What is Counselling?

Counselling is a talking therapy that allows you to talk about your problems and explore difficult feelings in a confidential environment. Counselling aims to help you deal with issues that are confusing, painful or uncomfortable.

It is an opportunity to speak to a professional who is caring, non-judgmental and independent. During counselling you can explore your options and you will be supported to make your own choices. You may feel more in control of your situation and more able to make changes in your life.

Talking Therapies can help with: Abuse, addictions, anger, anxiety, bereavement, depression, eating disorders, family/carer/relationship issues, health related issues, identity problems, loss, personal development, phobias, post-traumatic stress, pregnancy related issues, self-esteem/low self-confidence, sexuality issues, stress, work related issues and many other personal issues.

First Session

The first session will last 60 minutes (all subsequent sessions will be 50 minutes). Our Counsellor will listen to your concerns and worries and assess if counselling is suitable for your needs. It is a chance to ask questions and decide what it is you want to achieve from counselling. It will be explained how sessions are conducted and ensure that you are comfortable and happy about entering into counselling. Professional considerations will be explained - such as confidentiality and frequency of sessions etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Sometimes it can be easier to talk about personal issues, family issues, or relationship issues with a person who is independent of friends and family. Certain life events can be very difficult to deal with, for example, divorce, bereavement, redundancy, health issues and many other personal issues. However, you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of one, before choosing to have counselling. You may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general, or be seeking balance in your life. All of these reasons and more bring people to counselling.
Our Counsellor at the Westoe practice is a fully qualified counsellor who undergoes regular clinical supervision and continued training to enhance the quality of counselling provided. Julia is an Accredited Member of the BACP and abides by their ethical framework. All information can be found on
This is different for everyone depending on the issues you are facing and your personal requirements. Some people benefit from short term counselling whilst others benefit from long term counselling. Regular reviews with the counsellor give you the opportunity to reflect about where you are within your counselling process and ensure it is meeting your needs.
You will be able to explore various aspects of your life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief, shame, guilt and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand.
You may find that talking has brought back difficult memories or powerful feelings. This is natural as you start to explore and work through what has happened. You may find it useful to allow yourself some private space or support from those around you. It is important that you choose what works for you.
Yes counselling is private and confidential. There are exceptions to keeping confidentiality in relation to duty of care and these will be explained to you in the first session.
All sessions last for 50 minutes. Apart from the first which will last 1 hour. This will allow for questions and paperwork to be completed.

If you have any questions which are not answered above please email or telephone the practice and Julia will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We do not provide crisis intervention. If you require immediate help in between sessions, please contact your GP, NHS Direct, Mental Health Matters or Samaritans who have telephone help lines.