A confidential space to explore the thoughts, feelings and challenges in your life
Welcome and thank you for visiting Safe Place Counselling.
My name is Vanessa Phillips and I am a counsellor providing both short and long-term therapy to children, young people and adults.
We all experience times of difficulty in our lives, no matter what our age, ability or circumstance. Sometimes events or relationships feel overwhelming, or we can feel a loss of direction or purpose. Talking to a trained professional helps us make sense of those challenging times and offers a way through them, moving towards a better understanding of ourselves and our feelings.
One of the main bodies overseeing the accreditation and registration of counsellors in the United Kingdom is the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I am a registered member of BACP, which means I have met their criteria for qualified and experienced therapists and work in accordance with their ethical framework.
Counselling takes place in a safe space, where you can meet with someone who will listen with sensitivity and empathy - and without judgement. In the therapy space thoughts and feelings can be expressed freely and in confidence.
Trouble with a relationship; anxiety or panic attacks; mood swings or depression - many people face difficulties in their everyday lives that can be hard to get on top of. Counselling gives us a set of tools we can use to help gain a better understanding of what’s causing these problems - and how you can move towards managing or resolving them.
Working together I can help you gain greater insight into the difficulties you are facing, help you understand why you act or react to them the way you do, and see how you can start to make better, heathier choices moving forward.
Life brings many challenges, and it is understandable that at times we might look for support in facing them.
As someone from outside of your daily life, I am more able to see your world from your perspective, offering a chance to reflect on the difficulties or problems you are experiencing with compassion and without judgement. Talking is just one form of expression and not always easy. I can bring in more creative, alternate and accessible ways that allow us to experience your world as it suits you. Together we can explore situations in a way that leads to fresh perspectives - and perhaps a new understanding of yourself.
Counselling is a process that takes time and often patience, especially with children and young people. It is important for all parties to be committed to the process to enable trust to build. As trust builds, barriers lower. To end counselling before the process has been given chance to establish, can be harmful. Therefore, careful consideration must be given before making any commitment to the process. An initial, no commitment assessment appointment is offered to give everyone involved a chance to see if counselling is the best way forward.
People come to me for help for many reasons. Here are a few of the more common difficulties that can be supported through counselling:
Symptoms of stress or anxiety
Grief, loss or bereavement
Problems with addiction
Trauma and post-traumatic stress
Problems with confidence or self-esteem
Issues relating to identity
Difficulties at work or in retirement
Problems with family or school life
Coming to terms with a new diagnosis
I work from the convenient area of central Truro at:
The People's Palace,
I see clients from all areas of Cornwall.
Refreshments are available.
Walk and Talk Therapy sessions also available. Please contact me for further details.
Counselling sessions for all individuals over 8 yrs old last an hour, usually taking place on a weekly or fortnightly basis.
Single Counselling Sessions
Initial assessment Session
Note that if you want to cancel an appointment I require 24 hours’ notice; otherwise you will still need to pay for any sessions missed. I accept payment in cash or by bank transfer. This needs to be paid 24 hours in advance to enable the session to commence.
Everything that is said within the counselling room is private - this is one of the main ways counselling and therapy differ from talking to a friend or relative. Once you are comfortable with the format of weekly sessions and the safe space they provide, you will find the freedom to speak in confidence is of great value.
Note that there are some situations where you may be a risk to yourself or others, and there the law requires that I notify an authority; in these cases I may not be able to keep total confidentiality. Breaking confidentiality is very rare though, and only happens after the person concerned has been informed.
Usually I am asked this question by people who are nervous about entering into counselling, or when they are looking for support in coming to see a therapist. This anxiety is understandable, but a key aspect of therapy is that you should feel free to talk about any issues you feel are important to you. Having someone else with you who can be connected those issues makes this opening-up more difficult, so for this reason I do not see clients accompanied by friends or family. However, due to safeguarding reasons, I do require a parent or carer of children to be in the reception area or car park for the duration of the each appointment.
How long a period of counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues they are facing. For some adults, a couple of sessions helps to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; other problems may require more of an open-ended approach.
Before we begin any work we will agree on the number of sessions we’ll undertake, and at the end of that number review our progress. As long as we both agree further therapy will be of benefit to you, sessions can continue.
My aim is to offer a first appointment - known as an initial assessment - within 1-2 weeks. Then we would arrange a set number of counselling sessions to take place at the same time every week, that is convenient for you and where I have availabity. How quickly these sessions can begin will depend on the availabity of that free ‘slot’.
©2021 Vanessa Phillips
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