Michelle Strange MBACP (accredited)
Counselling - Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I come to counselling?
People come to counselling for a huge number of reasons, and I will look with you at any problems that you are experiencing in your life. Often a particular event or crisis brings things to a head, and you may be finding it hard to cope. You may feel lonely, anxious, stressed, have relationship or family problems, be confused about your identity or sexuality, have suffered a bereavement or loss of your health or career. You may be struggling and stressed at work. Past events may be troubling you, or there may be a general sense of unhappiness or lack of direction which has been going on for some time.
What sort of counsellor are you?
I am a warm, empathic and thoughtful person, who respects clients’ needs and individual agency. My work does not involve making diagnoses, using a couch, or telling you how to run your life. Most important for me is the personal interaction between client and counsellor, which can help you understand what is happening in your life and relationships, and identify resources to find a way through.
My work is integrative and relational, with a wide training which enables me to incorporate a range of theoretical models and techniques. My original training used Clarkson’s five-strand model of the therapeutic relationship, and I have since undertaken further study of humanistic, attachment and contemporary psychotherapy theory, mindfulness-based therapy, working with trauma and with couples. I am also a trained mindfulness meditation teacher (MBCT/MBSR), and may offer to introduce mindfulness exercises into our work when I think they may be of help.
How can counselling help?
I believe that it can help most people to talk through how they feel with an experienced and trained person. In the safe space of the counselling room, it is possible to explore what is going on for you, and to feel clearer about what you need and what you want. Counselling is collaborative work, and we can look together at what may be holding you back from getting what you want from your life, and help you move in a way that feels positive for you. As our work progresses we may explore how significant life events and relationships may continue to shape current events. Recognising this can open up space and choice, helping to bring about lasting changes in the way you live your life, and feel about yourself.
I would like to come for counselling with my partner/another person. How do you work with more than one client?
I work with pairs of clients who are struggling in relationship with each other, whether they a couple, family members or professional partners. My approach when working with more than one client is also integrative and relational, seeking ways for both parties to hear each another, whilst respecting individual choice and agency. Depending on what you bring, I will give examples of work that you and your partner can try together between sessions.
How often will I come to counselling and for how long?
I generally meet clients weekly, at the same time, for 50 minute sessions (individuals), or for an hour (couples). At our first meeting we will agree upon an initial number of sessions, and some time into the initial period, we will look at this again together. We may agree upon more sessions or move to a more open-ended basis where this feels more appropriate.
How do I set up an initial meeting?
The first step is to contact me by phone or email. We will arrange an initial 50 minute meeting, in which you will be able to experience how I work, tell me what has brought you to counselling, and any expectations you may have. Depending on what you bring, I may suggest that we extend this discussion over two meetings. If I think that working with me may help you, I will offer you ongoing sessions. I will provide you with written terms that explain my policies on confidentiality, Data Protection, fees, holidays and cancelled appointments. If I think that your needs might be better addressed by another avenue or therapy, I will discuss options with you.