Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who needs counselling?

People people from all walks of life and all backgrounds  come for counselling. Emotional distress, stress and mental health issues can affect any and all of us. Each year 1 in 4 adults will experience a mild to moderate mental health problem. This can be the result of sudden unexpected events, planned transitions or from early trauma resurfacing when current life events trigger past experiences and memories. It is during these difficult times that people may seek professional help  in order to make sense of their emotional distress, and find a way forward.

Does counselling really make any difference?

I have spent almost 30 years in the world of counselling, therapy and personal development, and I am still inspired by the positive changes I see people making through the counselling process. With support it becomes possible to explore the underlying issues of deep and long standing personal problems, find a way of resolving ‘unfinished business’ allowing you to move your life forward in a different way.

In summary, counselling can help with a range of issues including but not limited to: depression, bereavement or loss, anxiety and stress, relationship difficulties, low self esteem, problems with anger and personal development

For more information about the way I might work with some of these specific issues, please look at How I Work.

Can counselling make things worse?

It’s understandable that some people are anxious about starting on counselling. Some are concerned that we’ll simply go over old ground, rake up painful feelings, perhaps uncover new problems, and not really resolve anything. Looking at the difficult personal problems in our lives is not a smooth ride, but the reason that people enter counselling is because they’ve reached an important fork in the road, or even a dead end, and are determined to find a better path for themselves. You will not be alone in this, and I will support you in every way I can. While counselling is not always an easy process, with the right mixture of toughness and compassion towards ourselves, the rewards can be enormous.

When we want to sort out our finances, we go to a financial adviser, and when we have life or personal problems, we go to a practitioner who specialises in working with those. You will see in the About Colin section that I am qualified in a number of counselling and therapy approaches, and have many years of experience helping people. I  am registered with UKRC (United Kingdom Register of Counsellors) and am an accredited member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy); this means that I am regulated by BACP and have to abide by their Codes of Ethics and overseeing and disciplinary procedures. I receive regular clinical supervision, and for many years, have continued to update my own knowledge and skills through attending trainings for refreshing skills and learning new ones. I have also designed and headed training programmes for counsellors and therapists at colleges of further education, and I supervise counsellors.

How long does it take?

I work with clients for varying lengths of time. Sometimes between 5-10 sessions of counselling can set a person’s life on a new course, for example enabling them to deal with work related stress, anxiety or low mood in a new way. Sometimes the issue is deeper seated and reaches back into unresolved issues from the past. This may need longer term, more in-depth counselling where there has been, for example, early trauma, loss or family breakdown.

Where, when and how much?

I have counselling rooms in the centre of Penzance within walking distance of the railway station, at Epiphany House Conference Centre in Truro; parking is available at both. I also offer counselling sessions over the phone, either as the main way of working with someone, or as a backup for a regular face-to-face client who is occasionally unable to get to my consulting room. Sessions can be daytime or evenings. Fees vary depending on whether I am working with a couple or an individual, and I am sometimes able to offer concessions.

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