WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHING AND COUNSELLING?
Generally speaking, coaching tends to be results-based and focused on helping you find solutions to problems that are preventing you from getting to the 'next level' in your life. Whilst traditional coaching can take place over a number of months, or even years, the NLP coaching I practice is highly focused. It aims to help you to rapidly uncover (and alleviate) any blocks, limiting beliefs or thinking distortions that are hindering your progress.
Counselling can also be solution-focused, but it tends to involve a 'deeper' process, working not only with the current situation, but also with past difficulties and traumas. Through providing certain 'therapeutic conditions', counselling can help you to process and resolve a wide range of psychological issues, including diagnosed mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The environment of safety and acceptance it provides is also invaluable for dealing with life's everyday challenges.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE INITIAL CONSULTATION?
After you've had a free introductory chat and have decided you'd like to work with me, you'll be asked to book an Initial Consultation.
Whilst the content within these first sessions may differ, dependant on what style of coaching or therapy we've discussed, the overall aims are to gather additional information and to agree on our therapeutic contract.
In most cases I'll ask you to complete some questionnaires before we meet. These will ask for more details on your reasons for seeking support and will also ask about your current wellbeing. Completing these in advance means we can use our session time to talk in greater detail about your answers and work out the way forward.
WHY DO YOUR FEES VARY?
Whilst I only charge you for the time we spend together (whether that be in-person or online), I will also spend time preparing for your sessions. My prices are differentiated, based on how much 'total time' I expect to to spend for each 'therapeutic hour' spent together.
My highest hourly rate is for hypnotherapy as, not only do people usually need less sessions (an average of four sessions), but I spend many hours outside of sessions preparing tailored 'screeds' (hypnotherapy scripts). Additionally, I have invested in technology to provide you with an immersive experience and to allow me to create audio recordings of sessions for you. This means our sessions aren't one-offs, but can be listened to on multiple occasions, improving the results gained.
ARE SESSIONS REALLY CONFIDENTIAL?
Of course - confidentiality is an important aspect of coaching and therapy and I'll keep what you tell me in our sessions confidential.
[There are certain exceptional circumstances when therapists need to break confidentiality due to a legal requirement, or, to protect the safety of their client/another person. Example circumstances would include child protection issues, drug trafficking, money laundering, suicide plans or plans to harm another person. Even in these unusual circumstances, consent would be sought from the client where possible, and, only the minimum information would be shared, with as few people as possible.]
For further details on confidentiality and other ethical guidelines I follow, see the National Counselling Society's 'Code of Ethical Practice'.
I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW, BUT I'M NOT DUE A SESSION
If you're having a mental health crisis, you can access the NHS Crisis Team via:
your GP or out-of-hours GP service
Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
accident and emergency (A&E) department
or the police (999)
If you're based in Reading (UK) and need mental health support, you can contact Talking Therapies (on 0300 365 0200). If you need urgent help, but it's not an emergency, you can call the Mental Health Crisis Team (on 0300 365 0300 or 0300 365 9999).
I'M ON MEDICATION - ISN'T THAT ENOUGH?
It might be - medication can be extremely effective at relieving many of the symptoms of mental distress. Having said that, in many cases it doesn't address the root cause of the issue, which is usually related to a person's past or present situation.
An integrative approach to wellbeing tends to be the most effective one, with therapy taking place alongside any prescribed medication. This ensures that the physical symptoms are addressed, whilst action is taken, both to address the reasons behind their occurrence, and, to learn appropriate coping mechanisms for moving forward.
And just one final thought on this - many people find that medication helps to stabilise their symptoms to a more manageable level. As such, if you've recently started taking medication for a mental health issue, it may help to give it some time to start working before embarking on any kind of talking therapy. Speak to your GP for more details about what to expect from any medication you're offered...
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN YOU HELP ME WITH?
I can help you with a wide range of issues, including: worry/rumination, stress, anxiety disorders, fears/phobias, low mood/depression, relationship problems, sleep issues, anger management, stopping smoking, panic disorder, self development, pain management, weight/eating issues, abuse, bereavement, gambling addiction, parenting, self-esteem/confidence, self-harm and trauma.
Please note that psychiatry may be more appropriate initially for conditions such as psychosis, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, serious drug/alcohol addiction and eating disorders.
WHAT'S ONLINE THERAPY LIKE?
Online therapy is similar to in-person therapy in many ways, but there are also a few differences...
Firstly, some similarities:
We'll still be meeting weekly at a specific time and on a specific day.
We're both still the same people, so our interactions will be similar.
The same supportive conditions will be there for you to experience - you'll be listened to carefully, you won't be judged and you'll be accepted for who you are.
Now for some differences:
When meeting in-person, I can control our environment (what my therapy room looks like, the temperature, preventing interruptions/noise, privacy, etc.) whereas you are responsible for that when we meet online. For this reason, I always recommend wearing headphones and taking extra care to ensure you are in a comfortable place where you won't be disturbed.
As well as needing a computer/laptop/mobile phone, you'll also need a decent internet speed, to ensure we don't lose connection or experience delays when talking.
It can be more convenient - you won't lose any time getting to and from coaching/therapy; there's no concern about 'being seen' walking into the therapy room; and, you can take the meeting in any appropriate location.
HOW DO I GET ZOOM?
You can sign up for Zoom personal meetings (which is what we'll use for online therapy/coaching) for FREE.
I'll invite you to our meetings via a URL link each week. The first time we meet, it will automatically prompt to download the app when you click on the URL link. You don't need to pre-install the app.
Having said that, if you'd feel more comfortable installing it in advance, so you can have a bit of a play around with it before we meet, you can get it through their 'download centre' at https://zoom.us/download. (If you're on a desktop/laptop, you'll need the 'Zoom Client for Meetings' link.)
If you've never used Zoom before, I'll talk you through the main buttons we'll use when we first meet...
"What we think, we become."