As an ethical counsellor in private practice, there are issues in counselling that I choose not to work with either because I am not trained in them or simply because I do not feel comfortable with them. I think it is only fair to let you know which areas are before you contact me.
- First things first, if you are looking for someone to tell you what to do, without developing an understanding of why you are doing what you do and working together to identity how to resolve those issues, I may not be the right person for you. My style of counselling is to safely challenge you and your behaviours.
- I don’t work with people issues that are meant to be dealt with by medical doctors, for example I don’t work with people experiencing serious psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder etc. Nor do I work with people who are unable to tell the difference between reality and non-reality (e.g. a psychosis or paranoid delusion). Mild phantasies (“I think no-one likes me”) are absolutely fine to bring to me to work with in therapy.
- I am a Doctor of Philosophy not a medical doctor (GP). I am also a counsellor/psychotherapist; I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychoanalyst. I do not diagnose illness, label or categorise clients, nor do I prescribe medication.
- I work exclusively with adults aged 18 years and over. I am not qualified to work with young people under 18.
- I will not accept requests to see someone who is being “sent” to counselling by a third party; no matter how well intended.
- I am not qualified or experienced enough to work with issues of end-of-life-care, or working through issues relating to abortion, nor do I work with people who are experiencing short-term grief (by this I mean those people who have been recently bereaved – although I do work with long term grief — over two years after bereavement). In my opinion, there are organisations that can provide more effective short-term specialist support to help you than I.
- Couple’s Counselling should not be used to try and ‘fix’ your partner, nor should your partner be ‘forced’ into counselling. Both parties must be willing participants who want to find a way ahead and understanding what is happening. I will explore this aspect of counselling with anyone who comes for relationship counselling with me.
- Other difficulties may be declined if I feel that another counsellor may be more qualified or experienced in helping you.