Frequently asked questions

What about ongoing sessions?

In ongoing sessions we will talk together about your life and your problems. It is hoped that as you encounter consistency, reliability and other personal qualities, that a trusting relationship will develop between us. In a relationship such as this, people are more inclined to feel safe enough to begin sharing thoughts and feelings.

During the early stages of your therapy, you and I will work together to formulate a Therapeutic Contract. In order to complete this I will ask a series of questions

What is your goal for coming to counselling/psychotherapy?

How will you and I know when you have reached your goal?

What might you need to let go of to reach your goal?

What do you imagine may emerge in place of what you give up?

How may you prevent yourself from reaching your goal?

What part do you see me play in helping you to reach your goal?

(Lister-Ford 2002: 42)

Over the course of your therapy you may find yourself developing some important insights into yourself, your problems and your relationships generally. You will also have opportunities to make contact with feelings connected with current and past events.

How long could my therapy take?

This is similar to asking 'How long is a piece of string?' The duration of therapy can be short or long term and the length will be determined by the nature of your presenting problem.

It is usual for therapist and client to periodically check in to review progress and to see if the client is making progress as the therapeutic journey advances.

How often are sessions held and how long do they take?

Initially we could contract for a specific number of sessions. It is usual to begin with 6 before a review. Other clients prefer an open ended contract.

Whichever option is chosen, the initial contract can be reviewed and renegotiated. The therapeutic hour lasts for 50 minutes (a traditional therapy hour) As therapy progresses, and is entering its final phase and the client is preparing to leave, an alternative pattern of appointments can be negotiated.

Cancelling a session

Notice of 48 hours is required when cancelling a session. Unless the session is able to be rearranged within the week, the client is responsible for payment. Should I need to cancel the session, I will give as much notice as possible.

What if I suddenly decide to leave therapy?

Although this is rare, there may be occasions when a client feels so challenged by the therapy that they feel compelled to leave suddenly.

In order to safeguard any work that the client has completed, it is preferable to have an ending session before leaving. This gives an opportunity to review the work that has been completed and that the client leaves from a good, rather than a bad place.

Do therapists and clients become friends?

It is important that a therapist maintains a professional demeanour towards clients, even given the intensity and intimacy of the therapeutic relationship.

It is my aim to provide a therapeutic relationship that is attentive and supportive of the client's attempts to change. It must never become overly-involved, romantic or sexually intimate. The client's welfare remains a therapist's primary concern at all times.

Therapist Holidays

I will always give advanced notice of any planned breaks. If necessary, I can provide locum cover during a break, particularly if a client is working through a challenging phase in therapy.

What if I bump into my therapist?

If I was to bump into a client outside of the therapy room I will acknowledge you with a smile or a gesture, but not necessarily speak to you, particularly if you were in company. I will maintain boundaries, and would ask that my client would do the same.


All therapy sessions are conducted in confidence. This confidence is maintained and applied to all records.

Rarely, issues can arise that require therapists to breach confidentiality, those being

Where the client gives consent for the confidence to be broken

Where the therapist is compelled to break confidence by a court of law

Where the information is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained: for example where there is a possibility of harm to self or others and in cases of criminal activity

In supervision (where the client identity is always protected)

Where a locum therapist needs to know about a client.

Where a GP or referring Agency requires a report, a copy of which is always given to the client.

If there are any specific questions that you have which aren't listed above, please do feel free to call me to discuss in person which I would welcome.

Contact us

Contact Info

My practice is located in the village of Ovington, just a mile from the A69, approximately 10 miles from the A1, west of Newcastle, 5 miles from Corbridge, 11 miles from Ponteland and close to Hexham and Newcastle.

You can call me privately on the following number but please note that in order to maintain confidentiality, I don't return missed calls from unknown numbers. If I am unable to answer a call, please leave a voice or text message so I know it is safe to respond.

07790 772140

Location: Ovington, Tyne Valley

If you have a query, or wish to book an appointment

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