FAQ’S

We appreciate there is a lot of information to take in when looking into counselling and therapy. On this page, you can find answers to frequently ask questions about counselling and if you need more information, please do get in touch.

General Therapy:

We all need to accept help from others from time to time. With the right professional guidance and support from an experienced therapist, individuals and couples can discover how to make life better. It is best, however, if this is a decision made personally.

Most people look to start therapy at times in life when they feel dissatisfied, confused or stuck. You might see this in your partner, friend or family member and be concerned about their wellbeing.

Although ClearBlues Counselling welcomes enquiries made on behalf of another person, it is important that you first get their consent to do so.

If you’re thinking about suggesting therapy to someone you know, ensure this is done as privately and sensitively as possible. Expressing your concerns in a factual, clear and non-judgemental way is important too. Once you’ve offered your support and explained that you only want to see them feel better, leave it to them to make their own choice.

Psychotherapy and counselling isn’t only for those with existing issues or problems. Talking through your experiences, emotions, ideas, challenges and goals with a trained, compassionate and understanding therapist can have a meaningful impact on us all.

A strong therapeutic relationship is essential to the success of our time together, so finding the right fit is highly valued at ClearBlues Counselling. To put you at ease, all clients have an initial consultation with a trained, qualified and experienced therapist. Before deciding whether to pursue further sessions, you’ll discuss how therapy can help and have the opportunity to see if the therapist is the best match for you.

Establishing a connection with your therapist can take some people a few sessions to develop – everyone is different. To make sure you’re comfortable and happy to continue, your needs will always be our focus and priority.

Fees

£25 for – 50 min. Initial individual therapy assessment

£50 for – 50 min. Individual therapy session

£30 for – 50 min. Initial couple therapy assessment

£60 for – 50 min. Couple therapy session

£30 for – 50 min. Initial EMDR therapy assessment

£60 for – 50 min. EMDR therapy session

£80 for – 70 min. EMDR therapy session

Concessions for students and OAPs (proof required)

£20 for – 50 min. Initial individual therapy assessment

£40 for – 50 min. Individual therapy session

£25 for – 50 min. Initial EMDR therapy assessment

£50 for – 50 min. EMDR therapy session

£70 for – 70 min. EMDR therapy session

I feel privileged to provide a safe, open and understanding space for people to share their stories. Based on their wellbeing journeys, many clients have referred me to other people looking to engage a private practice – but at ClearBlues Counselling, we believe that each of those unique experiences belong to the client. As the therapist in these confidential and trusted relationships, our time together is not mine to share. This is why there are no testimonials from former clients here. We’re extremely grateful for all referrals made however, and want to say thank you to those that have done so.

Ethically, soliciting testimonials from current clients is not something I’d pursue as a psychotherapist and counsellor. I also extend this scope to include all clients. Although lots of people have completed their time with me as their therapist successfully, several choose to return later for further work. It is therefore an honour for me to be there for any client coming back in the future.

Counselling and psychotherapy are both effective talking therapies. The key difference is that counselling supports people with addressing their current issues, based in the here and now. This is often in times of crisis.

Psychotherapy addresses the then and there of past experiences and feelings, to eliminate the root cause of the issue. Designed to improve self-development, it tends to be a deeper process compared to counselling.

Counselling sessions are generally considered as short or medium-term work, while psychotherapy is usually more long-term.

Individual psychotherapy and counselling can include blended approaches such as CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), EMDR, Transactional Analysis, Mindfulness, and creative techniques.

Yes, it is possible to reschedule or cancel appointments at ClearBlues Counselling. Provided 48 hours’ notice is given, no cost will be incurred for making changes to an appointment and if cancelling your session, you will be refunded. All cancellations made with under 48 hours’ notice will be charged in full.
Appointments can be made anytime by telephone, text and email. The waiting time for having an initial consultation session at ClearBlues Counselling is currently around 48 hours.

We hope our counselling FAQ section is helpful, but please feel free to contact ClearBlues Counselling for any further advice.

