Counselling Questions

I've listed below some of the questions which people often ask me. To show an answer, click on the question, then click on the question once more to hide the answer again. Alternatively you can show all answers or hide all answers.



Does coming for counselling mean I can't cope?

No. We all have our limits and need help sometimes. Just because it would help to talk just now doesn’t mean you're not coping or that you can’t cope again.


I'm nervous about counselling. Is that normal?

Yes. Deciding to come to counselling is a brave decision. It’s not easy to speak to a stranger about personal things, and risk sharing and saying what really matters to you. Attending your first session can be particularly nerve-wracking and it is normal to feel apprehensive.


Is counselling where you tell me what to do?

Absolutely not. You’re the expert on your life and know what’s important, how things connect and what’s possible and what’s not. Person-centred counselling is about helping you find your own answers – that way you’re in charge and feeling better doesn’t depend on someone else.


How do I know if counselling will work?

Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. That depends on a whole range of things – like whether this form of counselling is right for you, whether we can work together, how ready and willing you are to look at what the issues are for you, how often we can meet to give you the best chance to explore what you need. If counselling doesn’t seem to be helping, we can talk about why that may be…or you can just decide it’s not the right time for you or I’m not the right person to be your counsellor.


How do I know if I can speak to you?

You'll only know that if we meet. I offer new clients a reduced rate for their first session because part of that meeting is not so much about the issues you might want to talk about but finding out what I'm like and how I work.


When are you available?

I have a range of appointment times in Edinburgh and I see clients in Musselburgh on Thursday evenings.


Where are you based?

I work in central Edinburgh and in Musselburgh. Please see the contact page for details.


How long is a session and what does it cost?

A session lasts for an hour and I charge £40 per hour. I offer a reduced rate of £25 for a first session with new clients (see expanation under "How do I know I can speak to you?")


How often will I need to attend?

There is no set number of sessions. How many you have depends on several things – when you are available, what you can afford and how often you feel you need to come. My own view is that weekly sessions, at least to start with, help establish trust and momentum. We can then discuss and review how often you attend, and whether counselling is being helpful, as we go.


How long will I need to come for?

Again, there is no set length of time. Some people need only a few sessions, others want many more. You can stop at any time, and you can take a break from sessions and come back for more. There really is no set pattern – it’s down to your individual needs and circumstances, and whether counselling is working for you.


What is your cancellation policy?

I won't charge for any appointments cancelled with more than 24 hours’ notice. If you cancel with less notice than that, I charge the cost of the room (£10). If you don't attend and don't let me know in advance, the full sessional fee would be due at the start of our next session.


Is what we talk about confidential?

Yes. The only exceptions would be if I thought you were going to harm yourself or another person, or if you were involved in any sort of criminality. In these cases, I would have to alert a medical practitioner or the police, and I would advise you of this before taking any action

I also have regular supervision to ensure that my counselling practice is as safe and effective as it can be. So I may discuss the work we are doing but I will never divulge who you are or any details that would identify you. If you have any concerns about this, I'd be happy to discuss them with you.


What if I have a complaint?

I would hope that you could discuss any issues or concerns with me in the first instance. If not or we can't resolve matters, then you can use the BACP complaints procedure.

Contact: 07814 847059 | counselling@sallypendreigh.com