Is counselling confidential?
Yes, except that if you were to mention the possibility of harming yourself or another person I would have to mention this to an appropriate authority. I may at certain times also talk about you with my supervisor.
How long are counselling sessions?
They are between 50 and 60 minutes long.
What happens if I am unsure about whether I want to continue with my counselling?
Firstly, the first session is seen as an exploratory session. If you would like to go further, but are unsure how much further, many people feel comfortable using a contract of 4 to 6 sessions. After this contract is complete, we review and decide whether or not to have another contract. Other people prefer an open-ended way of working. The counsellor will check with you on how you may be feeling about counselling from time to time. If the relationship is an honest one, it would be good at this time to admit your uncertainty about counselling.
I am a shy person and find it difficult to open up. I don’t like exposing myself, and in fact I am a very private person. How do I explain this to my counsellor?
Counsellors are experienced with shy people and may be a bit shy themselves. They will go at your pace and will understand your reserve. If you want to be silent for a bit, that is OK.
Will the counsellor tell me what to do?
Counsellors do not tell their clients what to do. Over time, they will help you discover what it is that you wish to do about the challenges in your life.
I am not too sure why a counsellor is necessary at all when I have nice friends who listen to me. What is the point of going to one?
Counsellors are trained to be objective and to help you gain perspective on your issues. They will not automatically agree with your point of view which is what a friend tends to do. They are concerned to help you get a deeper understanding of your issues and do not pass judgement.
What happens if I feel like leaving the room half way through the session?
Very occasionally this does happen. The counsellor will understand and encourage you to try again when you are feeling a little stronger.
I feel very guilty, ashamed and embarrassed about my problem. Will the counsellor see me as a bad person?
Counsellors are trained not to judge their clients, but to provide a save and inviting atmosphere. They also understand that people everywhere have good and bad parts to them, but more often than not, they try to do the right thing if possible.
What happens if you have to cancel an appointment?
If you give me 24 hours' notice, you do not have to pay the fee. If, on the other hand, it is a sudden cancellation, paying the fee is expected.