Laura Barnett Psychotherapy
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Information for Clients

Welcome to Counselling

What is counselling?

Counselling is a place for you to talk about whatever is troubling you - there are no 'no-go' areas.

Few, if any of us, sail through life without any problems; as we go along, we each develop our own ways of coping with situations.  Sometimes, however, the difficulties we hit are just too great for us to overcome without support and help from others.  Or else, we do manage to cope with all kinds of traumas, losses and misfortunes and then something happens, it may be a small thing, and it is the ‘last straw’.  Counselling can be a time to stop and reflect on what is going on in your life, a time to examine the possibilities and choices that lie before you.

You may choose to have a small number of weekly sessions (e.g. six, eight, twelve), longer term therapy (e.g. six months, a year) or open-ended therapy (a few years). It is your decision and it will depend on many factors, including what you want to get out of it: are you looking for help with a specific present difficulty?  Are you trying to come to terms with long-standing problems?  Do you want to make major changes in your life?  You can also come for one single session to talk about your situation before deciding whether you wish to opt for counselling. Counselling sessions are fifty minutes long.

Confidentiality
:
 Our relationship is confidential: while I may be required to say that you have attended sessions if your employer or a management company is paying for them, the content of the sessions will remain confidential. There are three exceptions to this: disclosures involving the Terrorism Act; disclosures of yourself as being a danger to others; disclosures which require me to act within my duty of care under the Children Act. Even in such cases, I would not break confidentiality without discussing the matter with you first. All counsellors have to be in regular supervision and some of the material of the sessions would at times be discussed with my supervisor, in an anonymous form.

Method of Work:

I work from an Existential perspective – exploring with each client what it means for them to be human and to grapple with life’s problems. The therapeutic work is a joint endeavour between client and therapist: I focus with you on what you bring and pay attention to what matters to you personally. Together we can look at the values, assumptions and ways of thinking and reacting that underlie your ways of relating to others and to the world. The aim of such an exploration is to come to terms with your limitations, with what you cannot change in your life and to develop a greater awareness of the things that you can change and of the possibilities that are open to you. The Existential approach to therapy is holistic in that it sees body, mind, emotions, spirit as inseparable aspects of being, which all require our concern and care.  

I also have a strong interest in the way we carry, in our bodies, past traumas as well as the stresses of everyday life, and I integrate into my existential work understanding derived from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy  (levels I, II and advanced) – one of the trauma therapies that has grown out of neuroscientific research in recent years.

My systemic constellation training has helped me to become more aware of the broader picture of a client’s life. This builds on the existential concept that human existence is always in relationship to others and to the world - even avoidance is a form of relating; and it implies that we have an impact on one another, often without even realizing it. This can often be seen in trauma that is carried, and patterns that repeat themselves, in families down the generations.

While I do not usually refer to theory in counselling sessions, I do have a special interest in existential therapy and its philosophical roots. I have contributed articles and chapters on existential therapy and supervision, and edited two books.

As a supervisor, I see my work as supporting you in your own approach, while also trying to offer different perspectives - always abiding by the Code of Ethics of our profession, in a way that is most beneficial to you and your clients.


Training, Affiliation and Practice.

I am a UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) and EAP (European Association for Psychotherapy) registered Existential psychotherapist and a supervisor. I am a senior accredited member of BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and also a member of the Society for Existential Analysis, and the Society for Psychotherapy.  For any enquiries or complaints, my organization of reference is the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UPCA) section of UKCP. I adhere to the UKCP and BACP Frameworks for Ethical Practice, I have regular supervision and professional indemnity insurance.


Practicalities

My fees are £55.00 per 50 minute session (£50.00 for trainees), payable after each session in the case of short-term counselling; longer-term clients are invoiced monthly at the end of each month. Naturally, I do not charge for the sessions when I am away; I do however charge for sessions which you miss, unless you give me one week’s notice.  


Transport:

 -The nearest railway station to me is Lewes, which is approximately a twelve to fifteen minute walk from here - down towards the High Street, then left, and straight on up the High Street and its continuation Western Rd, for about 8 minutes, then left before the Black Horse pub. 
As I have no waiting-room, I'm afraid that I cannot receive you before your appointment time.