Individual Counselling & Psychotherapy FAQ

Counselling and psychotherapy are both effective talking therapies. The key difference is that counselling supports people with addressing their current issues, based in the here and now. Psychotherapy addresses the then and there of past experiences and feelings, to eliminate the root cause of the issue.

Counselling sessions are generally considered as short or medium-term work, while psychotherapy is usually more long-term.

If you’re looking for private individual counselling and psychotherapy but aren’t sure if you can benefit, please get in touch. Therapy isn’t only for people with previous issues – it can help you through any troubles or concerns in your life.

Some examples of areas that individual therapy and counselling can help are:

• Dissatisfaction with life and questioning of life choices
• Relationship or career issues
• Feeling misunderstood or trapped
• Social anxiety or experiencing uneasiness around others
• Difficulty with achieving personal goals
• Emotional control concerns
• Childhood memories or situations influencing your adult life
• Feeling criticised by others, despite your positive behaviour.

Your upbringing, culture or societal norms may also be causing skepticism around the possible success of therapy.

To put you at ease, all clients have an initial consultation with a trained, qualified and experienced therapist. Before deciding whether to pursue further sessions, you’ll discuss how therapy can help and have the opportunity to see if the therapist is the right match for you.

Each therapy session at ClearBlues Counselling is 50 minutes.

▪ Your initial consultation is half the price of a therapy session
▪ The initial consultation is £25. An individual therapy session is £50
▪ Students and pensioners can take advantage of a special discount, upon proof of entitlement.

The discounted initial consultation is £20 and individual therapy sessions cost £40.

Research shows that therapy for individuals works best when you have a connection with your therapist. Finding an understanding counsellor that is a good match for you is also as important as their approach – therapy is not a ‘one size fits all’ fix after all.

Therapy is most successful when your therapist has a flexible approach and works collaboratively with you to achieve your goals. To help people learn and implement new ways of tackling life, effective therapy uses validated, up-to-date approaches – combining physical health and psychological well being. Your therapist should be objective, curious, current and engaged in their professional growth.

Sometimes we need an objective, non-judgemental outsider to see ourselves better. An experienced therapist will help you to clearly understand how you got to where you are, so you find your way forward and take the next steps to where you want your life to be.

ClearBlues Counselling often has appointments available within 48 hours from your initial query. We aim to schedule you in at the earliest opportunity, at a time that is mutually convenient. You can book an appointment for your initial consultation straight away.

ClearBlues Counselling offers face-to-face, online and telephone therapy. In circumstances when social distancing is not necessary, if possible, it is recommended that your initial consultation is held face-to-face to establish a connection with your therapist.

Online counselling and psychotherapy is available to anyone that is unable or prefers not to get to ClearBlues Counselling consultation room near Newcastle. This may be due to preference to fit around a busy schedule for example, or personal circumstances such as you’re located outside the UK or have limited mobility.

All tailored therapy approaches are available online, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) and Clinical Supervision, to provide support from a distance.

For more details on specific areas I can help you with, please visit the About Me page. Other problems may include:

    • Addictions and substance misuse

    • Anxiety: generalised anxiety problems, panic attacks, social anxiety, health anxiety

    • Bereavement, grief and loss

    • Career development

    • Culture and immigration adjustments

    • Depression: ennui, low mood, suicidal thoughts, loss of meaning in life

    • Difficulty making decisions and choices

    • LGBTQ+ and gender related concerns

    • Youth behavioural and identity issues

    • Life transitions, loss (job or loved one) and grief process

    • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence

    • Maladaptive ways of behaving and coping

    • Psychological distress, pain and fatigue

    • Relationship issues: separation and divorce, affairs and betrayals, complex family dynamics, choosing inappropriate partners, communication issues

    • Self exploration and self development

    • Trauma: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), physical, verbal, and sexual abuse

    • Workplace issues: stress, burn out, lack of work-life balance.

If you’re unsure if your issue can benefit from therapy, please get in touch by phone or email for advice.

Online Therapy FAQ

Yes – at ClearBlues Counselling online therapy is delivered by an experienced psychotherapist using secure digital technology across the internet.

Our online therapy options cover all services, from individual counselling and couples counselling to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing), and clinical supervision.

