Frequently Asked Questions about Counselling

What is counselling?

Often called talking therapy, it could just as easily be called listening therapy, counselling gives you the time and space to discuss and explore areas of your life that are causing you difficulties, confusion or emotional pain. It provides you with the opportunity to talk in confidence, to someone who can remain impartial, who will not criticize or judge, and where you can share your concerns without feeling you are burdening friends and/or family. As your therapist I am there to support, guide, challenge and encourage you as you explore and discover a greater understanding and acceptance of your feelings and actions, and to make the changes you choose to make, to resolve your difficulties and find a new way forward in your life.

How can counselling help me?

There may be times when you are feeling low, stressed, bewildered, angry or just plain confused and don’t know where to turn next. Counselling can help you to clarify your thoughts and find your way through these feelings. People have often said that before coming to counselling they were thinking along the lines of: "How can just talking help me?" then continue with comments such as: "But it has helped – I've discovered so much about myself that I never realised before, and I can see things in a different way now." or "I've found counselling sessions invaluable!"

What a recent client said:
"I found my counselling sessions with Jaquetta very non-judgemental, personal and comfortable. It was immediately obvious to me that I could trust Jaquetta to help me through a phase in my life where I had lost who I was and what I valued. Every session I felt as though I could say whatever was on my mind. Many things I would never say to anyone else and perhaps had never thought of, all of which though would be discussed so that I had a better understanding of them and, as a result, of me as a person. I can honestly say that I am now the happiest I can remember." Published anonymously with permission

What sort of things can I talk about to a counsellor?

People come to counselling for all sorts of reasons, so you can talk in confidence about anything that is worrying you or causing emotional pain either from your present life or from your past.

You mention bereavement and loss, I understand what you mean by bereavement, but what exactly do you mean by "loss"?

For such a small word "loss" can mean so much, examples might be the loss of:
  • Relationship when you've split up from a significant other regardless of whether you still loved that person or not
  • Family life as you have known it
  • Good health and/or loss of independence
  • Job or opportunity or financial security
  • Your youthful looks and agility as you get older
  • The ability to have a baby
  • Place, if you move home or even feeling displaced if you move away from an area you've been familiar with leaving family and friends behind
  • Changing school at 11 can be traumatic and adversely affect many people
  • Finally loss of a much loved pet can sometimes affect you more than you might imagine, yet feel unable to express those feelings to family and friends.
Any of these losses could be adversely affecting us even when they happened way back in the past - talking them through in counselling helps to heal the wounds from loss.

Will anybody else be told that I'm seeing a counsellor?

No, I respect your privacy and whatever is spoken about remains confidential between you, myself as your counsellor and my supervisor. However, there are certain exceptional circumstances where I may need to breach confidentiality but this would be discussed with you beforehand and your permission sought to do so.

Why do counsellors have a supervisor?

I belong to a professional body called the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) and as such, follow their Ethical Framework and Guidelines for best practice which requires that all their members are regularly supervised. This is to ensure that the best possible professional standards of practice are maintained. When I take my work to my supervisor, nothing I say within supervision will identify you personally. The supervisor is also a member of BACP. 

How many sessions will I need?

Each session lasts 50 minutes and at the start you will be offered a series of sessions. It is recommended that you have a minimum of six, however, I work in an open-ended way to best suit your circumstances and the issues you wish to work with. It is up to you to decide when you feel ready to finish, yet it's something that needs to be discussed between us and thoroughly planned for, so that the work can be properly drawn to a conclusion.

Why should finishing be discussed when it's up to me to decide when to stop coming?

Put simply, this is to ensure that whatever it was that you came to see me for in the first place is properly worked through and resolved in the best way possible for you - without leaving loose ends that could remain troubling to you.

How much will counselling cost?

My fees are £50 per session in Torquay including the first session, however some concessions are available so please ask. Payment can be by card, cash, PayPal or BACS. Unfortunately, late cancellations (48 hours notice required) are also chargeable with half the agreed fee. However, I do appreciate that there are sometimes circumstances that may make even 24 hours notice impracticable, when an exception can be made.

The first session is a no obligation process of discovery for you to see how counselling with me will be, and also for me to assess your specific needs, then all being well, we can talk about what you would like to have achieved at the end of treatment and structure future sessions accordingly.
"Don't believe everything you think!"
Dr Shelly Harrell 
A reminder to question self deprecating thoughts of not being good enough
or the automatic assumptions we make about what others are thinking

“Everything that irritates us about others can
lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

C G Jung