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questions about counselling

As water takes whatever shape it is in, so free may you be about who you become.


John O'Donohue



What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?


You may have noticed that I use the terms Counselling and Psychotherapy interchangeably, as I have trained both as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Counselling can be seen as short term work, which is often issue based and Psychotherapy as more open ended in depth work.


Do you offer advice?


Counselling and therapy is not about advice giving, it offers you space to find your own way and make you own decisions. I may offer information that might be useful to you, but I do not have the answers, counselling offers space and time to discover your own truth and your own path.  


How do I know counselling or therapy is for me?


You are very welcome to call and we can talk briefly on the phone in confidence. If you decide to come to an initial 60 minute session, we can make a suitable time to meet. I can see you in Didcot where I have a practice. You do not need to commit to any further sessions at this point, the most important thing about therapy is that you feel the therapist is right for you. If you wish to continue meeting, we can agree that you might come along for 6-8 sessions and review from there if you wish to continue.


I am not sure I can meet face to face with someone I do not know?


Ebb and Flow Counselling & Psychotherapy offers a safe and welcoming space, I always work at your pace. If you are worried, please let me know and we can talk about this when we meet for an initial session. It is important that you feel you can work with me and feel comfortable. You may want to think of having telephone counselling which could be a first step in gaining support.


What happens in the first session?


During the initial session, whether on the phone, skype or face to face, I will support you to talk about yourself; rather like telling your story, or painting a picture of what is going on for you. This will enable me to hear and understand what you might like to explore or achieve from working together. You will also find out more about fees and arrangements for the times of sessions. As the sessions progress, you may find that what you first came for, is not now what you want to talk about, this is not uncommon, the time and space is yours to explore whatever comes up for you. You do not have to make a commitment at this point, I encourage you to listen to what feels right for you.  


I am worried the counsellor will judge me


Underpinning my work is a respect for you and your perspectives, your values and life experience. I welcome working with people from different backgrounds cultures and beliefs. I am committed to practicing ethically and am bound by the BACP Ethical Framework.


I am not an emotional person will counselling suit me?


Some of us are more in touch with our emotions that others, some of us are thinkers and some doers, I will take this into account when working with you. Counselling is not just about emotions. I might suggest you put something in practice in-between sessions, after all counselling is not only about what happens in the sessions, but about living a fuller life beyond the sessions. You can use counselling for personal development, supporting confidence, assertiveness, self-esteem and stress. You may find that CBT is an approach that suits you; so please contact me to discuss this.


Will you be writing notes about me?


I write a short summary of what we have talked about, you can have access to the counselling notes I keep if you need them.


I am concerned about confidentiality


Counselling and therapy is confidential, this is fundamental to the process of building a relationship together. I will not disclose that you are attending counselling, or the content of the sessions. There are very rare occasions in which confidentially may need to be broken, for example if you are a risk to yourself  or another. If you have any concerns about confidentiality I encourage you to discuss your concerns when we meet.  


I have a particular problem I want to focus on


You may be clear about the issue you wish to bring to sessions, or may feel muddled or confused about what you want from the sessions.  


How often do I need to come and how long will it take?


Counselling usually takes place once a week for 1 hour. I generally leave the amount of sessions up to you. Perhaps you may decide to see me for only one session, whilst others may continue to see me for much longer. It is not possible to predict the number of sessions, but usually we will review after 6-8 sessions to discuss where you want to go from here, you are in control and it is entirely up to you.


What happens if I miss a session?


I will always endeavour to provide you with an alternative time if given sufficient notice. Otherwise as is the usual practice, I will charge for late cancellations if you do not let me know within 24 hours of the session time.  


How much does it cost?


Individual Face to Face sessions are £45

Couples counselling sessions are £50

Mindfulness sessions are £45

Skype Mindfulness and Telephone Counselling sessions are £40

I offer a sliding scale for those undergoing hardship

I also offer low cost sessions for Counselling Students


How do I know when the therapy should end?


You are always in control of when you want to end sessions, I always advise discussing endings, in order that we can review your journey during the therapy sessions.



© 2013 Ebb & Flow Counselling, Ann Rapstoff, all rights reserved

Ann Rapstoff, Individual & Couples Counselling,

Psychotherapy, Mindfulness & CBT

T: 07703 182 186 E:

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