It's not guaranteed. It's important that when you start any counselling or coaching programme you are fully committed. If you are committed, then based on my own experience and also of outcome analyses undertaken by others, either counselling or coaching help can make a big difference in a person's life. You will certainly understand yourself / yourselves and your situation very much better. You'll get more out of it if you're prepared to invest more effort yourselves. Counselling and coaching are non-directive. Using my experience and skills I can help you recognise how you can change to improve your situation, and help you take appropriate actions to achieve those changes. However I will not tell you what to do; that will always remain your responsibility.
This is quite common, especially following relationship difficulties such as affairs, sexual problems and where partners no longer get on, and couples counselling can often help. But relationship counselling is not simply about patching things up, and there are times when partners recognise that continuing their relationship is not in their best interests or those of the family. In this case relationship counselling can help couples separate and deal more effectively with complex emotional and family issues, often working in parallel with legal and mediation processes which focus on the practical side of separation and divorce.
Once you make contact we can have a brief initial phone call, and then arrange to meet (or have a longer phone call for telephone working) for an initial consultation. This will give us both the opportunity to mutually assess how best to move forward; whether you feel comfortable to work with me, and whether I believe that I can help you. If, as a result, you want to continue, we would have a number of sessions. These last typically about 55 minutes, which most people would accept is the optimum time for this sort of work. Coaching sessions may differ, and this is something that we can discuss at the initial consultation.
That's impossible to answer as you and your situation are unique. However experience suggests that 1 or 2 sessions are unlikely to be sufficient to make a sustainable difference (although in some situations they might be). I normal suggest committing to a block of 5-6 sessions and then taking a review to decide how to move forward. Frequency of sessions is another subject to be discussed at the initial consultation, and they need to fit in to your lifestyle constraints as well as enabling your therapeutic needs to be addressed effectively. Often it is valuable to have more frequent meetings at the start of counselling / coaching, with the time between sessions increasing later.
Refer to the contact section of this website. I practise in central Hertfordshire and can be flexible in offering appointments. I can consider telephone working
(or using Skype), which in practice is an appropriate option more for individual work than with couples.
Both, and sometimes couples counselling can benefit from a few individual sessions. I work with individuals to help with personal issues as well as relationship concerns, and of course with personal development. With couples the focus will on the relationship, but of course individual problems and concerns will be addressed as part of the process. I do not work with children, and with that exception there is no age restriction.
No, relationship counselling can encompass any sort of relationship irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, and can include people who have difficulty with relationships, or who are in a relationship where their partner either does not want to join them in counselling or where they might want to seek help in confidence.
I am a BACP Accredited Counsellor. BACP is one of the principal professional bodies regulating counselling in the UK, and as an accredited professional I am required to adhere strictly to their ethical guidelines, of which confidentiality is paramount. (Follow the BACP link
if you want to find out more.) Irrespective of professional ethics it is vitally important that you trust your counsellor, and confidentiality is a key part of establishing that trust. If, as part of a couples counselling process, I work with individuals for a few sessions, then I will treat the individual work as confidential.
Ethical working requires that I work with you only if I believe that I am competent to do so. If I feel that it would be in your best interests to work with a counsellor from a different background or specialism, or indeed if I feel that you would benefit from a different type of help entirely, then I would help find another counsellor, agency or organisation more suited to your needs. Typically this can be identified at the initial consultation, although not always.
What you are talking about is coaching, which I also offer.
That can be a grey area, and you will hear different takes on it from different people. My view is that counselling is more focused on helping resolve particular problems that you can identify, whereas coaching is more about achieving greater potential and getting more out of your relationship or life in general. There's obviously a big overlap between the two, and my clients find it beneficial that I can work across the whole spectrum. I usually don't need to refer coaching clients to other professionals should underlying issues arise that would benefit from a therapeutic approach. Similarly, counselling clients can benefit from coaching ideas and approaches once their problems have started to be addressed. I will work flexibly with you, drawing on my experience and training in both fields as appropriate, using what is best for you at the time.
That will depend on a number of factors, and is something that we can talk about during our initial phone call.