About

A little bit about how I work...

The way I work is integrative and relational. But what does this mean?

​​Integrative refers to the multiplicity of theories and approaches from which I am able to draw upon during counselling. These include Humanistic Counselling (including Existential, Transactional Analysis, Person-Centred and Transpersonal Counselling), Developmental-Psychodynamic Counselling, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

As a Relational counsellor I believe the patterns of living and relating that emerge and develop within our personal relationships – with our family, our friends, our colleagues, the wider-environment, and also with ourselves, are central to who we are, how we feel, and how we behave. This includes the relationship shared between us as client and counsellor. During therapy, close attention is paid to what is happening between us; this helps us to build a strong working relationship built on trust and genuine acceptance whilst, crucially, allowing us the chance to identify difficult patterns of relating and problem management in a safe, contained and supported manner.

Engaging together in this way, we are able to create a collaborative working relationship and focus together on your issues, using a method that best suits you and your unique situation.

Some of the issues I have worked with...

Working from within various organisations and as a private practice counsellor, I have worked with a broad range of issues, including;

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Self-harm
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Bereavement
  • Grief and loss
  • Panic attacks
  • Childhood abuse
  • Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I hold a special interest in working with issues of self-identity versus the pressures and difficulties of fitting in with the expectations of society.

Experience

In addition to my private practice, I work as an NHS counsellor (since 2015), have worked as a bereavement counsellor for a local bereavement charity, and also work as a specialist mentor with university students experiencing a range of learning challenges and mental health difficulties.

Qualifications

  • First-class BA (Hons) in Integrative-Relational Counselling – Middlesex University
  • Certified Cyber Therapist (BACP endorsed online counselling) – Online Therapy Institute
  • Certificate in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – Kingston College
  • AQA Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills – Kingston College
  • Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Institute of Counselling
  • Diploma in Cognitive Coaching and Mentoring (in progress) – Institute of Counselling

Additional Training

  • Bereavement by Suicide
  • Working with Diversity
  • Alcohol Addiction and Readiness for Counselling
  • Working with Autism
  • Autism and Communication
  • Autism and Sensory Awareness
  • Autism, Stress and Anxiety
  • Autism and Supporting Families
  • Autism – Women and Girls
  • Working with Depression
  • Core Beliefs of ‘Never Good Enough’

The Counselling Agreement

Confidentiality: Confidentiality is of the highest priority, and this means that I would not talk to anyone about what we discuss. However, I am unable to guarantee absolute secrecy. Instances where confidentiality is broken are very rare, but there are occasions when I might need to talk to another trusted professional about what has been disclosed; namely, if I believe that you, or someone else, were in any kind of danger, I would have a duty of care to consult with other relevant professionals. This could include instances when I believe you might be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others, revealed or potential risk to children or vulnerable adults, knowledge of or suggested activity in terrorist related activity, or involvement in serious crime. Furthermore, if subpoenaed by the court of law to disclose confidential information, I would have a legal obligation to do so. Finally, as an actively practicing BACP registered counsellor I am required to attend regular meetings with a professionally trained supervisor, and there may be occasions when certain information is discussed. However, the supervisor is bound by the same ethical code as the counsellor, and client anonymity is always protected in such discussions, meaning that any potentially identifying material is omitted.

Anonymity: I do make notes following the session, and this helps me to keep track of key events that are discussed during therapy; these notes do not constitute part of your official health record. Such information is held for a period of time following termination of the counselling contract (usually for a period of 7 years). However, most of the material is fully coded and anonymised, and all documentation which holds any identifying information is securely stored, including use of locked filing cabinets and protected off-line and encrypted data storage, in strict accordance with GDPR and the Data Protection Act 1998 and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), under which I am a registered data controller.

Missed sessions and cancellations: If you are unable to make a scheduled appointment, I ask that you please provide a minimum of 48 hours-notice by SMS or phone; I reserve the right to charge the full fee for any cancellations or missed appointments that fall outside of this timeframe. Whenever possible, I will make best endeavours to accommodate requests for a different time or date, but if this is not possible the session will be lost.

Prior engagements: I fully understand and respect that life can be busy, and there will no-doubt be instances when you are unable to make a session, be-it holidays, important events, or any other type of engagement which might clash with a previously-booked counselling session. In such instances I ask that you try, as best you can, to let me know before the requested minimum 48 hours period. Whenever possible, I will always try to accommodate requests for a different time or date, or we could simply wait until the next scheduled appointment before meeting again.

Pre-paid block bookings: Block bookings are unsuitable for new clients – it is important that we first have a chance to meet for an initial assessment session where we can both decide whether working together longer term would be beneficial. All pre-paid block booking packages need to be used within their specific time-frame and are non-refundable; all 6 week pre-paid packages are to be used within 8 weeks of the first session. Missed session and cancellation policy applies to all pre-paid packages, and any such non-attended sessions may be lost. Exclusions to this policy apply to any pre-agreed absences prior to booking, all public holidays which might fall within the specified packaged timeframe, and any sessions for which I am unavailable; in such instances alternative dates will be offered.

Consumption of alcohol or illicit substances: For both health and therapeutic reasons, I ask that you do not consume alcohol or any illicit substance on the day of our appointment. Please note that if this condition is broken, I will be unable to work with you, but still reserve the right to charge the full fee for the session. If you are coming to counselling regarding an issue which might involve such personal practices and you have any concerns or reservations about this condition, please do contact me.

The right to refuse therapy: As a private practising counsellor, I reserve the right to refuse therapy in any instance when I might feel I could be at risk of danger, or under any kind of threat.

© 2019 Sam Gibbons Counselling

© 2019 Sam Gibbons Counselling

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