Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you charge per session?

I operate a sliding scale, in an attempt to match my fees with your financial circumstances. This is a process of negotiation that we will address at our first meeting. I also offer two concessionary places, which are reserved for people on a low income. Please do let me know if this would be helpful for you.

I would be happy to arrange an initial meeting, to get to know each other, and see whether we could work together. Choosing the right therapist is important: as in any relationship, we need to be a good enough fit.

I offer clinical supervision to counsellors, psychotherapists, and anyone working in the caring professions. Please contact me for details.

How often would we meet?

We would normally meet once a week, but it could be more often if necessary.

How long would a session last?

I offer sessions lasting 60 minutes.

Where would sessions be held?

Sessions available online, at my home in Islip, or at The Practice Rooms in Summertown, Oxford. At both locations, you will find the room attractively furnished, warm and very private.

Islip is on a direct train service from Oxford, Oxford Parkway, Bicester, and London Marylebone. Off-street parking is also available.

Summertown is accessible by buses from Oxford city centre and Kidlington, or by bicycle. Parking spaces are limited, but can be found in residential streets nearby.

I am functioning OK most of the time and don’t consider myself to have a mental illness. Do I need this?

Counselling or psychotherapy can be of great benefit to anyone who is unhappy with any part of their life. You don’t have to be mentally ill to see a therapist: most people have everyday concerns or issues and simply want someone to talk to. Some people have more serious or intractable problems that they can’t solve on their own. And others come because they are interested in self-development, or in working out what makes them the way they are.

How long will it take before I see a difference?

It depends on what you bring to therapy and how hard you are prepared to work. In general, I would say that my approach lends itself to in-depth and longer-term work. However, I also provide short-term counselling and, if this is what you require, please discuss your needs with me.

How will I know when it’s time to finish?

We normally make an initial therapy contract for 6 weeks and then have a review. You will need to decide whether I am right for you and whether you are willing to commit to the process. If you are, then we can continue until you decide you want to end. This is usually by negotiation, as abrupt endings can be very painful for both parties.

Will everything I say be kept in confidence?

Absolutely. However, there are certain circumstances when, by law, I would have to break confidentiality, for example in matters concerning the safety of children. I may also ask permission to contact your GP if I feel you are becoming mentally unwell.

My GP has prescribed medication for my mental health – would this interfere with my treatment?

So long as you are able to be present and attentive during therapy, there is no reason why your medication should interfere in any way with the process; in fact, if you have been very unwell, it can make things easier. However, I would ask you to refrain from using alcohol or other recreational drugs before a session.

I know that Mindfulness is a Buddhist approach – does this mean it’s all about religion and spirituality?

Not at all. Like anything else, these subjects will only come up if you want them to. However, I do believe that the Buddhist philosophy has a lot to offer the West in terms of cultivating wellbeing and contentment. Mindfulness is a Buddhist practice which can be used by anyone – whether they have any religious or spiritual beliefs, or not – to develop the ability to be present in the moment and to see thoughts and feelings as constantly changing elements of life.

My partner is the one with the problems – should I come and see you, or should I encourage him/her to come?

You have found this website, and have read this far, which suggests that you are interested in finding help for yourself. We are only responsible for our own happiness. If your partner wants to find a therapist, maybe he/she will search the web when he/she is ready.

What should I do if I have a crisis between sessions – do you work outside of our normal session times?

Very occasionally, I will offer a client extra sessions or telephone support, but this will be by arrangement only. I would recommend that you phone NHS Direct or make an emergency appointment to see your GP. You may also like to phone your local Samaritans.

There are lots of counsellors and psychotherapists – why should I choose you?

I am a mature person with a lot of life experience and empathy for people from all walks of life and many different cultures. I have completed a very thorough and demanding training in psychotherapy from a well-respected educational establishment and I have a Masters Degree in the subject. I have the intellectual capacity and the compassion to be fully present in the work and to offer a great gift to my clients. This comes from a deeply-held belief that we are all ‘works in progress’, so that we meet as equals and explore whatever you choose to bring to sessions. However, like any other relationship, we have to see whether we ‘click’ and work from there. Research into the effectiveness of psychotherapy and counselling has shown that the quality of the relationship between therapist and client is more important than the approach.