Brighton University campus Cockcroft and Watts buildings. From the A259 coast road turn into the city at Brighton Pier roundabout and follow the signs for Lewes for 2.83km. The 49 bus is frequent and stops right outside my door (n.b. not the 48 or 49A).
Attendance and Cost
Sessions can be weekly or fortnightly and my fee is £60 for one hour. All sessions must be paid for in full unless I have 48 hours notice of cancellation or rescheduling.
I do not offer free first sessions.
All clients pay for the session on the day. I no longer accept cheques but you can use cash or PayPal in advance.
Clients may have one week's break every two months otherwise all sessions must be attended. All fortnightly sessions must be paid for, no breaks or cancellations are permitted.
Therapy is a two way commitment and I have set time slots for seeing clients. If there are missed sessions someone else may have the slot. Since therapy encourages responsible scheduling and commitment, work, family or childcare issues are not acceptable reasons for cancellation but I am usually open to rescheduling within the same week.
If you are late for your therapy I cannot extend your hour.
I am happy to do home visits but only for people who for good reasons cannot leave their home. This includes genuine childcare difficulties, disability or if you are extremely high profile, in order to maintain confidentiality. Session rules still apply: it must be quiet, private, confidential with no interruptions. There will be a small charge for any location of more than 5 miles journey.
Appointments: 9 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday. No weekends.
For an informal chat, please call me on 07429 409336. NB I do NOT use voicemail, please text.
'A big thankyou - I can't tell you how much it helped. I feel happier than I have felt in a very long time and more importantly I am not scared to tell people how I feel anymore. I am optimistic about life again and looking forward to every minute of what it has to offer.'C.W.
Frequently Asked Questions
Within the core of each of us is the child we once were. This child constitutes the foundation of what we have become, who we are, and what we will be.” Neuroscientist Dr. R. Joseph.
What is my professional background?
I am a fully qualified and registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I have been training and practicing psychotherapy and counselling continuously for 25 years in private practice, in different agencies, clinics and via GP referral. I have worked with a large variety of people aged from 16 to 84, of both genders and all sexual orientations.
What are my qualifications?
I am qualified in the UK via government recognised Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I am an integrative, person centred counsellor which means I use many different approaches. I also studied and graduated in holistic body centred psychotherapy with an Institute in Colorado USA over six years, and am one of only a few fully qualified body oriented therapists in the UK. I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I also have a qualification in biodynamic bodywork from Chiron Centre for Psychotherapy in London and I studied couple counselling informally for two years. I have been an accredited addiction counsellor and have worked with young people, domestic violence and HIV/Aids. I have engaged in further skill development in couple work, bereavement, sexual abuse and alcohol.
I adhere to the principles of emotional non-violence, mindfulness, unity, holism and non judgment and the belief that each human organism is a meaningful, self organising entity. My ethical code is from a wide range of trainings, but mainly the BACP.
Who can benefit from therapy?
I do not work with people who have been diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders. While psychotherapy is often useful for people suffering from 'label' mental health issues, it is best done in a multidisclipinary context to which, as a private practitioner, I do not have access.
Who monitors and supports me?
I have supervision when I need it.
Anne Sexton: “It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
Q What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
A It is mostly in the specific requirement of the client.
Counselling addresses current crises or issues to do with life stages or events with which we are struggling. It is supportive and enables us to cope by engaging someone with whom we can talk things through temporarily.
Psychotherapy addresses issues which may have been with us from our earliest environment. Sometimes psychotherapists help people uncover the reasons for current difficulties so we are really aiming at insight. This involves deeper self exploration.
Q How does it work?
A A contract is formed between the client and the therapist, a relationship, in which we work on issues together without judgment, with honesty, and mutual regard.
Q What kind of therapist are you?
A I use Integrative skills for both counselling and psychotherapy - drawing from many different tried and tested therapeutic styles.
I use a completely person centred approach, underpinned by a holistic, body centred method, which focuses on inner awareness or mindfulness, and uses a client's bodily structure, and sense of physical experience, to access information usually only available in the unconscious.
I do not adhere to any religion or belief system but my style is underpinned with Buddhist, Taoist and Native American philosophy, systems theory, body-mind theory and other forms of therapy including Gestalt, NLP, Feldekrais, Gendler, Reich and many other sources. Deep process psychotherapy is particularly effective for trauma and abuse issues.
Q How long will it be before my issues be solved?
A My clients are encouraged to begin to understand and take responsibility for their own process as soon as they are ready. But after therapy has ended it is possible to continue to build on the work that has been done with the psychotherapist or counsellor.
Q What sort of issues can be addressed?
A For most people, feeling unduly stressed or unhappy is the earliest symptom that something needs to be worked through. Stress is an overworked word, but it's a good word for general feelings of discomfort caused by circumstances we don't feel we can control.
Others begin therapy after a relationship breaks down or they reach a stage in life which presents difficulties they had not anticipated, life is frustrating, unsatisfying or we are concerned about our own responses to other people and environments.
Q Can I find out more about the process before committing to therapy?
A Yes. There is an opportunity to purchase my books for more information about counselling, psychotherapy and stress at work, just click on the Books & Articles link on the left hand menu.
*I am unable to work with people currently misusing substances.
WHAT COUNSELLING IS
WHAT COUNSELLING IS NOT
CHOOSING YOUR THERAPIST
Who can I trust?
Your counsellor should be someone with varied life experience and who is emotionally stable enough to cope with a wide range of distress but also trained and experienced to a high level.
Will it work?
Counselling will never be an exact science - sometimes the benefits are not obvious in the short term. Human beings are incredibly unique and complex and counselling is not a panacea for all life's difficulties.
