Here are some questions about counselling and coaching , which I get asked most often at Shifting Sands Counselling. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, feel free to contact me directly.
What issues do you work with?
How long is each counselling/coaching session?
Each session is 60 minutes. (NB Many counsellors see clients for 50 minutes and call it a ‘counselling hour’. This is sometimes so they can see clients back to back every hour. Despite seeing clients for a full hour I leave at least 15 minutes between appointments, to ensure that clients do not bump into each other.)
It is sometimes more appropriate for coaching clients to have 90 minute sessions at monthly intervals. We will discuss this when we meet.
How frequently would we meet?
For counselling, I suggest meeting weekly (if possible) for at least the first 4 weeks. Meeting less frequently can feel like starting from the beginning each time. But this is merely a guideline and we would make an agreement as to what would be best for you, as an individual.
Coaching sessions are often less frequent. Once we have identified your goals and action plan it may be that a 90 minute session once a month works best. Again, this is something we would agree together, depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
When can we meet?
In addition to working weekdays I do have some evening and weekend appointments. Please contact me for my current availability.
How confidential is confidential?
I treat all contact with you and the information disclosed to me as confidential. In line with the BACP ethical code of practice I have professional clinical supervision of my work. As such, any information my supervisor receives is also treated as confidential. However, it is important to understand that confidentiality is limited by legal obligations and issues relating to the serious and immediate risk of harm to yourself and others. In such instances, I would encourage you to make the disclosure first, through the appropriate channels, or seek help from appropriate outside agencies and I would support you through the process.
How often would we meet?
For counselling, it is usual to meet weekly at a regular time. However, if this is not possible, we can arrange our appointments on a week by week basis. Coaching sessions are usually less frequent, depending on individual goals, and are arranged by mutual agreement.
How many sessions will it take?
I’m afraid this is impossible to answer. Sometimes clients come for just a few sessions and feel that they have got the answers they were looking for. Others have bigger issues, which take longer to deal with. Some people come with one problem, resolve it and then want to go on and look at something else. It will be up to you to decide how many sessions you would like. I always suggest that we review our work every few sessions to look at our progress and to see what you would like more or less of in our sessions.
Could we agree on a number of sessions at the outset?
Yes, you can decide that you want a ‘time limited’ approach. This has the advantage that you know what the total cost will be, when you start. This way of working tends to be highly focused and can be very time effective, but can also feel pressured.
Alternatively, you can choose as ‘open ended’ approach. This allows for longer, more deeper work, or the freedom to explore issues as they present themselves. With this approach, you can make the decision to end therapy when you feel ready.
How much is it?
The first meeting is free. Subsequent sessions are £40 for 60 minutes. In coaching or in certain counselling circumstances we might agree that a 90 minute session is more appropriate. This will be charged at £55. See the Fees page, for more information.
Where do we meet?
My therapy room is in Croyde, near Braunton, Barnstaple. There is a bus service from Braunton and Barnstaple which stope very close by. I also have free, off street parking available right outside the door. See the Location page for more information.
I’m not sure whether I want counselling or coaching. Does that matter?
As I tailor my approach to suit the individual, it’s not important to put a label on the work we do. Some people like to think of counselling as making sense of how the past has influenced their presence and coaching as working on how they’re going to shape their future. When helping you get from where you are, to where you want to be, I may use elements of both counselling and coaching.
Can I contact you on behalf of someone else?
No, I don’t communicate with or through third parties. There are many reasons for this, including confidentiality, prior knowledge and ensuring client commitment. If you think that someone you know might benefit from working with me, please feel free to pass my details on to them.
Do you work with children?
No, at the moment I only work with adults over the age of 18.
Do you work with couples?
No, I don’t currently offer couple counselling.
Do you work with groups?
Yes, I can work with your team or group in several ways;
- Team building
- Workshop provision
With a professional history of transformation project management, I have wide experience of team goal setting and problem solving. Contact me to discuss your requirements and how I might help.
Are you the right counsellor/coach for me?