Following the recent relaxing of the COVID safety measures, here is an update about in-person counselling meetings and how I intend to work…
Please continue to only come in person if you are symptom free and feeling well. (This is where the guidance has changed, but I would ask that you please continue to only come if you are sure you are COVID-free).
If possible I would prefer if you could do a lateral flow test before you come, but this is optional, and in time tests will no longer be free- so I will leave this to your judgement.
Please continue to wear a mask until we are seated, and to the use the sanitizer by the gate when you come in.
We will continue to sit 2 meters apart and I will air the room/ sanitize all surfaces in between appointments as much as practicable
You can find out more about government guidance here.
As the weather turns colder and the nights draw in, I have been keeping an eye on local Covid-19 rates and wondering what the winter will bring…
Here in Cambridge rates seem to be fairly low but fluctuating (more info about this here) so I am keen to keep a cautious but sensible approach to working in person over the next few months.
If you are considering working with me in person, then here is what I am asking clients to sign up to:
Please don’t come if you have any symptoms or if you have reason to suspect you may have the virus, or have been ‘pinged’. And should there be any doubt, I am asking that you please consider very carefully whether you could have a session online instead until results are confirmed.
Please continue to wear a mask until you are seated inside the counselling room.
Please sanitize your hands at the gate when you arrive.
The room will be kept as ventilated as possible, so this may mean it is a little cooler than usual: please consider wearing extra layers, popping your coat back on, or using a blanket to stay a comfortable temperature (I have a few spare blankets available for this reason).
I will be taking weekly lateral flow tests, and you may wish to consider doing the same.
I am double-vaccinated and will get my booster jab as soon as I am able. Please let me know if you are NOT vaccinated.
I hope this is approach is sustainable, not too much bother, but also provides a safe environment for in-person therapy. And lets hope things continue to improve as we advance towards 2022…
Should you wish to have counselling sessions in person, then I am happy to say that I will be offering sessions from May 4th 2021. My counselling room has been closed since Christmas for safety reasons, but as we open up and non-essential services welcome back visitors, it seems appropriate to return to face to face working.
If you want to know what safety measures I am taking then read on- and if you are looking to start therapy now that in person work is an option, then ping me an email.
As ever, please take care and enjoy the restrictions lifting.
WORKING IN PERSON: SAFETY INFO ABOUT COVID 19
This relates to how we will keep each other safe from Covid-19, so please read this carefully.
If you any symptoms, are unwell, have been asked to isolate, suspect that you have the virus, or have travelled back from a high-risk country then please do not attend counselling in person.
I will do the same if I have any symptoms, or suspect I have the virus for any reason or should I need to isolate. I will notify you immediately and can, health permitting, then offer counselling online.
When you arrive, you will need to sanitise your hands at the gate (hand gel provided) and wear a mask until we are seated.
You will then need to sign in using the QR code from the NHS COVID-19 APP. You will need to do this each week, at the start of every session.
Once seated, we will be 2.5 meters apart and you won’t need to wear a mask or visor unless you want to.
During sessions the room will be as ventilated as possible whilst maintaining privacy: you may want to bring additional layers in case the room is therefore chilly. You will also need to bring your own drink, should you want one. Tissues and hand gel will be provided.
In between clients, the room will be aired for a minimum of 40 minutes (usually longer) and all surfaces wiped with antibacterial spray / cloths.
I will take 2 lateral flow test each week, only offer in person sessions if I have test negative, and let you know immediately should I test positive. I would strongly recommend that you consider doing the same: you can collect your own lateral flow tests for free from any pharmacy, or order them online here.
If there is another lock down or the risk of contracting the virus increases, then in person counselling sessions will cease, and will be offered online instead.
You must only attend counselling in person if you are satisfied with the safety measures put in place at the counselling room: by coming you are agreeing that you are satisfied with what has been put in place and are willing to follow any guidance and safety measures given.
Payment for sessions will need to be made online on the day of your session, and the cancellation policy is 24 hours (as my normal policy).
If either of us develop symptoms we will not hold the other party responsible.
Thank you for your co-operation. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have in respect to the above.
I am proud to offer online and telephone counselling, and am a member of the Association for Counselling & Therapy Online (ACTO). My aim is simple: to offer you a means of accessing therapy on digital platforms as well as the option of meeting in person.
Whilst you may be hesitant about doing therapy online (too many zoom meetings leaving you frazzled, bored and feeling more disconnected then ever) there is good evidence that online therapy can be as effective as face to face work (see https://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/article/online-therapy for an easy overview).
