Counselling Services > FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About Counselling & Psychotherapy


What qualifications should a counsellor have?

To be a member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) a counsellor has to meet certain standards covering training, supervision, continuing professional development and a contractual commitment to an ethical framework. You can find me on the BACP Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists here (search for ‘Emma Whelan’):

What to expect in therapy?

I offer an initial consultation session to give you a chance to meet me and explore how we might work together. Therapy is not an overnight solution to psychological issues. It takes dedication and commitment to the work to reach a point of greater acceptance and equilibrium in your life. Find out more here >

How much does therapy cost?

I offer a range of affordable options. Fees are reviewed in April each year. Click here for details >

How long will the counselling sessions last?

Each session lasts approximately 50mins, and is usually held once a week. The amount of sessions will depend on your particular circumstances and issues. Some people may come to counselling with a very specific issue or area they want to work on, such as a bereavement or difficulties in their relationship. Others may come with less clear issues but more sense of feeling low, experiencing difficult, mixed emotions, and lacking direction or a sense of purpose.

Is counselling confidential?

What a person brings to the counselling session is confidential. As a counsellor I respect my clients’ right to privacy. Counsellors are required to be in Supervision while they practice and the content of the counselling session may be discussed at Supervision however the client’s identity can remain anonymous at Supervision.  At our initial session I will talk you through the area of confidentiality, explaining how I work with my Supervisor and also explaining circumstances where I might need to break confidentiality.

What about remote counselling or online therapy?

I aim to create a safe, non-judgemental space for my clients, whether that is through face-to-face sessions or online.

Some people find it easier to receive therapy through writing, over the phone or via video sessions. I offer convenient and confidential online counselling through a secure platform. You can choose instant messaging, email, voice or video.

Does online therapy work?

Online therapy (also known as Internet-based psychotherapy) has been proven to work just as well, and in some cases better, than traditional, face-to-face therapy. Some studies have found that online therapy is just as effective as offline therapy at PTSD and beating depression, and it was more effective than offline therapy at reducing depressive symptoms in the 3 months after the initial study.
Many people are more willing to self-disclose online than face-to-face. Accumulated evidence shows that online therapy can be effective in treating areas of child psychiatry, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress, panic disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders and smoking prevention.

Support for Family issues, or Couples Counselling or Group Therapy

I work primarily with individuals, couples and people in polyamorous relationships. I do sometimes work with families. You can learn more about my approach here. Here are some links to find support for group counselling.

What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are sometimes referred to as talking therapies. In practice there is very little difference between counselling and psychotherapy. Some practitioners choose to call themselves counsellors, while others – even with similar qualifications – choose to call themselves psychotherapists.

I am a qualified, person-centred counsellor. I draw on additional training including Internal Family Systems and somatic therapy. My personal counselling philosophy is based on the belief that human nature is essentially constructive.

Some claim that counselling is more short-term than psychotherapy. I take an integrated approach tailored to your needs, at a pace that works for you.

Find out more about me here >

What are the best counselling techniques?

Some therapists use two or more approaches in a coherent way and call themselves Integrative practitioners. I have been trained in a number of different counselling approaches and draw on these modalities as required. These include:
* Person-centred therapy
* Written therapy
* Internal Family Systems
* Somatic therapy
* Behavioural & cognitive therapy
* Polyvagal and other mind-body work

Read more about my approach >

Links to charities and organisations that may be of interest >>

Last Updated on 20 February, 2022