Online therapy in the UK is becoming increasingly popular for many reasons. For instance, you might have an extremely busy family life or work commitments. For others, it may be physically necessary to see a therapist online, or simply your own personal choice to suit your lifestyle needs.

Online counselling and psychotherapy overcomes any geographical restrictions, meaning we can work together no matter where you are in the UK or elsewhere.

Seeing a therapist online is ideal for people who are physically unable to visit a consultation space. If you suffer from severe agoraphobia or social anxiety, for example, online therapy offers an effective solution for providing easily accessible professional support. Once you are ready, online therapy can then be progressed to face-to-face sessions, if appropriate.

Although online therapy now means therapists can support people through their issues regardless of location, it’s not suitable for everyone. If you are looking to build your self awareness, need support navigating life concerns or mental health issues, online counselling and psychotherapy can help you. However, this type of therapy is not as successful for more serious psychiatric conditions and therefore is not recommended.

Any differences between having either a face-to-face or online therapy session will be experienced uniquely by you, whether that’s positive or negative. For me, while reading a client’s body language is easier face-to-face, online therapy can be of benefit if your facial expressions are more exposed.

In my opinion, the main differences between online and face-to-face therapies concern space and physical presence.

As face-to-face therapy takes place in a dedicated, neutral space, this can establish a unique holding for the client – one that is removed from day-to-day life. Similarly, by both being present in a face-to-face setting, together a client and therapist create a physical energy. This in turn supports the bonding process – a crucial part of building a strong therapeutic relationship, which again contributes to the quality of the holding.

In the absence of a face-to-face counselling and psychotherapy therapeutic space, online therapy requires use of existing areas in your life. So, wherever you access space to see your therapist online – be it personal or professional – it won’t be designated to your therapy only. As a result, you may have other attachments, emotions, memories and thoughts that can either benefit or burden your therapeutic time.

However the space you use for your online therapy sessions affects you, it will be explored during therapy to prevent a negative experience.

Online therapy is widely accepted by experts as being just as effective as office-based therapy. Findings from mental health researchers show that online therapy works in the same way as face-to-face.

There are also additional benefits – and challenges – to online counselling and psychotherapy, depending on your own unique circumstances and preferences. These should be explored before making a final decision about your chosen route.

If the choice of online psychotherapy and counselling or face-to-face therapy is available to you and you’re unsure which is most suitable, take the time to consider your options. This process will be unique to each client, based on their personal preferences and circumstances.

A great starting point is to learn more about the differences between the therapy delivery methods. Once these distinctions are clear to you, it will be easier to identify which option best meets your needs.

Reflecting on your choice, or hesitations, is then encouraged as a next step – both with yourself and the therapist you want to work with. Has your decision been influenced by convenience or a lack of willingness to commit? Are you only able to access therapy online? If your situation means seeking face-to-face therapy is impossible, it’s an easy decision – access the support you need that is available to you.

It is not possible to have online therapy anonymously at ClearBlues Counselling as I have a duty of care as a professional psychotherapist.

I take my role as your counsellor and psychotherapist very seriously and where appropriate, individuals are assessed for a risk of suicide or serious harm. If necessary, interventions will be made to prevent this, so open and honest online communication is an essential requirement of developing our therapeutic relationship.

If you will only consider undergoing online therapy with ClearBlues anonymously, it may be worth considering the greater perception of privacy this method allows you to feel. It could be powerful enough to satisfy your desire for anonymity.

No, ClearBlues Counselling does not use these platforms, as Facetime or Facebook collect personal information and are not Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant.

Safe online counselling and psychotherapy services in the UK are awarded HIPAA compliance if sufficient encryption and privacy standards, for remote therapeutic and medical work are met.

ClearBlues uses HIPPA compliant software to provide online therapy to clients.

All you need for an online psychotherapy or counselling session is a device that has a working camera and microphone, with a reliable internet connection. There may be a need to download specific software when meeting your therapist online.

