Questions relating to finding a therapist or finding a counsellor in Durham

Frequently Asked Questions


What will happen in the first counselling/psychotherapy session?

It is natural to feel nervous about the first counselling session, so my aim is to make you feel as comfortable as possible. I will do this by explaining a bit about how I work, give you the chance to ask me any questions and for me to give you the space to talk about what has brought you to counselling.  I want you to feel that you can choose what you talk about and that we move at a pace that is comfortable for you. The first session is an opportunity for us to start to get to know each other and for us to get an idea as to whether we feel that we could work together on your issues. The first session also allows me to ensure that counselling is the right kind of support for you at this moment in time or whether a different service may be more appropriate. Click here to view my web page that explains more about Counselling & Psychotherapy and how I work.


What will happen in the first Reiki session?

You may feel a little nervous attending your first Reiki appointment and I will try to put you at ease as much as possible. I aim to do this by explaining a bit about Reiki and how I will give this to you, give you the opportunity to ask me any questions and, if you wanted, a chance to say why you are accessing this service. I would then start your Reiki treatment and give you a little bit of time at the end to share your experience if you chose to do so.


Who usually comes for Counselling, Psychotherapy or Reiki?

I have worked people from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages. Part of being in this world involves encountering difficulties at times, which none of us are immune to. Sometimes things resolve themselves but sometimes people need help of some kind in order to be able to move forward. 


What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Counselling is shorter term work that would usually involve focusing on just one or a couple of issues. Psychotherapy is longer term work that will look more in depth at your overall life experiences and how these currently impact you in the world today. 


What is Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR)?

EMDR is a method that can be used for working the trauma, PTSD, anxiety and OCD. Please click here to read more about this on my EMDR page.


What is Reiki

Reiki is a complementary therapy. Please click here to read more about it on my Reiki page.


How many sessions will I need?

This is a difficult question to answer as everyone is unique as are the issues that they bring. The average number of counselling or psychotherapy sessions varies between 6-12. However, I do offer longer term work which can run over for months or years. During the initial appointment we will establish how many sessions you would like to have and then we can review your progress at that point.  With regards to Reiki, some people just want a one off appointment, some people prefer more regular sessions and others dip in and out as and when they need.


Do I need to bring anything with me?

There is no need to bring anything with you. However, if you did want to share anything that you have drawn, written or you have an object or a photograph that you feel would help you to explore your issue, then please feel free to bring this along. With Reiki, for your own comfort I would recommend wearing loose comfortable clothing.


Can I still have Reiki if I am unwell?

If you are unwell it is important that you access the appropriate medical services. Although some people find Reiki helpful when recovering from physical or mental illness, it is a complementary therapy designed to work along side, not instead of, medical assistance. 

Because Reiki can be used without physical contact it means that you can still access it even if you have painful areas that cannot tolerate being touched.

If you had a highly contagious illness I would kindly ask you to wait before accessing Reiki. 


Is it confidential?

Counselling is for the most part a confidential service. There are a few exceptions to this but we will discuss these in more detail in our first session. The same confidentiality rules apply to Reiki.

My full privacy policy explains how your personal information is stored, used and how long it is retained for. You can access this policy by clicking here


What if I needed to cancel my session?

I am aware that sometimes things crop up and that there might be times where you need to rearrange or cancel one of our sessions. If this was the case, I would be grateful if you could give me at least 48 hours notice. Cancellations of less than 48 hours but more than 24 hours will be charged at £25. Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice, or no shows, will be charged for at the usual full session rate.


Where are you based?

I work from a dedicated room located in my own home. I am a five to ten minute walk from Durham Market place making my house easily accessible by public transport or car. I have space for you to park your car on my drive during your appointment with me. There are steps to get to the room so it may not be suitable if you have mobility issues.


How do I make an appointment?

You can text or call me on 0775 411 9506. I normally have my phone on silent, but if you did ring I would get back to you at the next available time. I aim to return calls no later than 24 hours (unless otherwise specified on my voicemail message). You can also contact me on my email address at or by the web form by clicking here.


How do I pay for the session?

Please see my page on Fees for information on this.


What do I do if I am in crisis?

Counselling is contained within the agreed appointment time. However, I appreciate that sometimes things come up that cannot wait. In such cases I would suggest that you contact Samaritans on 116 123. You could also contact your GP to see if they could give you an emergency appointment, call 111 or visit your local A&E.


Do you offer reduced fee sessions?

I do not offer reduced fee sessions. If the costs of counselling were out of your budget you could try speaking to your GP to see what services they could offer you.  If you have suffered a bereavement, CRUSE offer a support service