Your Questions About Therapy & Counselling
Most people considering seeing a Psychotherapist or Counsellor will have questions about some aspect of the process of therapy such as:
- What is Psychotherapy?
- What’s the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
- How will I know if it’s working?
Some questions are entirely practical such as:
- How long is a session?
- How much do you charge?
- How do I pay?
And some questions are about the therapist themselves:
- Have you been in therapy?
- What are your qualifications?
- How will I know if you are the right therapist for me?
Below are some of the more frequently asked questions and my answers. If you still have a question then please do contact me by phone, email or use the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Questions About Booking Your Psychotherapy Session
At my private practice in Wimpole Street, London, W1G 9RJ.
My quiet, calm therapy rooms are peaceful and private and are conveniently located near to public transport in Central London.
See the Private Counselling Practice Page for full details and a map
A session is always 50 minutes long.
Anytime between 07:00 and 5:00 pm on weekdays.
Evening sessions are rare, but I have plenty of early morning and lunch slots if that is easier, and other times of the day too.
I do not work on weekends.
It is important that therapy happens regularly, and is consistent (i.e. always at the same time and in the same place). It is normal for therapy sessions to be once a week; however, this is something we can discuss together and if a different pattern is suitable for you due to your circumstances at the time, then we can look to arrange that.
Questions About Fees
A session costs £80.00
You can pay me by cash, cheque or bank transfer.
If you’re paying cash or cheque you can pay me after the session has finished. If you are paying by bank transfer I ask that the payment has been received before the next session.
If this is something you would like to do, we can discuss this together.
Yes, I need 48 hours’ notice of cancellation otherwise the full amount is charged.
Questions About Rachel Buchan
Yes, when therapists train to become therapists they need to have therapy themselves. However, since qualifying I have maintained my use of therapy throughout my career as I find It consistently useful, both personally and professionally.
I have been working as a counsellor since 2011. I have experience of working with complex trauma, domestic abuse and with anxiety and depression. To find out more please see my ‘Working With Rachel’ page
I always encourage individuals to come to an initial session to see if I feel like the right therapist for them. Coming to an initial session is an opportunity for you to ‘try on’ a counsellor for size! You can ask any questions, see how the sessions feels for you and then decide to continue or not. There is no obligation to continue after an initial session.
You may prefer an initial chat with me over the phone which we can also arrange.
As an integrative therapist, I am regulated by the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). You can find out more about them here: https://www.bacp.co.uk/
You can also find a copy of the BACP’s code of ethics that I abide by, here
There is a complaints procedure within the code of ethics
Questions About Therapy
There is no difference. They are different words for the same thing and are used interchangeably.
The sessions are confidential unless I feel you are at risk to yourself or to another, in which case I am ethically bound to break confidentially to protect you or another to the best of my ability. In our second session, we will both sign a ‘client – therapist’ agreement which lays out how the confidentially works so that you are fully aware.
You can see a copy of this on the website, here:
No. The past often comes into therapy, but it is your choice what you do and do not want to talk about
I think using therapy is a form of self-care. I am a big believer in self-care, which is often negatively labelled as ‘selfish’ or self-indulgent’. In fact, by looking after yourself, you are able then to look after others, to gain joy from life, to take responsibility for yourself and the life you want to live.
Counselling, when done correctly, should encourage the opposite; a clearer and deeper understanding of your own ability to find your own answers
It is unlikely. For the most part, counselling is exploratory and through the process of discussing what is happening, things will become clearer to you, but not because I have advised you. Sometimes, it can feel frustrating when a counsellor will not provide advice or answer a question. This feeling will be explored though . . . to the best of my ability I would not deliberately frustrate you without finding out why that feeling of frustration is there.
You will be able to tell me the answer to this question. I will check in regularly with you in our sessions so that you can tell me what feels as though it is or is not working, what feels difficult, painful, good etc.
No. It is true that the work done in therapy carries on through the week, it doesn’t remain in the room as a ‘separate’ thing to the rest of your life. It may be that you come in to session some weeks and the therapy has felt relevant and there lots to say. Other weeks you may have totally forgotten we’d met until you’re back in session again.
The exception to this is if we are working purely with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in which case there can be ‘homework’ to think about or work on during the week.
No. There is a sofa for you to sit on but I think it is important that counselling is face to face.
This is completely dependent on the individual. Initially we will contract to six sessions, to see how they go. At the end of those six sessions we will have a review session to see how you are finding the therapy, and then go from there with seeing how much longer feels right for you.
We will work towards the ending of therapy. Once we have chosen an ending date together, I will make sure the sessions focus on that ending and work towards it. It would never be the case that the therapy would just ‘end’ without you knowing about it.
You can bring any issues or problems that you want to.
I am an integrative therapist which means I can use and adapt a range of approaches to suit you. If CBT appears to be a relevant tool for the issues and problems that we are discussing, then I can discuss using some CBT techniques with you and, if you would like to, we can try them out.