Frequently Asked Questions
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I want my child to have counselling - what happens in a session?
In therapy the young person will have the opportunity to express themselves in a variety of ways, including the use of creative media such as the therapeutic sand-tray, play therapy, drawing, painting and story-telling as well as through talking and being listened to. Choice usually depends on the age of the child and the way in which they are best able to communicate what is happening for them. Your child may indicate that they have ‘just been playing in the sessions’. Do not let this confuse you as all ‘play’ is focused on therapeutic activity and used by the therapist to help move your child forward.
How do I arrange an appointment?
Simply use the contact form, or telephone us on 0191 209 8383 or 01642 309302. Our office is open 9am-5pm during the week. If you prefer to be contacted at a specific time, please let us know. Alternatively, email us on email@example.com or write to 83 Jesmond Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1NH or to 77 Acklam Road, Stockton on Tees, TS17 7BD.
Who will I speak to first?
The first point of contact will be with a member of our reception team. They will take your contact details and inform you about the next step. Everyone you speak to at the Northern Guild is bound by the strictest rules of confidentiality and respect for privacy. You do not have to give full details of why you are calling; you can simply give a phone number and first name until you speak with the counsellor.
What happens once I have contacted you?
A qualified therapist will telephone you, usually within 48 hours of your call. They will provide you with more information, find out what you need and answer your questions. Having decided that you would like to arrange an initial consultation they will make an appointment to meet. The first consultation will normally be with the therapist you have already spoken to and is an opportunity to explore more fully the things that are on your mind and the best way forward for you. They will do all that they can to link you with the right therapist to suit your requests and your needs. Very occasionally a client may find that on meeting the therapist they don’t ‘gel’. If this happens we understand that not every person is compatible so just get back to us and we will help you find a better ‘fit’.
Where do sessions take place?
We have centres in both Newcastle and Teesside. Both centres have comfortable waiting and therapy rooms and are easy to reach.
How many sessions will I need?
This will depend on you, what works best for you and what you can afford. The therapist will talk this through with you and help you make the right decision. You only need to commit to a small number of initial sessions until you are clear as to the best way forward. Sometimes a person only needs or wants a few appointments whilst others are clear that they want or need longer term support.
How long is each session?
For individual adult clients sessions are 50 minutes. However, if you prefer a double session this can be arranged with your therapist. Couples sessions are normally slightly longer. For children and adolescents sessions are 45 minutes. Group sessions are usually either 2 or 3 hours.
How often will I need therapy?
Normally this takes place weekly at a regular time and day. You may prefer to meet more frequently or intensively, for example, if you are working abroad or under time pressure you might require shorter term intensive sessions. There may be times when your appointment needs to be re-scheduled due to public holidays or illness. This can be arranged with your therapist.
What happens in a counselling or therapy session?
In the same way that we are all individuals, no two counselling appointments will be exactly the same. The important thing is that the time is yours. Counselling and psychotherapy provides you with a safe environment in which to explore your problems, needs and goals according to a well-defined contract between you and your therapist.
How do I know if I need therapy?
There are many reasons why you feel you may need professional help. It could be that you are going through a challenging time emotionally or as a result of stress, you may be suffering as a result of a crisis, bereavement, or some other form of loss or you want to make some changes in your life and don’t know where to start. Therapy can help you work things out in your own mind and find a way forward in what often seems to be an impossible or complex situation. We can almost guarantee that you will feel much better quite quickly once you start with your therapist.
What sort of things can my counsellor or therapist help with?
Your counsellor can help you identify, and work towards your goals in a wide variety of problems, issues and anxieties. Some of them are areas we readily identify with such as bereavement or reaction to a traumatic event. Others may not be so obvious. You may not recognise that you are suffering from stress, anger or lack of self-confidence or even depression. It could be that some deep-rooted problem areas will take longer term therapy, however you may find that changing an old pattern or untangling a complex issue can work well with short term therapy.
Can I arrange counselling or therapy for someone else?
If you have their full consent you could make an initial enquiry on their behalf. We would still need to contact the person concerned directly to arrange a consultation meeting. For children and young adults under the age of 16 someone with parental responsibility must be involved alongside the child or adolescent.
I would only feel comforable talking to another woman/man, is this possible?
You can choose the kind of therapist who is right for you. We have therapists with a diverse range of age, life experience, background, gender, sexuality and individual preferences.
Do you have therapists who specialise in certain areas?
All our therapists have specialist areas of expertise, trained in different models of counselling and, or psychotherapy, to work with specific problems, age groups, alternative lifestyles and individual differences. Let the referral therapist know your preferences.
Are the sessions confidential?
Northern Guild staff and therapists are bound by professional codes of ethics and practice and Professional Conduct procedures including the strictest rules of confidentiality and respect for client privacy. There are special circumstances where this may not apply, such as when we are required by law or there is a risk of gross harm. These will be explained to you at the first session so that you are clear about them before you make the final decision to go ahead.
Are your counsellors and therapists qualified?
All our counsellors and psychotherapists are registered and accredited to practice by one or both of the professional organisations; BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and/or UKCP – United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. All therapists have many years experience of practice and a known success rate. We only work with counsellors and psychotherapists that provide a kind, caring and effective service. Our consultants are highly qualified, leaders in the field with a minimum of 20 years experience.
What happens if I have a formal complaint about my therapist?
If you are unhappy about something and have not been able to resolve it with your therapist you can make a formal complaint through the professional body with whom they are registered.
How much does counselling and, or therapy cost per appointment?
Our fees are based on the nature of the therapy service you are looking for as well as the experience and qualifications of the therapist. Individual low cost therapy starts at £25.00 an hour.
We are happy to talk with you about your budget and look at what you feel would be right for you.
How can I pay for sessions?
You can pay your counsellor directly when you meet them for each session or you can pay in advance in blocks.
Do I have to pay for missed or cancelled appointments?
Your therapist will go through this with you and all the information that you need will be made available to you during the first appointment.