Is all counselling the same?

No. The methods and styles are different, though all have the aim of making you feel you have resolved whatever is troubling you. Different types of counselling suit different people. Simplifying hugely, CBT directs you to change current thinking patterns, while Psychodynamic tackles unconscious feelings from your early years. Person-centred counselling may look at the past and present, but is non-directive, offering a genuine, empathic, non-judgemental relationship, and a safe, thoughtful space to explore and reflect.

 For more information on the person-centred approach, which I use, please click here.

Nowadays, the terms ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ are often used interchangeably, but ‘psychotherapy’ traditionally means more training in deeper mental health problems.

The most important aspect is to find a counsellor who you feel you can work with.

 

What happens in a counselling session?

In the initial 50 minute session, you can gauge whether you would feel comfortable working together.  I do not conduct any formal initial assessments, and I will not be asking for GP details. I will run through our 'working agreement', common to most counselling, and you may have questions about the counselling process.

If you choose to return, we meet thereafter for sessions lasting up to 50 minutes. The number of sessions is determined by you, and you choose whatever you wish to talk about, with the pace set by you. 

What does 'Accredited' mean?

Currently, anyone can call themselves a "counsellor", so beware! Always check for the minimum training award, which is a Diploma in counselling. Degree level involves an extra year of study. Many counsellors then apply to be on the nationally recognised BACP register (other organisations are available but are perhaps considered less prestigious). After a few years of qualified experience, counsellors may then apply for BACP "Accreditation". This is considered the "gold standard" mark of good practice, and involves a rigorous application process which is very challenging to achieve. Most do not bother with this extra hurdle. While it is true that academic qualifications do not guarantee someone is a good counsellor, many would agree that training and experience is important. It is up to you what level you choose to demand from your counsellor, but it can be confusing to navigate profiles, so this understanding of levels may be useful knowledge. 

What happens to my data?

'Soul Asylum' complies with General Data Protection Regulations (2018) and is ICO Registered.

No data is collected, stored or used by 'Soul Asylum' when you use this site, other than if you use the contact form on the 5th page of this site in your initial enquiry. If you use the contact form, your e-mail address will be used to reply to you, but will never be used for any other purpose such as marketing, and will be deleted 3 months after our sessions have ended.

'Content only' (as opposed to opinion) notes are kept of sessions. You can request to see these, and to have them amended. They are stored in a secure setting, and anonymised for supervision. Once counselling has ended, notes are kept for 3 months, and then archived for 6 years in line with insurance requirements. They are then deleted. They are never used for marketing purposes.