I've included most things I would want to know or might think to ask in the below sections. I've tried to give plenty of details, but hopefully without being off-putting. To keep this page simple I'll use the words 'therapy' or 'personal consultancy' to mean psychotherapy, counselling and coaching. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see that isn't covered.
I offer psychotherapy, coaching and counselling. I call the combination of these disciplines "Personal Consultancy".
Ages 16+, one-to-one sessions. I work with people from all walks of life.
Through Whitestone I have two practices - one based in mid-sussex in Haywards Heath (easily accessible for Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, Lindfield, Hassocks, Bolney, Ardingly, Scaynes Hill, Horsham), and one located in the City of London (Bank tube is two minutes away, Liverpool street three minutes). Here are two links for directions: Haywards Heath. London.
Yes. Satnav is RH164NJ. There is plenty of onstreet parking directly outside, which is free of charge. The street is well-lit and access to my office is just a few steps from the front door on the ground floor. My therapy room is large, comfortable and private (see the pic). Seamless wheelchair access is not possible due to some small steps at the threshold of my house. If you've any questions please email or call.
I contact everyone who makes an enquiry, and nearly always within a day. If a day has passed since your enquiry, please check your email Junk mail folder, as occasionally mails from WhiteStone can be routed there in error. If you provide a telephone number I may also text in addition to sending an email.
Yes, though I tend to do this through a sister company I co-founded to work with corporate clients. I can help to arrange highly skilled practitioners who are able to work within your organisation, tailoring and delivering therapuetic-coaching services. If you'd like me to work with your business please get in touch and we can talk about it. We pride ourselves on our ability to work at psychological depth to help teams and individuals perform at their very best.
This is key. The relationship between you and your therapist is one of the strongest predictors of a successful therapeutic outcome. A good place to start is with an online search (google, ask, yahoo), and an excellent place to look is the counselling directory. Some others places to look: AICTP, BACP or UKCP. You may have an idea of the type of therapy you would like e.g CBT, Person-Centred etc, and it is possible to look for that. It may well be worth arranging a couple of assessment sessions and seeing which therapist you have the best feeling about working with.
As well as membership of regulatory bodies such as BACP and UKCP , you might also want to consider the other life experiences each therapist has to offer. Do they have a background or experiences that you feel may be helpful in some way? My suggestion would be to take your time and go with your gut feeling. Qualifications or experience are only a guide, and alone will not guarantee the outcome.
Some people know what they hope for from therapy. Others may not have a direct sense of this, and this is quite normal. Therapy or Coaching will still ‘work’ and it could be the picture becomes clearer as the process unfolds. Therapy can be a life-affirming experience that can enhance personal insight and a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Some of the most common issues are covered on my Issues page.
This really is different for each person. I work in an Integrative way and am also a trained Personal Consultant (see below). Your sessions are your time and you are the expert on you. This is your space to be heard. I know it can help to have some idea of what lies ahead, so I've put together a generic overview of what is likely to happen as part of the process of seeing a therapist:
A therapist working integratively is likely to allow space for you to explore your issues at your own speed. He or she will attentively listen in a supportive way, try to understand how things are for you, and together begin to consider patterns in your life. This may help the issues become clearer and help you consider your thoughts & feelings in a new way. This is a very important part of the work and can take some time. When the time is right, you and your therapist may decide together to use various tools or techniques to explore issues at greater depth. This might lead to deeper understandings, a sense of really getting in touch with yourself. If making change is appropriate and you wish it, the therapist may work with you at this stage to generate clear goals, develop strategies to achieve them, and finally offer support as you take steps to achieve your goals. This may involve a number of techniques or approaches selected to help the most.
These things may not happen in the above order, or at all. It all depends on you and the reasons you come to see me.
A short write-up can be found here for those interested. Personal Consultancy is a way of working that integrates psychotherapy, counselling and coaching approaches, and helps shape a therapeutic encounter. It brings together the reparative aspects of psychotherapy and counselling and joins them with the generative aspects of many types of counselling and coaching. Together this can be a very effective mix. It means we can work together in deep and transformative ways (and often a Coach can't or won't be trained to do this), but also use coaching techniques to really help. We can talk about this when we meet.
