Counselling Questions

How private and confidential is counselling?

Counselling is conducted in a private soundproofed room, which is not overlooked. Everything you say will be treated with the upmost confidentiality. The only time that confidentiality may be broken is if you or another person are at serious risk of significant harm. Disclosures are usually made with your consent only. However, please be aware that by law, counsellors have a mandatory duty to disclose information regarding terrorism. For more information about your privacy and confidentiality please review the Serenity Counselling privacy notice.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

At certain times during the year, appointments can involve a few weeks wait. At other times, appointments can be offered in the same week of making first contact. However, if you are in crisis and in need of urgent support please contact your GP, emergency services (999) or the most appropriate helpline listed on the resource page

How do I make an appointment?

Appointments can be arranged by calling Christian via phone or completing this contact form. Christian will then send you confirmation of your booking and further details about the process. 

How long does a session last?

Counselling sessions last for 50 minutes. It is unusual to extend beyond this time, although in exceptional circumstances an extended session can be negotiated.

How many sessions will I need?

This is your decision, but will depend on your particular issue and how much you feel able to engage in the counselling process. 

Short term counselling can last anything from a few sessions up to approximately 12 sessions. This tends to be for a particular individual issue. 

Long term counselling or psychotherapy, can last over a year and potentially deal with multiple issues where the counsellor will explore and unearth unconscious dynamics. This may involve exploring challenging childhood experiences, or significant traumas that occur in either childhood or adult life. 

However, your autonomy in the process is paramount and you can choose to end at any point.

How regular do you offer sessions?

Sessions are normally attended on a weekly basis. In some cases this can be increased. However, you may wish to reduce the frequency after a short period so that sessions are attended less regular (for example, fortnightly or monthly depending on your needs).

What if I need to cancel a scheduled appointment?

While counselling is best approached in a consistent way by attending weekly appointments, other demands can sometimes take priority. Therefore, if you are able to provide 72 hours notice, no fee will be charged. It may also be possible to rearrange the appointment for another day in the same week without any charge. However, if you miss an appointment without giving notice, payment of the full session fee will be required.

What payment options do you offer?

Payment is made on a session by session basis (although you can pay for a block of sessions in advance if you wish).

FACE to FACE Sessions - where you meet the counsellor in person, payment is kindly asked for at the end of each session. This can be made in person, by cash or debit/credit card. You can also use BACS and details of how you can do this will be provided to you after you meet with the counsellor.

ONLINE Sessions -  payment is kindly asked for before each session. This can be made by PayPal or BACS.

Is there convenient parking?

Yes, free parking is available directly outside the practice address or within a minutes walk. 

Do you have waiting room facilities?

Unfortunately, the practice does not have a waiting room so clients are advised to arrive no earlier than the agreed appointment time. There is a coffee shop nearby at the local supermarket should you arrive a little early.

What if I want to make a complaint?

While counselling is approached in a respectful way with the best interests of the client as paramount, sometimes things can go wrong. If you feel you are able to approach the counsellor with your concern, it may be possible to work this through to a successful conclusion. However if you still feel unsatisfied you can contact the BACP and make an official complaint. See the BACP's procedure here.

I don't see information about a question I have.

You may still be unsure about certain aspects of the process and have further questions before making your decision to enter counselling. You can either ask the question via this contact form or call Christian via phone to discuss.