24th April 2019
Why does counselling cost so much?
People say that counselling is expensive and that is true, it is not cheap to see a private counsellor. I always appreciate that clients spend a lot of money on their counselling and that not everyone can easily afford this. When people say to me that counselling is expensive they are referring to the cost for the hour that a client spends in the room with me. This is not the whole picture, there is much more to counselling someone than sitting with them in a room for one hour. This article includes some of the things that may be happening behind the scenes.
The actual session
I am incredibly lucky to have access to two counselling rooms where I hope my clients can feel that they can relax during our meeting.
When I am sitting with a client I am totally with them, immersed in what they are saying, how different issues impact on them and what is playing out for them at this time. I may also be wondering how I can move them forward, or if there are any books I can recommend. I am always keeping a safe space for them to feel that they can talk about absolutely anything. I make sure that nobody leaves feeling too vulnerable to continue with their day whether that be going home or to their workplace.
I treat every client as an individual. It does not matter how many clients I may be seeing who are struggling with anxiety, they will all be experiencing it differently, and therefore a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work. Nobody else will experience anxiety in exactly the same way as you, or have lived a life that is exactly the same as yours, so why should you be treated generically, you are an individual and all of our work is tailored just for you. Between sessions I will be wondering how I can help you to move forwards, listening to relevant podcasts, seeing if there are any books that I can read myself that may help within the session or that I can recommend to you. I will watch relevant TV programmes. I don’t just forget about you until next time we meet, I feel that whilst we are working together it is important for me to ensure that I am offering you the best that I can at all times.
All of my CPD will be based around how I can work effectively with my clients, so that I can either learn new skills or reinforce existing skills.
I listen to many meditations so that I know the best ones to recommend to you.
Some of the recent TV programmes I have watched, not necessarily directly for my current clients benefit but sometimes so that I can see how certain issues impact on people, or because this may be an issue affecting many people.
Programmes on the cocaine epidemic in the UK.
A former member of Union J pop group discussing the death of his sibling and the impact that it had on him.
Three programmes regarding people who were undergoing gender reassignment, the emotional impact that transitioning had on them and on their partners.
Programmes around issues concerning university students, including drug use and mental health issues faced by students, particularly those living on campus.
I watched a TV programme on Steve Jobs, which highlights epic success and failures within business. This may seem a random programme to watch but there are many ways we can feel we are failing.
My next training day that I attend will be on intrusive thoughts and working with our inner critic. I want to make sure that I am up to date on how to work with clients with intrusive thoughts, and to see if there are new ways of working with them that I could use within my sessions. I have attended training on eating disorders by Julia Buckroyd, and trauma and PTSD by Babette Rothschild, both seen as eminent in their field. These trainings were so that I could take what I learned back to clients or for potential new clients.
I am always aware that my clients are often still working and trying to get through day to day life so I feel it is important that I am up to date on any new theories that arise and also to keep my practice up to date on existing theories. Every session needs to count.
I have recently watched a lot of seminars around working with teenagers and young adolescents and the pressures that they face within day to day school life.
I bought Recovery by Russell Brand as it is his take on the 12 step recovery method and I wondered if it might be useful to clients. In order to recommend it I had to read it myself. Russell Brand writes how he talks and to be honest sometimes I don’t understand exactly what he is saying but overall the book is an interesting take on the 12 step programme and on his own issue with addictions.
Mind to Matter by Dawson Church combines psychology, quantum physics, neuroscience and the study of brain waves to demonstrate how powerful our thoughts are and that thoughts can easily become things.
Disease and Disorders can be used within theta healing ® to help me to work intuitively with different issues.
I own many books on different counselling theories, and I often revisit books that I already own to see how I can utilise some of the information they contain.
Mood Cards and Empowering Question cards
For people struggling to speak I recently bought a new set of mood cards, this means that the client can pick a card that suits their mood or current issue rather than having to verbalise it. They are often good to use with younger people. Empowering question cards are valuable to use when people are struggling with motivation.
This is not all that I have been listening to or reading, but gives you an idea of what goes on between our sessions, so that when we meet I can give you 100% of my attention and you can be assured that I am ensuring that my practice is up to date and you are being seen as an individual.
So after all of that, you might still say that counselling is a lot of money for a one hour session but is it really only a one hour session? What do you think?