How do I know if my counsellor is competent?
Due to the need for confidentiality, it is difficult for us to gather testimonials! But much of my practice so far has resulted from word of mouth referral.
Will I have to tell the counsellor embarrassing or private things?
You don't have to provide specific details if you don't feel safe enough to do so. Feelings and general responses are more important.
However, if a client misrepresents themself, or does not inform me of previous serious psychiatric diagnoses, or that they are currently addicted, therapy may not be useful.
Why should I pay for counselling when I can get it free?
Some volunteer counsellors are very well trained and experienced. But would you like to see a doctor, or car mechanic or entrust your children to a schoolteacher who was just moonlighting as a volunteer? Being paid ensures that we can earn a living as counsellors and continue to learn and develop to meet the ever changing needs of our clients.
How long does it take?
Anything from a few weeks to a few months or even a year or two. This depends on many factors, on you, the issues and where you are in your life development. It will usually be possible to estimate how much counselling you'll need after a few sessions.
How will I know when to finish?
You can leave therapy at any time, of course, but when to complete your period of therapy is ideally be something which should be a joint decision between client and practitioner.
Why don't you work with addicted people?
Because my kind of counselling is not helpful to addicted people. Drinkers in particular need a range of support from organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous and NHS substance misuse services.
Why don't you work with under-16s?
Because for people who are not yet fully mature, ordinary psychotherapy and counselling can actually be unhelpful. Young people with serious issues are best seen in family therapy where possible and I am not qualified as a famly therapist.
WHAT IS THERAPY?
I am absolutely passionate about psychotherapy.
I would encourage everyone to consider the possibility that one day they might decide to have some psychotherapy.
While it can be argued that very few people actually need psychotherapy, I believe that everyone could use some!
Many people would never consider therapy. But it may be because they think it’s something to do with being mentally unwell, weak, or in some sort of distress that they should be able to cope with. They feel having therapy is somehow shameful.
But this is a very limited view of what psychotherapy can offer.
It’s true that there are people who are psychologically unwell or in distress. I work with people like that all the time. I never see them as weak. You know, terrible things can happen to anyone, and not everyone can overcome difficult issues alone. I really love and care for the people I work with, and most come to the end of the process very happy that they got up the courage to avail themselves of the full benefits of my attention.
But working with painful stuff is not the whole of what therapists do, there is often joy and satisfaction in therapy.
I have done a lot of inner work myself. I know what my issues are, my hot buttons, I know when it feels right to me to engage and when I need to withdraw. I know that satisfaction does not last, and that happiness is not a right, but that it is an internal state rather than dependant on material things and other people.
This is in order to be clear about what is mine and what is the client’s issue – the spinoff is a huge amount of personal development.
This includes getting clear about how much you like yourself, what your true likes, dislikes and abilities are, setting boundaries around others, having much better relationships and relating skills, limiting excessive responses to stressful situations and those who deliberately create anxiety. Understanding what you can fix and what you can’t, and letting go of old wounds and hurts.
Therapy is aimed at evolving into someone you’d like to be. This does not mean programming IN something that wasn’t there. It is more like uncovering, peeling back the layers of stuff we don’t need.
Sometimes it’s about exploring your spiritual beliefs, your World beliefs, your self belief, all in a safe place, a place where you won’t be judged, or subjected to someone else’s views and opinion.
How unlike real life this is! How unlike every day of your life since you were born when people tried to impose their views, their needs, their wishes, their beliefs upon you.
So, here’s the thing. Those of you who know roughly how computers work may enjoy this metaphor.
I believe that we are born with a sort of hard drive. That is our Operating System. It’s got our genetic programming in it. It might be one or another brand of drive too – that represents the basic family into which we are born, our ethnic and geographical origin and perhaps even the position our family occupies in society.
Now, some people who are born get Vista or Windows 7 straight away. The right stuff. It works. It’s compatible with the other systems around it. Whenever they are given a particular piece of software by their parents or teachers, someone makes sure it works, that it’s up to date and has access to automatic updates.
But other people get discount, slightly out- of- date software from the dump bin at PC World.
It’s o.k... it’s just not that good.
Others don’t get any useful software. So they have to go round sneaking into other people’s systems and copying their software.
And we all know what it’s like to try and work with pirate software. Pirates become outlaws, outsiders, adrift on the high seas, perhaps feeling to have to fight or steal from others to get what they want!
So where does the therapist come in? Well, I see myself as that Uninistaller programme which you have to buy to help you get rid of that outdated stuff that doesn’t work.
You’ve probably already gone into the System, and clicked on Add and Remove Programs. But there’s a couple of stubborn ones that just won’t move!
I don’t have the answers to how best to run anyone else’s life, my skill is to support them in figuring that out for themselves but with me on their team for a while. I just help people who can’t get into the Operating System.
Having said that, I suppose if I were to sum it up I’d call it not Windows for Dummies, but Life for Dummies!
For those who are unsure about how they came to Be who the Are, here's a word from the Late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana:
......I was spanked all the time. My dad would be in a social situation in restaurants or something, if I spilled a glass of water or something he would get me in a headlock and dig his knuckles into my head or smack me in the face. I never understood that why a parent would be so embarrassed or so intimidated by other people in a restaurant just because your child spilt something by accident to have to punish them for having an accident, that’s a weird psychological trick to play on a child because I still put myself down and cuss myself out for knocking things over I get really upset with myself because I’ve been conditioned to not spill things, don’t have accidents, not to have human error, everything’s supposed to be perfect at all times, f..xxx him for that. (This quote is from an interview available on YouTube.)
Find me on www.clickfortherapy.com