Frequently Asked Questions
Though we’ve tried to answer all the commonly asked questions we know you might have more. Please feel free to get in touch with us here if you’d like to know more on a topic before starting your counselling journey.
Effective counselling is based on a supportive relationship with your therapist, where you feel able to trust them with things you may never have said before. It is a process of exploring your inner world, past, present and future, and about making sense of who you are and what makes you tick. Yes, it will help you to solve problems like reducing anxiety, or lifting depression, but it is much more beneficial when you think of it as a way of really getting to know yourself & understanding why you behave and react the way you do in order to make changes over time.
Coaching is a motivating & challenging process where the focus is on a particular area of your life, or a specific goal which you would like to achieve. Some people aren’t sure what to focus on, and it could be the focus is on you (confidence building, assertiveness, effective communication etc) or an external change (career, financial stability, relocation etc.) The sessions are goal-orientated and there will be concrete tasks built in to your action plans.
If you’re not sure whether counselling or coaching is right for you, book an initial session with Alex and she will help you assess which process would be most beneficial for you.
It really depends on what you are trying to achieve, and how you feel on the day. There is no fixed agenda and it depends on what you bring to the session.
The integrative approach to therapy means that on somedays you might just want to talk and download your over-thinking mind and your therapist is ready to listen, ask questions and work hard to understand how you are feeling. At other times you might be up for doing something more concrete like exploring your patterns in diagrams, or working on a life-line, ‘better-worse’ scale, or maybe a self-esteem drawing.
Each session lasts 50 minutes. As with any conversation, there is a bit of a beginning, middle and end, but there isn’t a formal agenda. You will work together with your therapist to decide what you need and what would be most helpful as each session evolves.
…but if you are reading this you have thought about it, maybe for quite some time.
The idea of therapy can be scarier than the reality. All that actually happens is a conversation between two people in a room and, as you get to know your therapist over time, it gets easier and feels more normal.
You start with an initial session of 50 minutes, as a meet and greet and assessment. There is a bit of paperwork to complete and then you and your therapist will start to work out where the problems are and what your goals for change might be. At the end of the session you may have already decided that you’d like to continue and so you would arrange a date together for the following week. Equally, you may need some time to process the session and can make contact to re-book when you have decided.
That’s it, first session done! Hopefully you will be left with a lot to think about and you will have taken a big step towards making significant and positive changes in your life.
Alex Pledger works at The BAC Centre, 26 Wake Green Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9PA.
The BAC Centre is situated just outside of Moseley Village, easily accessible to central and south Birmingham, Solihull and Redditch. There is private parking at the front of the building, or a short walk to No 50 bus into the city centre. You will always get a friendly welcome and there is a reception area to wait for your therapist.
Therapy sessions are available from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 8pm. Later afternoon or evening appointments are in high demand so there may be a waiting period if you need one of these slots.
Sessions last 50 minutes but it’s a good idea to allow yourself some free time after the session so you have a chance to process what you’ve discussed and relax a bit.
Counselling – £60
Coaching – £100
For Therapists – £50
Counselling sessions last 50 minutes and usually take place weekly. Our therapy is open-ended so there is no limit on the number of sessions you can have. If you would like to work in a more time-limited way, you can agree a set number of sessions and then review your progress as you go along.
Coaching can be weekly, or may be spaced out every couple of weeks to give you time to work on your goals between sessions.
Most people find they are left with a lot to think about after just an initial session so it is charged at the full rate.
If you have health insurance either privately or through work, you may want to check to see if your policy covers counselling therapy. Most policies have an annual allowance to see a registered therapist so your sessions would be paid for, minus any policy excess you may be liable for when you make a claim.
The content of the sessions is kept entirely confidential and no record of what is discussed is shared with your insurance provider.
To make a booking through your insurance provider you should contact them directly for authorisation details and then make contact with Alex by calling 07779 004292 or emailing.
Everything discussed stays between you and your therapist. We do not contact or share information with your employer, GP, family or anyone else, nor would we disclose the fact you are attending sessions if someone asks.
If you require a written assessment or report for any reason (for example, a GP referral or to authorise health insurance sessions) then this report would be shared with you first for your approval. All written material (including your contact details and counselling agreement), are protected by General Data Protection Regulations.
There are always exceptions to complete confidentiality but these are extreme and only occur where we are bound by law, or a duty of care to your safety. Where possible, any sharing of information would be with your consent.
There is increasing clinical evidence that ‘talking therapy’ can be a very effective way of addressing personal problems and improving your mental and emotional wellbeing. It helps increase your self-awareness and understanding, builds new skills for dealing with situations and relationships and can boost your confidence and resilience to cope with life.
As with everything though, there isn’t a blanket guarantee that ‘all therapy helps all people’. What makes therapy work well is if you feel you can trust your therapist and you can be open to new ways of thinking about yourself and your life experiences.
It’s normal to feel a bit sceptical if you haven’t tried counselling before. You can read testimonials from previous clients who felt the same way as you and whose opinion changed dramatically by the end of therapy (reviews).
If you start the process and feel that it isn’t right for you, or you don’t think sessions are helping, you are always in control of continuing or stopping. We can make suggestions for other therapists or services if appropriate.
You can use the contact form to send a message, or call Alex on 07779 004292 or send a direct email. If you have any questions she will be happy to answer them and then we can discuss the best time as soon as possible to make an initial appointment.
Taking the first step and making contact can feel scary but you will always receive a reply to your message and then you can decide what you would like to do next. There is no pressure. In fact, a lot of clients say how relieved they felt just sending a message and starting the process so why not see if that’s true for you.