I work from my office in Bury St. Edmunds and I have both daytime and evening appointments available. I work with adults, young people and children over the age of 7 using an integrative approach underpinned by the Human Toolbox Programme. I am happy to work systemically with families.
If it is difficult for you to come to my office I am happy to Skype or FaceTime sessions with you. I prefer not to do telephone session as I feel it is important that we can see each other when we meet.
Coming to counselling for the first time can feel scary, particularly if you're not used to talking about your feelings. Often we're taught from an early age to 'man up' or to hide our difficult feelings from others so the thought of sharing them with a complete stranger may feel uncomfortable.
Our first session together will help us to get to know each other and to gently explore the issues that are troubling you. We'll discuss what you'd like to achieve through counselling and maybe set some goals for our time together. We'll also discuss whether you would like to use the time to talk about and explore the issues that are troubling you, or whether you would like to know more about your mind/body connection by incorporating the Human Toolbox Programme into your sessions. This simple 'psycho-education' can bring enormous relief and can aid recovery.
Each session is 60 minutes long unless we decide differently. If you are engaging in family therapy where two or more of you are attending then we might decide that 90 minute sessions are more helpful.
That depends on what you feel you need. Some people just need a few sessions to work through specific issues, others choose longer term therapy. You are completely in control of the number and format of your counselling sessions. Short term solution focused work tends to be 6-8 sessions.
As an Accredited Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) my work is governed by the BACP Ethical Framework. As part of my ongoing Accreditation I am required to take regular training to ensure my knowledge is up to date and my practice is both professional and ethical. I am also required to take regular monthly clinical supervision where I have the opportunity to discuss confidentially any areas that concern me and to seek advice on how best to help my clients.
I like to use two methods of measuring progress. The first is a simple questionnaire called PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire Version 9). The PHQ-9 is a multipurpose instrument for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression. The second is the GAD7 (General Anxiety Disorder Version 7). This is a questionnaire for screening and measuring the severity of generalised anxiety disorder. We might also use the Warwick-Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale.
Completing these simple questionnaires at the start of our work together gives us an idea of where you are on the scales, and updating as we go through will enable us to see if things are improving.
It's up to you whether we use these measuring tools but often people find it helpful to see how much better they feel once they start to talk about their difficult feelings.
I work from Acorn House, 8a Looms Lane, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. IP33 1HE. Acorn House is very easy to find - the first white door on the left as you come on to Looms Lane from Northgate Street. My office is on the ground floor and is fully wheelchair accessible. There is metered parking on Looms Lane and car parks in Lower Baxter Street, Angel Hill and Ram Meadow which are all within easy walking distance.
If your child is under the age of 16 you will be required to accompany him or her to the first session where you will be asked to sign a consent form. All work with your child will be confidential unless there is a disclosure. A disclosure would involve your child telling me that he or she is being harmed in some way. In the event of disclosure I am required by law to notify the appropriate services, but I would only do this after seeking advice from my supervisor and in accordance with BACP Guidelines. All this is explained in my Terms and Conditions.
Counselling: £60 per session
Family/Group: £90 per session