Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DOES 'QUALIA' MEAN AND HOW DO I PRONOUNCE IT?
It's Qualia as in 'Quality' - Qual-ee-ah
It's a Latin word that's difficult to describe, so I've lifted a definition from Stanford University:
"The phenomenal character of an experience is what it is like subjectively to undergo the experience. If you are told to focus your attention upon the phenomenal character of your experience, you will find that in doing so you are aware of certain qualities. These qualities — ones that are only accessible to you when you introspect and that together make up the phenomenal character of the experience are sometimes called ‘qualia’."
It is the 'what it is like to be you' experience of individuals. Our experiences are unique and special to us - we all have our own truth which nobody else can experience or take away from us. It is my job to understand what's happened to you and unpick how you have been impacted by it.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELLING, PSYCHOTHERAPY & COACHING & WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
It's a bit of a debate in the counselling world. In general, counselling is more of a short term therapy which addresses a specific problem, whereas psychotherapy is more in-depth and seeks to bring about fundamental change to a client's personality. The BACP don't distinguish between the two terms.
Because my skills help with both areas, I don't distinguish between the two words either. A person might come to therapy because that their relationship is in trouble, only for us to uncover they might need some much deeper work.
Coaching is more directive and solution focused, usually with a narrower set of goals - it's also not suitable for anxiety or depression where we need to uncover the root cause of those feelings.
We can discuss your unique needs at our first meeting and come to an agreement on which approach is right for you.
DO I NEED THERAPY?
By the very fact that you're on this website, the answer is 'probably', but therapy is only going to be effective if you really want to explore and change. Therapy is about understanding how and why you feel the way you do. It's about recognising and understanding your unhelpful feelings and thinking styles which are holding you back. Before therapy we all carry these negative feelings with us but good therapy can be completely life changing.
I have an equal working partnership with my clients - I will help them to explore what's going on for them, but I expect them to work equally hard on changing whatever it is we uncover.
Whether it's family problems, addictive behaviours, anger management, anxiety or depression, we all need a little help from time to time to find a better way of feeling and thinking and no problem is ever too big or too small to bring to therapy.
And in case you were wondering: talking about how you feel isn't 'shameful' or 'weak' or shows 'there's something wrong with you'. I believe coming to therapy shows great strength as it demonstrates you recognise there's a problem and you're prepared to do something about it.
Congratulations for getting to this step - most people never make it this far.
HOW DO I PAY?
My fee is £50 per hour for one-to-one therapy & there are four ways of paying:
1. BANK TRANSFER into my account via online banking or your banking app. I'll give you the details during the initial consultation.
2. CASH when we meet (not available to online clients)
3. DEBIT or CREDIT CARD when we meet (not available to online clients).
Sessions need to be paid for one week in advance.
Some people like to pay in blocks, others on a week-to-week basis - it's entirely up to you.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE I FEEL BETTER?
It depends on the individual and the problem they're bringing. Some people thrive on short-term counselling of 10-12 weeks, but others may need much longer.
Research suggests that on average it takes a client 10-20 weeks to get half way to feeling better.
You can stop counselling at anytime - whenever you feel the time is right.
DO YOU OFFER CONCESSIONARY RATES?
I'm able to take on a couple of clients at a time on concessionary rates. This lower cost counselling rate is offered to people who genuinely can't afford the usual rate. Please ask about whether I have concessionary rate sessions available when you first contact me.
WHAT SORT OF COUNSELLING DO YOU PRACTICE?
As I studied Integrative Counselling, I am able to use theory and techniques from a wide theoretical base. My practice draws on all three schools of counselling and psychotherapy: Behavioural, Humanistic and Psychodynamic.
My work is mainly underpinned by Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Attachment Theory, Person-Centred Theory, Neuroscience and Family Systems Theory. I also frequently use Creative Interventions, Life Stages, Existentialism, Coaching techniques and Creative CBT.