What is the difference between Psychotherapy and Counselling?
The main difference is that in psychotherapy the client has the option to go deeper because the therapist has generally done a longer training.
For instance one may become a counsellor after 450 hours of training spread over three years. However ,when I graduated as a psychotherapist in 2001, I had completed more than 900 curriculum hours at Spectrum spread over seven years. In addition at that time, I had already completed another 900 training hours, largely at other institutions such as Chiron, The Gestalt Centre and IATE. Since that time I have continued my personal development and training, increasing the total still further. I have had a total of thirteen years of personal psychotherapy (with different psychotherapists at different times), so I have experience of the process from a client's perspective.
All of this allows me to be compassionate and open to a very wide range of human experience; and therefore to hold a space for clients to go deep, if that is what they want. You, as a client, are also welcome to stay more on the surface and have counselling with me; or to follow different options at different times.
How does your sliding scale work?
I ask that clients pay my standard fee of £60 if they can afford it. If they cannot afford £60, I ask that a client pays the maximum affordable on the £60-20 scale, taking into account their disposable income/savings and their essential outgoings/dependents.
I can not offer a guide, such as if you earn x thousand pounds then you pay £x, because situations differ so much. For instance, one person may be earning very little, but have significant savings, few essential outgoings and no dependents. Another person may earn what seems like a lot, but may be supporting many dependents and have high essential outgoings - eg medical bills.
The system works largely on trust. However, I might ask you how you came to decide on the rate that you are paying if it seems that you are significantly over-paying me or under-paying me.
Why do you offer a sliding scale rather than one fixed fee?
Other professionals with comparably long trainings (eg lawyers, architects) usually charge one standard (high) fee. If I did so, a proportion of people would find my fee unaffordable. However I want to make my work affordable to as wide a range of people as possible. Corporate-paid clients and those paying my full fee allow me to offer my work at a reduced fee to those who would not otherwise be able to afford psychotherapy and counselling.
Whatever the fee paid, few people regret the investment that they make in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Can I bring my young baby to the sessions?
Pre-crawling babies are welcome to attend sessions. It allows psychotherapy and counselling to be more accessible to a new mother, or to couples. I have experience of this working well.
During the session the baby may sleep or may need your attention for a feed, cuddle or nappy change. In my experience a young baby seems unperturbed by a parent's tears, if these are expressed in the session.
Inevitably having a baby in the session is sometimes going to distract from the therapeutic work. However I feel the odd distraction outweighs the advantage of parents still being able to access and make use of therapeutic support.
Not all mothers will want to bring their baby to a session. For instance some mothers can time their session for when the baby is likely to be soundly asleep in the care of a known and trusted adult. However other mothers may have a high-need baby, or a baby with little regularity in sleep patterns, or their baby be going through a time when he/she particularly needs their mother's presence.