Paula Harvey Counselling Online Counsellor in Westbury near Melksham, Wiltshire

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"There will come a time in your life when you realise that if you stand still now, you will remain at this point forever - you realise that if you fall and stay down, life will pass you by" Extract from a poem by Vicki Silvers


What is counselling?

As a counsellor I am very aware that people may feel nervous about working with a therapist, however I encourage you to take the risk by providing a safe, empathic, confidential, non judgemental and supportive space, together we can explore your feelings in a way that you may never have been able to before, gaining insight into your life. Some client's express this as if a weight has been lifted which often brings a huge sense of relief and may release much needed energy. Talking about difficult feelings can help to reduce discomfort, you may feel less confused and be empowered to make changes in your life, or come to terms with things that can’t be changed.

What does the Counsellor do?

My role as your counsellor is to provide you with a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space to talk; listen and respond in a supportive way with empathy, to help you find out why you feel as you do; to help you explore what choices there are for you in order for you to feel more at peace with yourself and your life. I do not give advice, make decisions for you or make judgements about your situation.

What is expected of you the Client?

Clients are encouraged to talk about their feelings which may be difficult and painful. You will be offered an initial session to help you to clarify what brings you to counselling and what you hope to get from it, giving you the opportunity to see if my experience and style of working matches what you need at this time. Often just clarifying and talking about your specific issues can bring an enormous sense of relief and release much needed energy. We will meet weekly, usually on the same day and time each week. Your session will last 50 minutes. Client's usually contract for an initial 6 sessions, and then review and agree to further sessions by mutual consent.

Why do people have Counselling?

There are many reasons for seeking counselling or therapy. You may be feeling upset, distressed and have problems with your feelings, thoughts, behaviour and your relationships with others. You may have had a life crisis such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, illness or other loss. You may have anxiety, depression or work related stress. You may feel that you lack direction and that life makes no sense, what ever the reasons making the decision to seek help is the first step towards a more positive state of wellbeing.

• Addiction, Dependency, Alcohol, Drugs, Over eating, Gambling etc.
• Adult survivors of abuse, emotional, physical, sexual.
• A need to be able to relate to themselves and others in a more authentic way.
• Bereavement including pet.
• Curiosity to understand themselves more deeply.
• Dealing with effects of trauma.
• Difficulty building satisfactory relationships with other people.
• Eating disorders.
• Feelings of depression, low mood, sadness.
• Feelings of loneliness, anxiety or isolation.
• Feeling unhappy, confused, angry or dissatisfied.
• Health problems.
• Infertility.
• Lack of worth, low self-esteem.
• Relationship difficulties.
• Self-injury.
• Sexuality.
• Stress.
• Termination of pregnancy.
• Work related problems, accidents, redundancy, stress etc.
• Any problem or difficulty can be discussed in the strictest confidence.

Counselling Young people from 16 years of age

When counselling young people I adhere to the same BACP ethical framework confidentiality guidelines. I understand that parents/carers might have questions about the counselling a young person receives. During the initial session I am happy to meet jointly with the young person and parent/carer for a few minutes to explain what the sessions will involve, however after the initial 15 minutes the session will then continue between myself and the young person. It is important that young people choose to come to counselling, if they come and it is not their choice, then counselling can prove ineffective.

I do NOT provide regular updates to parents/carers on my client’s progress. In order for the therapeutic relationship to develop and be effective it is important to build a therapeutic relationship with the client where they can trust me and be honest about their thoughts and feelings. If a young person is aware that I regularly update an adult on their progress, this will prevent a young person engaging with the counselling process and they will not benefit from the experience. If it is appropriate I encourage young people to share with their parents/carers what’s happening within the sessions if they feel happy to do so. As with all my clients if I am concerned that a young person might be at risk I would encourage them to speak to their parent/carer, if they are not able to do so I would explain to them that I would need to speak to their parent/carer about any concerns I might have.

Every Accomplishment in Life Starts with a Decision to Try.



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