Who is counselling for?

Counselling is for anyone who wants a space to explore themselves, their thoughts and their feelings. People generally come to counselling when they feel the need to talk through difficult life experiences, for example: depression, anxiety, times of transition, relationship difficulties, bereavement or trauma. This could be a current problem in your personal or work life or something from the past that is unresolved.

What is counselling and how does it help?

Throughout life many problems and challenges arise for all of us, which at times feel overwhelming and that we can’t get past. Sometimes just talking about these with someone outside the situation may be all that is needed.

It can help to talk to someone in confidence who is neutral and separate to those closest to us, who can empathize and will not judge you, who wont tell you what to do or how you should be. I offer a safe space where you can be you and can explore your thoughts and feelings and what is concerning you in your own way at your own pace. I wont tell you what to do or give you advice (as what works for one person wont be suitable for another) but I will support and work with you through any difficulties and challenges you are experiencing. Together we can build a therapeutic relationship of trust and mutual respect which will to enable you to explore and express yourself and work towards your own individual solutions – what you feel will work best for you to achieve your goals.

What happens after you contact me?

When you contact me, please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We can arrange to meet for an introductory session (lasting up to 30 minutes) at a mutually convenient time and place to decide whether we would like to work together. For counselling to be effective, we need to feel able to build a trusting relationship.

At our first meeting, I will ask you a little about yourself, what is concerning you and what you would like to achieve from our sessions. It is up to you how much you feel comfortable sharing.

If you feel comfortable with me and you would like to arrange a further appointment then we can do so, but there is no obligation to do this now and you can get in touch at any time in the future.

If you decide that you would like to work together we would then arrange a regular time to meet. This would usually be once a week or once a fortnight. I have a contract which I will ask you to agree – there is a copy of this for you to look at at the end of this page.

We can either work in an open ended way until you feel that you have achieved what you wanted to or we can agree a set number of sessions. Throughout the counselling I will offer regular opportunities to reflect on how you feel you are progressing and whether you would like to change anything as you move forward.


Vicky Whitehouse

Counselling Contract

  • We will meet on a weekly or fortnightly basis for up to 50 minutes for as many sessions as we agree together.

  • It is your responsibility to arrive on time as it will not always be possible for our session to be extended if you arrive late.

  • Contact between sessions is restricted to short messages about times of sessions. My phone is switched off during sessions and I will respond as soon as possible to any messages left.

  • If a session has to be cancelled for any reason I will try to give you as much notice as possible, please give me at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a session (so I have time to cancel the room). If you miss a session you have not cancelled, you will be charged for the session.

  • Generally what you say in sessions is confidential but in accordance with the BACP ethical framework I may need break confidentiality if you give me information which leads me to believe that someone (including yourself) is in danger of serious harm. I will try to discuss this with you first. Counsellors are bound by law to give information to the authorities where the law requires.

  • I make a brief note of the content of each session. These notes are kept securely. Your surname or other identifying features do not appear on them.

  • In accordance with the (BACP) guidelines I am required to discuss my work and attend supervision on a regular basis. My supervision sessions are confidential. Your anonymity will be protected.

  • I expect us to display mutual respect, violent acts will not be tolerated.

  • Throughout the counselling process I offer the opportunity for regular reviews on how we are progressing and whether there is anything you want to change anything about the way we are working together. When you wish to end, I ask for at least one session’s notice so that we can both have time to reflect on how best to end out time together.

Signed Counsellor_________________________________ Date________________

I have read and understood this contract and agree to the terms and conditions of it.

Either party has the right to withdraw from this contract at any time.

Signed Client_____________________________________ Date_________________