Sidcup and South East Counselling

Counselling and Therapy in South East London & Kent

Joanna Strong MBACP Accred, MBPsS, MSc Psych, BA Hons Counselling

EMDR, Trauma Informed, CBT, Psychodynamic, Person-centred.


Frequently asked questions

What is Counselling?

Counselling provides a safe, private and confidential setting where you can explore issues or feelings which are causing you difficulty. Bottled up feelings such as anger, grief, shame and guilt can lead to depression and anxiety and become very intense, impacting not only on you but others around you. Counselling offers an opportunity to talk them through on a regular basis, freely and openly, in a way that is often difficult to do with friends and family.

Counselling is a process of self discovery that helps you explore issues in your life that may be causing you distress, to help you gain a better understanding of yourself, thoughts, feelings and patterns of behaviour with the aim of helping you to see more clearly and make decisions, enabling choice and facilitating change through a confidential and supportive relationship.

Why see a private counsellor?

Unfortunately, therapy through the NHS or a counselling organisation can often entail a long wait and a limit to the number of sessions offered, usually 6-12 sessions, with little choice over who you see, when you see them and the counselling approach on offer, however paying for counselling or therapy gives you the choice and a say in seeking help without any time constraints.

You won't have to wait, you can agree a convenient time for sessions and negotiate flexibility if you need it.

How do I know which counsellor to choose?

Finding the right counsellor who you can trust, feel comfortable with, and share your most intimate thoughts and feelings, can be a daunting prospect, particularly as in everyday life you don't always get along with everyone you meet, which is natural. Each counsellor is different and the first meeting is not only about the counsellor assessing you and your needs, but about you assessing if the counsellor is right for you.

What happens in the first session?

Seeing a counsellor for the first time can be quite scary so the first session is used to meet with me to assess whether counselling is appropriate to your needs. It provides an opportunity for you to explore the reasons for seeking help at this time as well as ensuring that we are able to work together so that you receive the necessary support.

Where will the counselling take place?

My practice is based in Sidcup in a relaxed, comfortable and private setting in Sidcup, Bexley and accessible to the areas of Dartford, Greenwich, New Eltham, Welling, Plumstead, Bexleyheath and Eltham in South East London and Kent and local to the M25, A2, A20, Sidcup and New Eltham train stations and bus routes 51, 286 and B13.

Will you tell anyone what we have talked about?

No as counselling is confidential, however there are rare exceptions to this. It may be necessary to break confidentiality in situations where you or someone else is at risk of immediate harm and unable to protect themselves. I will however discuss this with you first if this were the case.

How much will the sessions cost?

Each session is £75 which is based on qualifications, experience and specialisms.

I have a sliding scale of fees and offer reduced rates(with limited availability) for people in special circumstances but is dependant on a day time appointment. If you are unsure if this applies to you, or you would like to talk it through, please do not hesitate to contact me.

What happens if I need to cancel the session?

As each session time is set aside for you and due to financial considerations regarding waiting lists, cancellation requires at least 48 hours notice or the full fee is still payable. This includes late cancellation due to work commitments and illness.

Agreeing to work with a client means that I set time aside each week to be available to you with commitment and consistency. Likewise, therapy for a client involves structure, discipline and regular time to focus on the self and engage in a healthy working relationship.

How many sessions will I need?

This depends on your needs and the issues being worked on. Some people like to work short term in brief therapy and others prefer counselling over a longer period of time.

How long are the sessions?

Sessions are held for 50 minutes and usually arranged on a weekly basis at the same time and day. If you arrive late the session will still have to end at the allotted time.

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