FAQS about counselling

Ben Middleton Pg. Dip. MBACP

Brighton and Hove Counsellor

Path to relaxation

"... the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance.....” 

(Murray 1951)

Feeling lost

About counselling and psychotherapy

We can all feel a bit lost sometimes. It can be quite daunting to take that first step and seek help. I know for me at a time I needed it, counselling made all the difference. This page tells you a bit about counselling and what to expect when you come to see me.  I hope it answers your questions and I look forward to hearing from you.

What is counselling?

Counselling and psychotherapy are fairly broad descriptions for a range of talking therapies. What they tend to have in common is that you and the therapist will work together to understand the challenges you face and to try and find a way through them.

I take a client centred approach - which means that you are in control of the sessions and what we talk about. However, I can bring in elements from different types of counselling where we both think that might help.

We may also find ourselves working in different ways - for example using creative methods to help you think about things from a different angle, or to help you find a way to understand difficult feelings.

Who comes for counselling?

People often come to counselling because they are struggling to cope with feelings such as sadness, isolation or anxiety. Or they may be dealing with a difficult issue, such as the loss of someone close, work stress or addiction.

It can be hard to talk to those close to you as they have a personal involvement in your life. Talking to a trained therapist with no direct part in your life can help you talk about difficult feelings or problems more openly.

You don't need to be having a hard time or be facing a crisis to come for counselling. Sometimes we just need some space to stop and reflect on who we are and what we want from life.

I aim to offer a non judgemental space that is welcoming to all regardless of gender, sexuality, physical or mental ability, religious belief, race or nationality.

How should I choose a counsellor?

Its really important that you feel comfortable with your counsellor or psychotherapist. Whoever you decide to work with, meet them and ask as many questions as you like. Your counsellor won't usually tell you anything about their personal life, but they should be happy to talk about their training, experience and how they work.

Always look out for whether they are registed with a professional body. The two most common are BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), and UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy). Both these bodies regulate their members and ensure there are clear standards and methods for complaining if things go wrong. 

The terms counsellor and psychotherapist are not legally defined and are sometimes used interchangeably, but whoever you meet with should, if they are regulated by BACP or UKCP, be clear about how they can help you.

There are lots of different styles of counselling or psychotherapy available in Brighton. I provide some links on my contact me page for you to research this a bit further if you want.


What happens when we first meet?

Our first session is about finding out if I am the right therapist for you and discussing what you hope to get from our work. You will be able to ask any questions you have, I'll ask you about what has brought you to therapy and I'll take you through some of the practicalities.

There is no obligation to continue working with me after this initial session.

If you decide to work with me we'll agree a set time for weekly counselling in Brighton. This is usually at a the same tme each week, but I aim to be flexible and will discuss this with you in our first session.

If you have mobility problems I am willing to consider home visits, however this is only in exceptional circumstances and I work from a fully accessible site with wheelchair access.

How long will I need counselling for?

This really depends on each individual.

You may have a very specific issue you want to resolve or you may be looking for more general support in exploring your world. The minimum number of sessions I recommend is six, many people are looking for longer term support.

We would keep this under review as we worked together. It is always your decision to come for counselling and we can stop whenever you want. I would always recommend that we discuss it before you end your counselling and, ideally, plan for the end of counselling if we have been working together for a while

How much does it cost?

Sessions are £50 and last for 50 minutes. There are some lower cost places available for those on benefits and for trainee counsellors. The initial appointment costs £10.  I am happy to be paid by cash or online transfer. I am sorry I don't take cheques or accept card payment. 

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