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We all have our "stuff" ...
... even aside from the current pandemic, life can be hard. Pressure of work, relationship difficulties, painful memories or trauma, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty sleeping: modern life can feel overwhelming. Just like our physical health, everyone has times when their mental wellbeing is not at its best.
Counselling can help you manage and move on from mental distress and reclaim a sense of joy in your life. I offer a safe, confidential and compassionate space for you to explore your inner life, and an awareness of up to date psychological and neuroscientific research that can help you move beyond your current problems in a short time frame.
I am currently working with clients living in the UK via Zoom online video meetings, and outdoors for socially distanced walk and talk sessions in Cambridge - click here for more details.
Why not send me a message, or give me a call on 07935 148013 to see if we can work together to help you find a more untroubled and peaceful life?
FAQ - how it all works
What issues can you help with?
I have worked with clients experiencing depression, anxiety (particularly social anxiety), anger issues, sleep difficulties, suicidal thoughts, childhood trauma, attention problems, relationship concerns, and many other challenges. If you have an issue that requires specialist help that I do not offer (such as drug addiction treatment), I will be able to help you find a suitable counsellor.
How much does it cost?
Zoom sessions cost £45, walk and talk sessions cost £50, payable in advance by BACS transfer.
What happens in a session?
A counselling session is your time to talk about anything you wish. My role is to listen without judging, and to help you explore strategies that might help you progress past your current difficulties. As well as "just" talking, our work together might include breathing/meditation/visualisation exercises, body awareness, creative work or role play.
How long do sessions last?
The standard length for counselling sessions is 50 minutes.
How often will I have a session?
Counselling is most effective when sessions take place weekly. As you approach the end of therapy, we may agree a gradual reduction in frequency.
How many sessions will it take?
This varies from one client to the next, but many clients feel sufficiently empowered to finish counselling after around ten sessions. I have occasionally seen clients who have felt ready to move on after just two sessions, while others with more complex difficulties have continued for around thirty.
Is it completely confidential?
Confidentiality is a vital part of counselling - you can trust me with your most difficult or painful thoughts and be assured that I will not divulge anything you tell me to your family, employer, doctor, or anyone who knows you. However, there are certain limits to confidentiality: if I have reason to believe that you or anyone else is in danger of harm, or that you have been involved in certain serious criminal activities, I am legally obliged to pass this information on. I am also legally obliged to provide any notes I make about our sessions if asked to do so by a court. All counsellors are required to see a clinical supervisor every month, to ensure we are working ethically and effectively, and I will discuss our work with my supervisor in an anonymised way, so I might refer to you simply by one of your initials.
Are you working face to face?
In common with most other counsellors, I am only currently working over Zoom. When it is completely safe to do so, I will resume seeing clients face to face in North Cambridge. Due to different legislation in different countries, I am only able to take on clients who live in the UK.
What happens if I lose internet?
Online counselling does have technical challenges, but I will always make sure you have the allotted time - if either one of us loses internet connection for more than five minutes during a session, we will rearrange the remaining time for another day, at no further cost to you.
What sort of counselling do you do?
I do not believe that any single model or theory of counselling/psychotherapy has a monopoly on the truth, so I draw on different approaches to suit each client. My way of working has its roots in Carl Rogers' person centred approach, which views the client as the expert on their own experience, and seeks to build a productive working partnership through empathy, trust and rapport. I will also bring in psychodynamic or cognitive/behavioural techniques as appropriate. I believe that an understanding of how our emotions evolved to help our ancestors survive as hunter-gatherers can give a helpful perspective on our modern day stresses and problems. This is reflected in recent studies in the field of interpersonal neurobiology. Whatever issues you bring to counselling, I will work with you to develop a genuinely supportive relationship, which research has shown is the most important factor in bringing about therapeutic change.
Don't I just need CBT/antidepressants?
Cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT has had a great deal of publicity in recent years, portraying it as the gold standard of scientific, evidence based therapy. The NHS does offer six sessions of CBT through the IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies) scheme, however there are long waiting lists, and many people find that the treatment, with its emphasis on "correcting" unhelpful thought patterns and completing homework tasks is impersonal, and not effective in the long term. I am more than happy to use CBT techniques in our work together, but I don't view them as a "magic bullet" that is applicable to every situation. As for antidepressant medication, I have talked to clients who said they literally saved their lives, and others who have found them more harmful than helpful. There is evidence that a combination of medication and counselling can be effective for some people, but the decision to take medication has to be one you make yourself, with advice and support from your GP.
Are you properly qualified?
It is true that "counsellor" and "psychotherapist" are unprotected titles in the UK, meaning anyone can legally use them. However, to be eligible for insurance and membership of one of the professional bodies, such as the National Counselling Society, that holds a register accredited by the Professional Standards Agency, a counsellor or psychotherapist should be trained to diploma level on a nationally recognised course. A six week online "Become a counsellor" course advertised on Facebook does not satisfy these requirements. I have a diploma in counselling and a BSc honours degree in psychology. Since qualifying, I have worked in schools, a number of Cambridge University colleges, with EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) providers, and with private clients. I have also been a tutor on a counselling course and delivered mental health training to staff and students in some Cambridge colleges. I am an accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society and subscribe to their code of ethics (available here), and have full professional liability insurance.
As with any information you share with me, your personal details are confidential. I will never pass your name or other identifying data to any other person or organisation without either written instructions from you or a court order. All communication between us will be kept on password/fingerprint protected devices, either carried with me or kept in a locked location. I do not keep any paper records. I am registered with the information commissioner's office.
I'm interested - what happens next?
You can contact me using the form below, or call/text on 07935 148013. We will arrange an initial online consultation session over Zoom, which will take around 30 minutes. This is a time for you to outline the issues that have brought you to seek counselling, and for me to tell you about the way I work. This allows us both to judge whether we feel I would be the right counsellor for you. If you decide you don't want to continue, there is no charge for this session. If you want to start sessions, or if you would like me to refer you to another counsellor with a particular specialism, there is a £20 consultation fee.
Please use the form below to contact me by email, or call or text me on 07935 148013. When completing the form, please double check that your contact details are correct. I aim to get back to you within two working days.
All content copyright Guy Snape 2020