Some clients find it helpful to commit to a regular weekly slot, while others, who may work shifts or who need to fit around erratic schedules and family demands, prefer a more flexible approach to scheduling their appointments, and we’re happy to accommodate this, spaces in the diary allowing. This can also be a financial consideration for you – it may be better to come regularly on a fortnightly basis, than to not come at all, because you can’t afford a weekly session.
Our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves, and getting to grips with this will be absolutely key to forming healthy attachments with others. I often work with those who value having a special loving romantic relationship, but who can’t seem to get past the fears or blocks that are sabotaging this. This is some of the most satisfying therapeutic work I do – to help my single clients on their own journey towards loving relationships, both with themselves and others.
Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of counselling and everything we discuss during our sessions will remain strictly confidential between us, in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. When working with a couple who are sometimes having individual sessions, these sessions also remain strictly confidential between the therapist and the client, and it will be up to you to decide what, if any, of the content of our session you share with your partner. The only exception to this strict confidentiality between therapist and client is, if during the course of our work together, I consider that someone is at serious risk of harm, I am ethically required to consult on this. If this should arise I will endeavour to discuss it with you before breaking confidentiality, however, I retain the right to do so without prior discussion with you should I consider that the urgency of the situation requires me to act immediately to safeguard the safety of yourself or others.
Either choice has its own benefits, and it is often the case that relationship work involves a mixture of both solo and couple sessions. Whatever you choose, to get a relationship into a ‘healthy state’ ideally each individual needs to be prepared to look at their own input and to take on responsibility for what they contribute to the couple dynamic. If only one of you is prepared to do this, the ‘ripple effects’ on the health of the relationship can still often be significant.
That is a difficult question to answer, because it will depend on the issues that you bring and what you wish to achieve from the counselling. Some people gain benefits from just two or three sessions, for a bit of ‘tweaking’, others gain benefit over many months, and even years, of therapy. My therapeutic model does not encourage a ‘dependency’ on the therapist, but works towards getting you in touch and in better relationship with your own ‘internal therapist’, which you can call on for a lifetime.