There’s quite a lot to read here and I hope that I’ve been as informative as you need. If anything remains unanswered please phone me with your questions – an audible conversation can be so much more explicit than the written word.
In brief, integrative counselling and therapy are about helping you feel more comfortable and better enabled to cope with things – helping you feel integrated, whole.
What kind of counsellor are you?
I qualified with an integrative training and have experience of using different approaches, which helps me to assess which method may best support you. I don’t believe there is one ‘right’ way for any of us, with any thing. This applies to one-to-one individual sessions with adults or young people, group and family work. For example, sometimes short term ‘solution-focussed’ therapy achieves positive results, as does longer term ‘depth’ work. Also, using elements of meditation and mindfulness, or other experiential, outdoor and creative approaches are also beneficial, all of which I have personal interests in and experience of.
I will support you whilst you work towards feeling more in control of and empowered with your situation, over time you will begin to feel that you are becoming more able to manage things. Counselling and therapy are about helping you feel supported and your thoughts and feelings validation, and will help you feel more in touch with your inner strengths and resources.
Importantly, I am a fully qualified counsellor and will be happy to tell you more about my qualification and professional registration. For your peace of mind it may be wise to ask the counsellor (or therapist) who you are considering working with about their qualifications, whether their work is clinically supervised, and of which relevant professional organisation they are a member. You have the right to ask to see proof of credibility – you will be placing huge trust in this person.
What will it be like?
Making the decision to seek confidential support is sometimes difficult and unnerving, yet in itself can be a helpful stage in your process. With an experienced counsellor who offers sensitive and compassionate guidance and support the discomfort of working with difficult feelings can be greatly reduced. A really positive, empathic relationship is something that we will take some time to cultivate at the start of your sessions. It is important that you feel able to fully express yourself in a non-judgemental, safe and confidential environment.
Additionally, this is your process, and you set the pace, you get to choose how much you disclose and share and when. You are only ever ‘guided’ by me. I may invite you to engage with particular approaches and you are wholly entitled to say ‘no’ or ‘yes!’. You are the true expert in your situation, part of my job is to help you recognise and become fully aware of that, as well as helping you to embrace and embody the true you. Above all, I believe that the counselling process and relationship will ultimately be a positive one.
How long might this process take?
This is something that can be both determined during your assessment, and reviewed as we work together from session to session. I have experience of working with people for time limited periods such as 6 to 12 weeks, and I also have experience of working over longer periods. You may start with some clearly defined goals and feel confident that you only need a few sessions; or you may wish to engage indefinitely and see what unfolds without necessarily having an end in sight from the start.
Whichever way, I can help you decide at the assessment stage, which is also when you and I agree whether we will work together. Whenever I feel that I am not the best person to support you I will discuss this with you and do my best to help you find someone who is.
How long is each session?
Sessions will last for 50 minutes to an hour, and we will meet every week at the same time.
Where do you work?
At the moment I work in Bridport, Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Axminster. The rooms that are available are private, quiet and comfortable, and are within easy reach of car parks or public transport links.
If you don’t live in this area, or live overseas, we can also work over the phone or Skype.
Louise is easy to talk to about the most difficult feelings, she listens without judgement and offers impartial and honest support. I have found Louise to be very professional, she has a lot of integrity and really cares about the wellbeing of her clients.
Louise has supported my son, and our family, through a very difficult and challenging time. She offers a very professional and caring service.
I have found Louise to be a very sincere and genuine person. She listens with respect and sensitivity and communicates openly and honestly. Her approach is always closely informed by her professional guidelines. Louise is thoughtful and trustworthy when dealing with people and their concerns.