There are several advantages to working online and it is definitely not second best. It is different to working in person, but wonderfully so, and it can be rich, rewarding and effective. So, if you cannot travel or have mobility challenges, or if you need to self-isolate or are feeling anxious about meeting in person – or if you are just curious, then why not give it a go.
My intention is to always offer online therapy alongside in person work (when the world opens up again) so that you can chose – or switch between – what suits you best.
If online is naturally your most comfortable environment, or if you can only access therapy online for now then you are warmly welcome in my online therapy room.
2021 brings us a new year and increased restrictions, and as such I will be once again only offering online sessions, and suspending all in person work.
This time of year typically sees an increase in referrals and enquiries, so if you are in need of some extra support then well done for getting this far. Times are tough, and research shows that online counselling can be really effective. Whilst it is different to meeting in person, it can still offer valuable support and has the advantage of giving you loads of choice about who you see and- of course- there’s no travelling to bother about.
So, please get in touch if you think this could just be the time for you to reach out.
I am thrilled to announce that as of 23rd November 2020 I am an ‘Accredited’ member of the BACP. This is the next step on my professional journey and has taken many hours of work.
And if you’re wondering what Accreditation actually is … well, you’re not alone! navigating counselling qualifications can be a tricky business. Here’s what the BACP website has to say about it:
‘Accredited membership–A quality standard for experienced practitioners Accredited membership is the next step for registered members who have been in practice for at least three years. Gaining accreditation demonstrates to clients and employers that you have achieved high standards of knowledge, experience and development.’ (BACP 2020)
So there you have it- a small (ish!) but significant step in my pursuit to be the best practitioner I can be. You can ask me about this if you are interested, but otherwise rest assured that I work in a way which is recognised by the BACP to have a high standard of knowledge experience and development.
And I am really proud to have reached this milestone 🙂
As England enters a second, national lockdown, I will be temporarily stopping all in person counselling.
Sessions will be offered to all clients online (via Zoom) and, when restrictions allow, sessions will once again resume in person- as soon as it is safe to do so.
This is not an easy decision, nor one taken lightly, and it will have an impact on therapeutic work at what is already a very stressful and demanding time. However, online sessions can be really effective, supportive and- of course- be done from anywhere, so whilst it may not be your first choice, it might be worth a try.
If you are a new client, or thinking about getting yourself some extra support at this time, then do get in touch. Whilst I am not working in person for the next few weeks, there are several counsellors who are still offering in person work if that is your preferred or only option, so don’t let this lockdown stop you getting valuable support.
After working online for over 5 months, I am pleased to say that from the beginning of August 2020, I will be offering both online and in person sessions for counselling. This means that you can chose whatever suits you best- online or in person, or switch between the two should you want to.
If you want to do counselling online I am using Zoom, and can send you info via email about how I work, how much things cost, and the ins and outs of Zoom (which you probably already know).
If you want to do sessions in person, then you’ll need to be symptom free and give me your name and number for track and trace. I’ve done a full assessment, and counselling chairs are two and a half meters apart, so we can use social distancing to keep each other safe. There is also plenty of hand gel and hand washing facilities for you to use, as well as a thorough cleaning regime in between clients. So rest assured, we can meet in person and both be safe. I can also send you more info about this, and of course you are welcome to wear a mask or a visor too should you wish.
So, if you are thinking of getting in touch then drop me a line- it would be great to hear from you.
Oh, one last thing- should sessions need to be on line at any time in the future, then I would let you know ASAP and we could hop online and keep your usual time and day.
Due to public health concerns about COVID -19 I, like many of my counselling colleagues, have decided to work solely on-line and not offer in person counselling sessions for the time being.
This is a huge change, made at speed and with very little consultation with my current clients- not the way I usually l like to work AT ALL. So, it was a difficult decision. And in many ways goes against my philosophy of offering accessible, warm support which is gadget-free and relational.
These are unusual times and though it may feel counter instinctive, I must act for the greater good and take swift action to protect my current clients, family and community to avoid social contact and potentially spreading the virus, and to ensure that some support can continue even in these times of restricted movement.
So… for the next month at least, all sessions will be online and will mean you need access to a computer / tablet / device (with reliable power source / battery) with a camera and speakers, OR a smart phone. You’ll also need somewhere private and safe to be whilst we connect online.
Sessions will be offered at a reduced rate, and there will be increased flexibility as to when sessions happen, how long they are as well as a more flexible cancellation policy.
Sessions may also feel a little weird at first- but then we are all getting used to that! And- as with so many things- we will work together and stay in close contact to make sure you as a client feel supported and get what you need and this strange time.
If you have any more questions then please ping me a message- I am open for business.