I recommend for clients to find a comfortable, quiet and private space to hold their online therapy sessions. Setting your device up to allow plenty of space to have more than just your face on the screen will help to improve mutual understanding of non-verbal communication. It can also be beneficial to use headphones, to ensure confidential and clear communications with your therapist.

Your online therapy will not be conducted by text or email. This is because, like face-to-face therapy, protecting safe and consistent boundaries is important to the success of your sessions.

If you need to get in touch outside of sessions, such as for arranging or changing appointments, ClearBlues Counselling can be contacted by phone or email. As part of building our therapeutic relationship, we will agree on the most suitable methods for each point of communication during our time together.

If you want to start online counselling or psychotherapy in the UK and are looking to find a therapist online, most will highlight any obtained professional registrations on their website. The counselling and psychotherapy community is governed by a set of established professional industry bodies. They provide governance and rigorous frameworks to ensure that qualified members meet industry standards, as a minimum.

Couples Therapy FAQ

At ClearBlues Counselling, we welcome people from all backgrounds, ethnic groups and socioeconomic statuses for couples therapy. We understand that anyone – regardless of sexuality, gender or relationship status – has the potential to face problems with their partner. Professional couples therapy can be effective for any relationship.

You might be in the early stages of a relationship, transitioning from dating to moving in together, or preparing to get engaged. Or, you may have been married or in a relationship for weeks, months, years or even decades.

Couples counselling is not a ‘one size fits all’ fix for every relationship and every issue. Couples counselling is most effective when your therapist has a flexible approach and works collaboratively with you and your partner to achieve your goals. To help people learn and implement new ways of tackling life, effective therapy uses validated, up-to-date approaches – combining physical health and psychological well being. Your counsellor should be objective, curious, current and engaged in their professional growth.

Sometimes we need an objective, non-judgemental outsider to see ourselves and our relationships better. An experienced therapist will help you to clearly understand how you got to where you are, so you find your way forward and take the next steps to a happier and healthier relationship.

At ClearBlues Counselling, making sure your therapist is the right fit for you and your partner is paramount. All couples have an initial consultation, at half the cost of a session to see if a connection can be made.

All relationships are different and therapies at ClearBlues Counselling are tailored to each client’s personal circumstances and needs. There are several factors that influence the length of time couples counselling can take to complete, for example the complexity of the issue, or the time and energy resources made available for therapy by each partner.

Generally speaking, relationship counselling can take between six to 32 sessions.

Some couples may find they achieve their goals in four or five sessions, as they want to work on a specific solution. This is often known as ‘relationship coaching’, where couples might need support with reaching a common goal, solving day-to-day problems, improving communication, financial issues or parental responsibilities.

More complicated problems or underlying concerns can require longer-term couples counselling sessions. For situations that take longer to resolve, the goal of therapy can be challenging, such as changing patterns that were present before the relationship started or healing trust after a betrayal or affair.

Couples tend to be seen for counselling sessions weekly, which reduces to fortnightly and monthly as progress is made. When couples have resolved their issue, they may choose to return for periodic sessions together, as an investment in the relationship.

For couples counselling to be effective, there are some tasks that can be undertaken by you and your partner to support progress. These are to:

  1. Take time to reflect on your reasons for being in therapy

  2. Think about your larger goals for becoming the partner you want to be or creating the relationship you desire, by considering what steps will support achieving this

  3. Test the changes that you discussed during your session in the outside world and recognise any blocks or challenges

  4. Concentrate on making changes within yourself, rather than what your partner should be doing. It’s important to recognise that although we have some influence, we have no control over other people.

Couples counselling enables both partners to talk openly and honestly in a safe and supported environment. It can be painful to talk about your relationship in the time leading up to an affair or betrayal, but necessary. To successfully forgive and move forward, it’s essential for both partners to understand the real reasons why it happened. Without this, making changes in the future will be extremely difficult.

Over the last 10 years, ClearBlues Counselling has supported many couples in the rebuilding of trust. It can take a long time, but be patient. We can help you take the next steps to a healthier relationship.

Couples therapy can be successful in any relationship for all kinds of issues. If you are struggling to convince your partner to have couple counselling together, individual therapy is an alternative. Individual counselling and psychotherapy is effective in building and strengthening relationships and may be an option, while trying to encourage your partner to take the next step with you.

