Online Counselling based in Newington, Edinburgh

Frequently asked questions

What is 'counselling'? Is it different to 'therapy' or 'psychotherapy'?

It is natural to get confused with all those words related to mental health.

Counselling, psychotherapy, therapy, counsellor, mental health professional, psychotherapist, and therapist- all are often used to describe the same thing.

They do bear a slight difference in meaning, mainly based on each professional's approach. But I don't want to add to the confusion by expanding on that.

I often use them interchangeably to simply mean talking therapy to the improvement of wellbeing.

Counselling/counsellor is more common to this meaning, even though a bit of an unfortunate term as 'counselling' implies advice.

Myself, and most counsellors, are not in the business of giving advice. Our main concern is to empower you in your autonomy. We do, however, often offer different perspectives and gentle guidance.

How long will I need to have counselling?

How long counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues each client wants to explore. For some people a few sessions help to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; other issues may require more of an open-ended approach.

I encourage my clients to open communication around the duration and termination of our work together. Throughout working together, we will have regular assessments to monitor progress toward your initial aims and, when the time comes, to prepare for a proper ending.

Why have an Initial appointment?

I'm an advocate for finding a 'good fit' when it comes to counselling.

This is why I always offer an initial appointment at a lower fee.

During the initial appointment, which typically lasts around 30 minutes, we get the chance to explore whether I'm the right counsellor for you.

The topics covered in this appointment are usually about what brings you to therapy, the way I work with my clients, and I answer your questions.

There is no obligation to continue with me and I won't ask you to commit on the spot. I'll give you space to reflect on the appointment and get back to me with your decision.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

I understand that waiting too long after deciding to start counselling can feel disheartening. For this reason, after you first reach out to me, I aim to respond within one day with my availability and offer an initial appointment within a week.

I'm nervous, how can I prepare for the Initial appointment?

It's completely natural to feel a bit nervous before meeting someone for the first time.

In my experience, after a few minutes, most people feel at ease. In essence, it's a meeting to meet each other and a space to express your wants and needs. I'll have some questions to guide the process too.

Some people find it helpful to make some notes beforehand, for example, about what made them seek therapy now or about their experience/preferences from previous counselling.

But you don't have to 'prepare', you can just show up and it'll go naturally from there.

Will everything I say be kept confidential?

Everything that is said within the counselling room is private - this is one of the main ways counselling differs from talking to a friend or relative. Once you are comfortable with the format of the sessions and the safe space they provide, trust will be cultivated to speak in confidence.

Please note that in situations where you or others are at significant risk, I may be required to break confidentiality. This is very rare though, and the situations where this might be necessary are explained in our working agreement.

Can I bring a friend or relative with me?

Usually I am asked this question by people who are nervous about entering into counselling. This anxiety is understandable, but a key aspect of therapy is that you feel free to talk about any issues that are important to you. Having someone else with you who can be connected to those issues makes this opening-up more difficult. For this reason, I see clients alone unless they are accompanied by an interpreter.

Get in touch

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about online counselling or to arrange an initial appointment without further obligation.

An initial appointment will allow us to discuss what brings you to therapy and whether I am the right therapist for you.

I aim to reply within 24 hours. In the meantime, please feel free to visit my FAQs section.

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