What got you into counselling?
Before I was a therapist I studied music and performed. However, this wasn’t for me and after going through counselling myself to deal with my own issues I decided to train in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. This means that as well as understanding the skills and theory involved in therapy, I can also understand what it is like to sit in the client seat. I can use my own experiences as knowledge, along with what I have learned from the world and my years working in the field.
Gender and Sexuality is something that I have studied and explored since I was a teenager (which is quite a long time!). Not only is it something that I have taken on as knowledge I use in the counselling room but I also have a place in activism in the outside world. I teach about gender and sexuality, speak at events, conferences and for documentaries, plus working to create new initiatives such as the Chemsex Toolkit.
How do you work?
As you can probably see from my picture I am perhaps not what you would traditionally expect of a counsellor. I use a mix of person centred and psychodynamic therapy but take a very modern approach. I am sex-positive (having or promoting an open, tolerant, and progressive attitude towards sex and sexuality), kink aware, poly aware and sex worker aware.
Explaining the way that I work could sound like a lot of jargon, but basically I use a range of different skills to create the type of therapy which works well for you. I look at patterns of behaviour and thinking that could be repeating, work through relationships and explore the past to see how it affects the present. Through this awareness we can make changes for the future.
How regularly do I have to attend?
Sessions take place on a weekly basis. They ideally will be at the same time each week as this creates a structured routine. I do understand that not every job or lifestyle allows for this so we can always discuss a more flexible option that still allows you to attend each week.
What are your fees and do you offer low cost?
Fees are based on what time of the day you attend. The initial consultation costs a standard fee of £70 regardless of when you attend. Off peak sessions are between 10am and 5pm on a weekday and cost £70 per session. Peak are the hours which are in high demand because they fit around the working day (8am-10am and 5pm-9pm), due to this they cost £80 per session. Couples sessions are 60 minutes rather than 50 and cost £120 for the couple. I understand that there are more relationship structures than couples, however due to space in the room I can only see 2 people at this time.
The cost covers not just the 50 minutes that you attend but the extra work that goes on to provide good therapy including preparation, continual learning to keep up to date and supervision to ensure safe practice. I have spent a lot of time working to provide specialist therapy to a high standard.
What happens if I go away or can’t make a session?
It’s perfectly understandable that people will go on holiday, work away or have things come up that mean that you can’t attend. If notice is given in advance then sessions will not be charged, however in line with standard practice any cancellation within 48 hours of the session will still be charged at full rate. Blocks of pre-arranged missed sessions up to 3 weeks do not require any payment however after this a holding fee of £20 a week will be charged to hold your regular time slot. This is because I have a high number of requests for therapy and cannot hold spaces without a guarantee.
What does kink-aware mean?
Kink-aware means that I have a knowledge of kink and understand it. I use this knowledge within therapy to help people involved in kink or simply so that I do not pathologise it. This does not mean that I practice kink as a part of therapy or will act out fantasies so please do not contact me for this.
What are your specialisms?
Since qualifying I have done a lot of additional training to add knowledge in a range of areas including
- Gender and sexuality
- Specialist training in working with Trans issues
- Poly relationships
- Sex Worker aware therapy
- Personality Disorders
- Bereavement and Loss