Separation can be difficult to come to terms with. And if children are involved in the relationship, while it may be the right answer for your family, making this decision is tough. You will be parents for the rest of your lives after all. Couples counselling can help you both learn how to be part of your childrens’ lives, in a way that is positive for everyone.

By talking to a professional counsellor about the ending of a relationship, you can learn how to make the separation amicable.

Every relationship is unique and the therapy will be tailored to meet your needs. Sometimes, this may involve situations where one partner is seen individually to discuss an issue before it is raised in couples counselling. This may relate to feelings of shame, fear or a lack of confidence. If this occurs, both partners are aware that an individual session is planned, as there are no secrets or loyalties to cause concern in the ClearBlues Counselling consultation room.

To put you at ease, all couples considering ClearBlues Counselling have an initial consultation with a trained and experienced therapist. Before deciding whether to pursue further sessions, you’ll meet to discuss how therapy can help your relationship. This also provides the opportunity to see if the therapist is the right match for you and your partner. Our practice and ethos is client-driven and understands that some people may take a few sessions to feel a connection. Your counsellor will put your needs first to ensure you always feel safe, deeply understood and fully supported.

EMDR Therapy FAQ

Almost anyone – of any age – that has been through a disturbing event or psychological trauma can benefit from EMDR therapy. Moving past trauma-associated symptoms can be extremely hard, especially if a severe trauma such as abuse or series of disturbing events have been experienced. Sometimes, talking therapy simply isn’t enough to help you let go of the past and each day is challenging.

We appreciate that your upbringing, culture or societal norms may be causing skepticism around the possible success of EMDR therapy. At ClearBlues Counselling, people (aged 16 and over) from all socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, sexuality or other attributes are welcomed to explore how this research-based, proven therapy can help them to heal from trauma.

If you are suffering from low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, stress, addiction or any other issue, EMDR can help.

Yes, EMDR therapy is useful in many cases, but there are some contraindications. As each case is different, it is strongly suggested that you discuss this matter with your therapist.

Generally, EMDR therapy is either ineffective or requires extra preparatory work with the following:

• Highly dissociative people, particularly those suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
• Suicidal clients, or those with a history of multiple suicidal attempts
• People suffering from physiologically-based disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
• People with neurological impairments
• Clients experiencing psychosis
• People actively abusing drugs or addicted to alcohol
• Individuals with impending legal procedures are advised to seek legal advice prior to proceeding with EMDR
• Pregnant women.

The complexity of your issue and level of trauma will impact how many sessions will be required to complete EMDR therapy. It is usually short term work, delivered once or twice weekly – sometimes on consecutive days – for six to 12 sessions, pre-empted by a number of sessions focused on establishing safety and safety-related resources. For those with complex histories and multiple traumas such as childhood abuse, more extensive therapy may be needed.

Studies have shown in the case of civilians, 80% no longer had PTSD after approximately six hours of EMDR therapy. Comparatively, 77% of combat veterans reported EMDR eliminated PTSD after 12 sessions.

There are eight phases of EMDR therapy, with some requiring more – or less – sessions to complete. Your first session is an initial consultation where your therapist will start the first phase of history taking. You will discuss the components of EMDR therapy in detail and agree how it will be delivered to meet your specific needs. The next session will commence phase two – preparation. This will involve learning various self-control techniques for use in future EMDR sessions to soothe potential disturbance. Your ability to successfully implement these exercises impacts how many additional sessions you will need. As everyone is different with unique circumstances, the amount of preparation needed varies. In most instances, the active processing of memories can begin after one or two sessions.

Yes. ClearBlues Counselling offers clients EMDR therapy online and in a face-to-face setting at our consultation room, based near Newcastle.

Online EMDR therapy is a safe and effective means of accessing a successful, quality and evidence-based approach to healing trauma.

Having grown in popularity since the COVID-19 crisis, much knowledge has been shared among the EMDR therapist community on this way of working. It is widely recognised as being as effective as meeting in person to address PTSD and other trauma-related issues. In fact, some cases have been more successful when provided online.

