Kate Heavey BA (Hons) FdSc BACP (Accredited) - Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ripley near Guildford and Woking in Surrey
What does counselling with me entail?
I place great importance on the acceptance of your unique perspective and aim to explore your perspective in a non-judgemental and compassionate way in a trusting, safe and confidential environment. My hope is that you will feel heard and safe to identify issues that you are currently experiencing. I will encourage you to speak honestly and openly giving you the space to understand who you really are.
Through our therapeutic relationship I will encourage you to talk and identify your own feelings so you reach a greater level of self-awareness and self-understanding leading to increased self-esteem and confidence. We can explore your life experiences identifying what is important to you and what you want or need to change in order to achieve this, i.e. you may come to counselling wanting to lead a more contented life with happier relationships (both with yourself and with others). Our therapeutic relationship will always support and empower you during your counselling process enabling you to independently make your own choices and decisions as you build on your own resources.
Our counselling work gives you an opportunity to reflect on your life choices, identify patterns of behaviour and recognise ways of relating which may be creating and prolonging any struggles you may be experiencing. Depending on your needs, our work may include using images, visualisations, mindfulness, body awareness exercises or creative work such as journaling.
Clients commencing counselling and/or psychotherapy with me generally notice change within their first few sessions.
I trained as an integrative counsellor incorporating different counselling theories as I believe we are all individuals needing individual approaches. The counselling theories incorporated in my training are psychodynamic, person centred, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and existential.
Integrative counselling provides a flexible, effective and helpful way of counselling with the healing coming from our therapeutic relationship. As the name suggests, I 'integrate' counselling approaches drawing on a wide range of relevant theories and techniques to meet your individual needs. The success and effectiveness of counselling is dependent on how open, honest and willing you are to look at aspects of your own life. I do not give advice or tell you what to do; integrative counselling is a collaborative way of working which is led by you, the client.
Psychotherapy tends to be longer term work with our attention being directed at deeper-routed issues. Once you feel safe and trusting in our therapeutic relationship we can tentatively begin to look at what is going on for you in life today (the here-and-now) and how your past may be affecting you. It could be that re-living the past is stopping you from living a contented life today and this may be bringing up many unwanted emotions, e.g. shame or guilt. Maybe you have a feeling of stuckness or not feeling present today due to past trauma's which have lead you to personal suffering and addiction. Whatever your feelings we can work through them in the safety of our therapeutic relationship.
Experience informs me that if we can sort out 'back then', discuss what is going on 'out there' then healing occurs 'in-here' (taken from Jacobs 'Triangle of Insight').
How do you decide if I'm the right counsellor for you?
Finding the right counsellor to work with is a very important step in your counselling journey and it can be helpful to talk to different counsellors before making a decision. You need to feel safe and comfortable and be able to make small talk as, if you can talk about the small things, you will be able to bring the big! Being able to relate and feel connection is necessary as is being accepted for who you are.
If you decide to proceed with counselling, we will agree on a working agreement outlining the responsibilities of both of us in our therapeutic relationship. This generally includes a regular time on a day of the week for the duration of your counselling enabling you freedom to plan around your session.
How can I help you resolve any issues or concerns you may bring to therapy?
As an experienced counsellor I can explain how we can work together giving you a basic 'road map'. The outcome of therapy is very much dependent on our collaborative relationship built on trust and honesty and how able you are to be you in your counselling sessions without limitations.
What happens in a counselling session?
That really is up to you. The session lasts for 60 minutes and that time is entirely devoted to you to use as you wish. Our initial sessions may begin by exploring what has brought you to counselling and any concerns or issues that are uppermost in your mind. As we begin to discuss your life it may be deeper thoughts and feelings emerge which you might wish to explore; the extent of your journey really is dependent on how far you are prepared to go. If you find there are parts of your history / personality that you are avoiding in therapy then this can tentatively be discussed.
On in the words of a counselling client (permission granted to use):-
The Counselling Chair
By Leanne Conner (Leanne Marie Poetry)
A worried mind, a head full of fears,
How should I be? Do I hold back the tears?
This person unknown, hearing my woes
What do I say? How much to disclose?
She sits just in front in a chair of her own,
Her voice welcomes me with a gentle tone
A caring concern for whatever I share,
I start to feel safe as I sit in my chair
My voice starts to quiver as my first words are spoken,
My thoughts seem to scream, PLEASE FIX ME I’M BROKEN!
She listens intently, doesn’t judge what’s discussed,
Finally someone I feel I can trust
We meet again and more frequently,
I start to feel different, more open and free
She seems to understand things from my point of view,
She knows what it’s like to be in my shoes
I notice a change going on inside,
The fear, hurt and anger seems to have died
Who is this girl I’ve come to have known,
A more confident, happy person is shown
I’m starting to realise that choices are mine,
If I take care of me, I know I’ll be fine
Follow my heart and share what I feel,
Everything now seems so much more real
So thanks to this person, this stranger I feared,
Just being there listening, my mind has been cleared
I’ve been introduced to someone you see,
In that counselling chair, I found the new me.
Will you find the new you?
How many sessions will I need?
In your initial session we can discuss this. You might want us to work together for an agreed number of sessions or leave it open-ended. I am happy to work with counselling clients in the short, medium or long-term and provide long-term psychotherapy depending on your own individual needs. Reviewing periodically helps you look at your progress and if you are getting what you want from your counselling / psychotherapy sessions. It is you who decides on whether to continue or end the counselling relationship; a planned ending session is always recommended.
Am I being weak if I attend counselling?
You may have grown up in a culture of 'maintaining a stiff upper lip' and may view attending counselling as weak. My philosophy is the opposite. I believe humans are meant to be social beings and, at certain times in life, need a certain level of support whether this is support, dealing with a traumatic event or discussing a current life situation.
How am I as a counsellor?
I am down-to-earth, sensitive, warm and compassionate and always welcome feedback. I am willing to look at myself, to explore my own feelings and to be honest and open with you. I attend regular supervision and have a personal commitment to continued professional development and actively seek to further my skills and knowledge as a counsellor. I believe self-awareness is the biggest tool I have and I learn from each and every client.
Have I attended therapy myself?
One of the best ways to learn about counselling and the therapy process is to experience it first hand and I have engaged with counselling at various points in my life. Furthermore, a mandatory part of my counsellor training was to attend 60 sessions of counselling and through this I gained invaluable learning about myself. I continue to take care of myself by having weekly counselling with a BACP registered counsellor.
Confidentiality is an important aspect of the therapeutic relationship and I adhere to the Data Protection Act (1998) and am registered with the ICO. In your first session, we will discuss the legal limits to confidentiality.
Contact Outside of Sessions
Contact outside of our sessions is accepted for practical reasons. Telephone or email conversations are not entered into without prior arrangement.
Social Media Policy
My primary concern is your privacy. I do not accept friend requests from current or former clients on any social networking sites. Adding clients can compromise confidentiality and privacy and may blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. I have social media pages for my private practice to enable the sharing of public posts of interest with other social media users. If you have questions about my policy, please feel free to ask me in your session so we can talk any concerns in more detail. You are responsible for what you choose to write in any social media forum and if you ever feel I have done something harmful or unethical please feel free to discuss this with me.
Ideally you would let me know the week before that you could not attend your next session. Cancellations made outside of 48 hours are not chargeable and cancellations less than 48 hours will incur the full fee.
I have Public Liability Insurance.
As a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I believe strongly in the Ethical Framework that is set out as a standard for British counselling and psychotherapy.
If you have a complaint about my work this would be directed to the BACP (the professional body responsible for issues of conduct).
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