For full details please click on this link.
I hold a PGDip (Dist) in Integrative Counselling and Coaching awarded by UEL and am a member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) and the AICTP (The Association of Integrated Coach Therapist Professionals). I adhere to the BACP code of ethical conduct and am an active participant within the AICTP. I undertake regular professional training in line with BACP requirements. I'm fully insured and DBS checked. I also provide my services on a charitable basis.
What happens in the Consultation session?
We will talk about what brings you to see me. It is a chance for you to see if you think I would be the right fit to work with you and a chance for us to discuss the process of therapy or coaching. I will try to answer any questions you have. If we decide to work together I will run through a short, written contract (containing some of the points below in this FAQ). Typically consultations last 30 to 50 minutes (max).
Duration of Therapy
The duration of therapy can differ depending on what you would like to achieve. For some issues (such as phobias) we could agree to work to a set number of sessions. However deeper changes may require a much longer commitment, and often it is best to start in an open ended way and regularly review progress. We can discuss this, and our work can be tailored to your needs.
Booking sessions / consultations?
Usually we would try to arrange a regular time to meet (discussed in consultation session). Otherwise we would agree in person, via text, or via email when and where the next session will be held. I try to be flexible and to minimise unnecessary changes as consistency is important. I usually offer a range of times for sessions / consultations but please bear in mind I can't hold these open indefinitely, as there is usually pressure to offer times out to others. To be fair to all I operate 'first come first served' unless there are emergencies.
It is best to prepare and work towards a planned ending. As we review progress regularly this is something we will talk about very openly when the time feels right.
What commitment from me is needed?
Research shows that greater commitment leads to better outcomes. This is best achieved by being prepared to commit to regular weekly sessions, and may involve being prepared to commit to trying certain activities between sessions too.
Is therapy confidential?
Yes - sessions are confidential. There are some exceptions to this if there was a risk of harm to yourself or others. This is in accordance with BACP code of ethical practice.
Do you offer telephone or Video Conferencing sessions?
This is certainly possible. We can decide together if this way of working will help you – and so it is best we meet first and talk about it. See also the 'Online' page in the Locations dropdown menu.
How long are sessions?
Personal Consultancy sessions are 50 minutes duration. If you are interested in 'pure' Coaching, I can provide this. Coaching sessions are typically 90 minutes duration. Please note that typically sessions cannot be extended beyond our agreed time.
Fee structure - why a sliding scale?
I want therapy to be accessible to everyone who would like to see me, and so I use a sliding scale to set fees. If I used a flat fee it would need to be set quite high to cover the large overheads involved with running two offices and covering the many hidden costs of being in private practice. This would mean many people who would like to see me simply couldn’t. Whitestone clients are very diverse in terms of their financial means, and a sliding scale means each client pays a fee that is proportionate to their means. This is based on household income. The advantage of this is that should your circumstances change your fee changes too. In this way everyone who needs therapy has reasonable access to it. We can talk about this and reach agreement on what is right for you during our consultation session. I offer a limited number of concessions. See the Fees page for details.
Fees are payable by cash or BACS each session. For BACS payments I kindly request payment ahead of attending a session. This saves me spending lots of time reconciling online statements and is appreciated.
I operate a clear policy in respect of cancellations. Sessions must be cancelled at least 48 hours before appointment time via text, phone call, or email. If this doesn't happen, the cancellation charge will be 50% of the full session fee (non-negotiable). This policy is different to many other professionals where often a full fee is requested. I understand that sometimes things can come up at short notice and plans must change, so I don't ask for full fees in such cases. In return for this I ask that the 'non-negotiable' aspect is respected. Applying cancellation fees is the least enjoyable thing I do, but it is part of the commercial reality of being in private practice and I am consistent with all clients.
Whitestone commitment to you... Ethical practice
Our work will be conducted in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice. Copy available on request.
Whitestone commitment to you... Supervision & Training
I have the support of a supervisor to discuss my clinical work. Confidentiality is maintained and your anonymity protected. In addition, I will undertake regular further training so my clinical approach is informed by the latest research, and so I can provide additional specialism to help my clients. In 2019 I'm also engaged in a research project.