As with all online therapy approaches delivered online by ClearBlues Counselling, client safety and privacy is paramount. To ensure confidentiality, only secure video connection mediums are used.

To put you at ease, all individuals considering ClearBlues Counselling have an initial consultation with a trained and experienced therapist. Before deciding whether to pursue further sessions, you’ll meet to discuss how EMDR therapy works and how it can help you. This also provides the opportunity to see if the therapist is the right match for you to establish a connection. Our practice and ethos is client-driven and understands that some people may take a few sessions to feel a connection. Your counsellor will put your needs first to ensure you always feel safe, deeply understood and fully supported.

A strong therapeutic relationship is crucial to the success of your sessions at ClearBlues Counselling. As an objective, curious and current therapist, I’m highly engaged in professional growth and encourage clients to provide regular feedback. During our time together, I am committed to making sure all clients feel they can be open and honest about our sessions.

For more information about my professional background and approach, please visit the About Me page.

EMDR is a powerful therapy designed to help the brain to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories by resuming its natural healing process. The main differences between EMDR and other therapeutic approaches include:

• EMDR counselling sessions do not require talking in detail about the distressing issue
• There is no requirement for completing homework between EMDR sessions
• EMDR therapy focuses on processing deep body and sensory feelings. Similar to other therapies, EMDR focuses on emotions and thoughts, the key difference being that it is not the aim to change them, alongside associated behaviours resulting from trauma
• Individuals can often complete EMDR in fewer sessions than traditional psychotherapies.

Recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), among others, EMDR is a highly successful, research based psychological therapy for healing trauma. Reducing the intensity of painful memories and disturbing experiences, EMDR is effective in both children and adults. Examples of the specific issues EMDR can help with include:

• Accidents: road traffic, workplace
• Addiction
• Anxiety
• Assault
• Body dysmorphic issues
• Childhood abuse and / or neglect
• Chronic pain
• Conflict trauma
• Depression
• Dissociative disorders
• Disturbing memories
• Domestic violence and abuse
• Grief and loss
• Natural disasters
• OCD
• Panic attacks
• Personality disorders
• Phobias
• PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
• Relationship break ups
• Stress
• Violence and abuse
• War trauma.

For more details on specific areas I can help with, please visit the About Me page. If you’re still unsure if your problem can benefit from EMDR therapy, do get in touch with ClearBlues Counselling by phone or email for advice.

Fees for EMDR therapy:

▪ Your initial consultation is half the price of an EMDR therapy session
▪ The initial consultation is £30, lasting 50 minutes
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 50 minutes is £60
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 70 minutes £80.

Concessions for students and OAPs (proof required):

▪ Your initial consultation is half the price of an EMDR therapy session
▪ The initial consultation is £25, lasting 50 minutes
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 50 minutes is £50
▪ An EMDR therapy session lasting 70 minutes £70.

Virtual therapy tips

Here are some tips to effectively prepare for an online therapy session with ClearBlues Counselling:

  • Ensure your computer or mobile device is set up ahead of your session’s start time, including turning on the microphone and video features

  • Position the webcam at eye level, if possible, or at a suitable height so the therapist can see your face

  • Position yourself facing the light – not with your back to the window or light source, as this makes it difficult for your therapist to see you. It’s best to first check that the lighting in the room you are using for your session is going to be adequate

  • Make sure that there will be no interruptions for the duration of your therapy session and the door is shut. If you’re worried about being overheard by other people, you could try placing a speaker behind the door playing low music or white noise

  • Put your devices in ‘do not disturb’ mode to stop any notifications coming through which could disturb the session. This includes the computer or mobile you are using and any other smart devices

  • Have a glass of water and some tissues accessible to you for the session

  • Avoid alcohol or drugs before the session, so they’re not in your system during your therapeutic time

  • Please do not record any sessions. None of your sessions will be recorded by ClearBlues Counselling, unless this has been mutually discussed, agreed and you have provided a signed consent form

  • Do not let another person observe or listen to any part of your session, unless your therapist has given prior agreement.