Michelle Strange MBACP (Reg)
Counselling - Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I come to counselling?
People come to counselling for a huge number of reasons, and I am happy to look with you at any problems or source of discontent that you may be 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. Past events may be troubling you, or you may have 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. I am a relational Integrative Counsellor, 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 deepened my understanding with further study of humanistic, attachment and contemporary psychotherapy theory. Most important for me is the personal interaction between client and counsellor, which can help a client to understand what is happening in his or her life and relationships, and identify resources to find a way through. My work is underpinned by mindfulness practice, and I may offer to introduce mindfulness techniques and suggest mindfulness techniques when I think they may be helpful.
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. Longer term work may involve exploring how significant life events and relationships may continue to shape current events, and bring about lasting changes in the way you feel about yourself.
How often will I come to counselling and for how long?
I prefer to see clients weekly, at the same time, for 50 minute sessions. The number of sessions that we meet will usually depend upon what you bring, and what you hope to gain from the sessions. We need not be rigid about this, and will review our work together as it goes on.
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 initial stage over two meetings. If I think that working with me may help you, I will offer you ongoing sessions. I will explain my policies on confidentiality, 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.