Frequently Asked Questions
Why do individuals or families typically seek counselling?
There are many reasons an individual or family seeks counselling, ranging from anxiety or depression to difficulties in creating and sustaining stable and nurturing bonds with others, to fears of expressing themselves authentically or trusting others. Some seek the assistance of counselling to understand anger or conflicts with family members, spouses or to find answers to lingering influences from their early lives that has affected them adversely. Others seek the help of counselling to develop new ways to experience joy and contentment in their lives. Sometimes a particular experience, such as trauma, divorce, an argument, becoming a parent or dealing with an illness may be the influencing factor that creates a decision to seek counselling. The reasons are vast and as varied as people themselves, but most people share a desire for a more satisfying experience of their lives.
What can I expect from my first counselling session and subsequent sessions thereafter?
In your first session, which is called an "intake" session, you will be asked information questions that will help me get to know you a little better. We will work together to establish your hopes and goals for counselling and discuss how we can start navigating this process. Counselling will be a different experience for each person.
What happens during the course of your counselling experience differs over time, based on your situation, progress, or changes in your life. How your counselling progresses will depend on your needs and goals.
How long is each session?
Individual and Family sessions are usually 50 - 60 minutes in length. A group session is usually 90 minutes in length.
My child is an adolescent. How much will you tell me about what they are talking about, and how much will parents be included?
No matter how old you are confidentially is important in order to build a therapeutic relationship. If there is something that I think the parents should know, then I will assist your child in finding a way to tell you. Parents are an important part of the therapeutic process, and I include them as much as the child/adolescent and I feel is necessary in order to achieve optimal outcomes.
Do you have a Cancellation Policy?
Your appointment time is reserved especially for you. Kindly give at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment to avoid any penalty.
Is what I say in counselling kept confidential?
I follow the professional, legal and ethical guidelines of the Health Professions Council of South Africa. This means that information regarding your counselling sessions is not shared with anyone without your expressed written permission. There are some exceptions to confidentiality, however. If there is the possibility of harm to the client or another person, or in cases of child abuse, I am mandated to report such information to the appropriate authorities. Please feel free to ask me for more information about confidentiality.
Who is counselling for and what can it do for me?
Counselling is for any individual or family who feels overwhelmed by their emotions and would like to speak with a trained professional to work through their feelings, and get clarity. These emotions may include a pervasive sense of sadness, hopelessness, spinning out of control, or panic causing distress and dysfunction. Counselling should be seen as support on your journey when you need it.
How will counselling help me?
Counselling is a collaborative effort, requiring both the client and I to be fully involved in the therapeutic relationship for the benefit of the client. Whatever your reason for seeking counselling, I respond to clients in a respectful, authentic and helpful manner without criticizing, blaming, or judging. The therapeutic relationship is based on trust and acceptance, and my objective is to help you achieve your goals so that you can experience living a fuller and more authentic life. Counselling offers a great opportunity to learn how to uncover and work with your feelings, gain new insights and depths into yourself. It provides an opportunity to identify repetitive patterns of behaviour and actively work to take care of yourself in ways you need most.
Counselling can help minimise the impact of trauma, stress, anxiety and any other taxing experiences, without diminishing what you have experienced. Through new insights and understanding gained, you develop the power to build deeper relationships with yourself and others, and get a clearer understanding as to how you can be more confident, engaged and authentic in your life.
What can I do to ensure I benefit from counselling?
Taking responsibility is key to achieving improved mental health. I would also recommend that you consider the following to benefit the most from counselling:
Arrive on time for scheduled appointments
Establish achievable goals jointly with your counsellor
Be open and willing to explore uncomfortable aspects of your life
Be honest with your counsellor, but more importantly, be honest with yourself
Be committed to counselling, to achieve a healthy and positive mental well-being
What is Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is a tool used to enhance communication between myself and my younger clients. It is a useful way of opening up new pathways of communication, thought and connecting with one's inner world via the modality of creative play. This may include sand tray therapy, drawing, painting, clay, movement, and role play. It all depends on the individual client and what they are drawn to. Play Therapy helps children express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions when they are unable to do so through words.
What are your fees?
I currently run a cash practice and my rates are in line with medical aid tariffs. I am registered with BHF, which enables you to claim directly from your medical aid. Currently, payments can be made via EFT before the session or in cash directly after the session. It is important for you to check whether your medical aid option will pay for the services of a Registered Counsellor and what limit is available.
As a parent of a child or adolescent in counselling, will I get feedback or a report?
I will be able to provide you with feedback. Reports are generally not given for counselling.
What if my counsellor isn't right for me?
Finding the right fit with a counsellor or therapist is a fundamental and important part of getting the benefits of therapy. There are many different theories of psychology, and most counsellors are equipped with a range of skills and tools to choose from. This, and the counsellor's personality, breadth of life experiences, cultural insights, etc, are just a few factors that determine if a counsellor is right for you.
If you do not find we are the right fit, I would encourage you to reflect on what’s not working and share your thoughts with me. I am connected to a network of Mental Health Professionals and I will be happy to help you in this regard with an appropriate referral, if needed.