Frequently Asked Questions

You may never have experienced counselling before, so it is understandable that you would have questions. Hopefully some of the questions and answers listed below help with any queries or concerns you have. 

Will counselling work for me?

There is no reason why counselling cannot help you experience positive change in your life. Person-centred therapy encourages a focus on each individual to find what works for them. In the counselling setting you will be able to explore what you find helpful and unhelpful about the therapy. A large element of the outcome of counselling depends on the individual's willingness to engage with their issues and problems. If you enter counselling with an expectation of discovering something helpful, you are far more likely to do so.

What happens in the first session and why is it only half an hour?

The first meeting is a free 30-minute session in which you have a chance to ask any questions related to counselling or the service. This meeting is not a counselling session as such, but more of an informal 'meet-and-greet', in which you can gauge whether you would like to come back for counselling sessions.

Is everything I talk about confidential?

This is a common question, and rightfully so. Within counselling individuals share sensitive information and they want to be sure that their information is not being shared. Unconditional Counselling is a confidential service and so everything said within the counselling space will remain between client and counsellor, with a few exceptions related to risk. These exceptions will be explained fully before counselling begins.

What if I am concerned about the financial commitment?

I understand that individuals can have worries about the financial elements of starting counselling. Where possible I will work with you to explore the options available to you. Remember that counselling runs from session to session and you are able to stop at any point should you wish to do so. You are also welcome to take a break and return at another time if it does not feel the best time financially for you to attend counselling. Having said this, and without belittling valid financial concerns, there is something to be said about recognising the value of what you are paying for. The issues that you are facing in your life, and the way that they impact how you feel or how you view yourself, are important and are worth investing in.

Is there a limit to the number of sessions I can have?

Unconditional Counselling runs open-ended therapy, this means that there is no limit to the number of sessions you can have. Having said this, we will look to review the counselling every six sessions in order to maintain a focus in our work and to gain an understanding of how you are feeling about the counselling.

What if my problem does not feel important enough for counselling?

There is nothing too big or too small to bring to counselling if you feel like it is having an impact on your life. If you have recognised something as a problem then it is clearly important to you, and that is what matters. You are paying for a service, and the sessions are yours to use however you like. You can bring anything and everything to your counselling sessions.

What does a counsellor do?

All counsellors will have their own unique way of working, influenced by the modality that they have studied in, and by their own personal traits. In the person-centred way of working the counsellor aims to provide empathy, acceptance, and genuineness in order for the individual to feel safe and secure to share and work through issues that they are facing. Rather than giving advice, a counsellor will often help an individual to notice and value their own thoughts and desires by recognising the individual as the expert on themselves and their experiences.

How do online counselling sessions work?

Online sessions with Unconditional Counselling are as simple as receiving a zoom video link in an email and clicking on the link at the time of the session. It is important to access online sessions from a confidential space where you feel able to talk without being overheard. There is no need to download the zoom app to your device, however it can be useful and is often more steady than joining through a browser. For help with using zoom, see this article - (you will not need to know about setting up meetings, only joining them).

How long do I have to wait from the first point of contact?

Once an email of your interest has been received I will aim to contact you and organise your 30-minute free session for the following week at a time that suits you. Ideally we will then look to begin our sessions the following week if you feel like you would like to, and if the timing works for you. If there is a waiting list in place, you will be informed of this when you first make contact and I will do my best to estimate how long it might take for you to begin your sessions. You will still be able to have you first half hour session before joining the waiting list.

How many sessions will it take for me to feel better?

The pace of progress and change differs greatly depending on the nature of your difficulties. You may experience feeling better after any number of sessions. Sometimes just the act of expressing personal difficulties in a safe space can be enough to feel better about them. However, more than working on feeling better, we will seek to identify the underlying issues which increase the risk of difficulties resurfacing in the face of future adverse life events. As a rough guideline, short term therapy is considered to be between 6-12 sessions and is mainly focused on symptom relief. Medium to longer term therapy is between six months to a year and is aimed at addressing deeper, underlying vulnerabilities.

I'm not convinced that counselling is for me, should I book anyway?

Unconditional Counselling offers a free 30-minute session which is a good opportunity to get a feel for whether counselling is for you. Following this first session you are not committed to any further sessions, and you can take as much time as you like deciding whether you would like to begin counselling. So why not book a free 30-minute session and see if this could work for you?

What if my question has not been answered?

If your question has not been answered then feel free to get in touch by emailing