My name is Jessica Turncroft, a counsellor based in Coningsby. I have been counselling in Lincolnshire since 2011, and am a fully qualified and registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). I have a BSc (Hons) degree in clinical psychology and a Level 5 professional diploma in therapeutic counselling.
I would class myself as an integrative counsellor who utilises Transactional Analysis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Person Centred approaches.
I believe the most important aspects are that I am open, down to earth and non-judgemental.
Counsellors initiate an agreement or “contract” early on. If this is your first time into counselling, you may find this a little odd, but it is designed to give you a framework on which to build. It covers aspects such as confidentiality, the length, frequency and timing of each session.
All counsellors should have supervisors. Supervisors are more experienced counsellors on whom they rely for advice and support. While your confidentiality will be maintained (typically your name is not used) from time to time I may talk to my supervisor about your situation. This is not because you’re a “problem case”, it is simply so that I can benefit from a fresh perspective when faced with peoples problems. The counsellor-supervisor relationship is as confidential as the client-counsellor relationship.
Most counsellors are not on 24 hour call out! It is normal for them not to invite you to contact them outside of each session, but this should not be misinterpreted as rejection. Such boundaries are necessary for both you and the counsellor so that the benefit of each session is maximised. That said, if you really felt the need, it would be reasonable, for example, to phone the counsellor and organise some extra time to help you there and then, or to re-arrange an appointment.
What to expect
Finding someone that you're comfortable talking to is, as individual as you are. We don’t always hit it off with everyone we meet, and we don’t develop close relationships with someone overnight – such relationships take time to develop, building trust and mutual respect. The same is true when looking for a counsellor.
Each individual counsellor will have a style that he or she has developed. Some will be more challenging, some more softly spoke. They maybe more directive, or they may work in a more client led way. We each have a preference as to how we are challenged and how we respond. The experience of a first meeting with a counsellor should not colour your view of counselling, or shake your commitment to want to find help. Be prepared to invest some time in finding the right counsellor for you.
I make a point of making that first meeting one of exploration. It gives us both the chance to figure out if we're going to be able to work successfully together.