HELENA DE KLERK
Counselling & Psychotherapy
What is counselling/therapy?
In many ways there is no one answer to this question as the experience of counselling and therapy is subjective and based on the experience each one of us has engaging with it. However, in general terms counselling and therapy are synonymous and are referred to as a talking therapy. It is clear that when we can voice what we experience inside of ourselves that this can create relief and clarity. By doing so in a safe and confidential space with a trained professional many people feel better able to navigate day-to-day life.
Why should I come to therapy?
You might have always wanted to try therapy but found it quite daunting. You might have never seen yourself as someone who might go to therapy. You may have had numerous therapies already. Therapy is there for everyone and anyone. It can help you to:
make decisions, get unstuck (or find comfort in stuckness) and create meaningful change
open up, create space, make sense of complicated thoughts and feelings
find balance and integrate inner and outer worlds
heal emotional wounds from the inside out, develop coping strategies and increase resilience
How does therapy work?
Typically therapy involves talking about what’s on your mind, however sometimes there is strength in action and there may be times when we choose to focus on behavioural activities to explore your experience or to facilitate change. Silence is powerful too and sometimes we will focus on creating space for silence in the comfort and safety of the therapeutic space. Some therapists may also incorporate art, movement or other methods to facilitate the work. Typically therapists will explore this with you at the start of therapy. I strongly believe in working transparently with my clients and aim to discuss what I think might be helpful with you.
What type of therapy should I try?
You may have come across different types of therapy or heard people use various acronyms to describe different therapies. It can often be quite confusing and difficult to know what the best approach might be. If you’d like to know more about different types of therapy, I direct you towards two websites that you might find useful (BACP and UKCP) and welcome you to contact me to discuss what’s on your mind. Together we can identify what might be helpful for you.
Do you diagnose/can I work with you if I have a diagnosis?
A diagnosis is sometimes a helpful short cut to make sense of what you are experiencing and for some people it can be a validating experience to finally put a description to the pain they have felt, however some people find diagnoses stigmatizing and an inaccurate reflection of what they experience. I believe that everyone, whether they have a diagnosis or not, can benefit from psychological therapy and look forward to exploring your unique experience with you.
If i’m struggling to leave my house, how can therapy help me?
I offer in person and remote sessions. If you are finding it difficult to leave the house we can start by working together remotely so you can start therapy from the comfort and safety of your home. I will endeavour to explore your struggle with you and help you move towards your goals whatever they might be.
What if I can’t afford to pay for therapy?
Not everyone can afford to pay for private therapy. There are other options available that I would encourage you to consider including but not limited to the following:
NHS support: most individuals will be required to self refer or be referred through their GP to their local IAPT service. For more information search for IAPT.
Charities like MIND.
If you’d like more information please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’d be happy to think with you about your current needs and circumstances.
What happens if lockdown resumes or if I choose to move my sessions online?
We are currently facing significant upheavals to daily life and I am more than happy to offer online sessions, whether out of necessity or choice. I would suggest that our sessions remain at the same time or day and occur at the same frequency to offer you continuity and stability unless we agree that another time or frequency would be better.
Will my data be kept confidentially?
I adhere to the guidance and ethical frameworks of the BPS and BACP. Information discussed in session will be treated confidentially and will not be used for any other purposes. The exception is if I have concerns about your safety or the safety of others or if there is a legal requirements to do so or if you have given me written permission to share specific information with another party. In this event I may share specific and relevant information to individuals who require this information. I will always try to discuss this with you beforehand. In this light it is also important to note that recordings of the sessions (voice or video) are not allowed without mutual written consent.
How about GDPR compliance?
Since 2018 the EU has introduced measures to ensure that personal information is kept private and secure, which is referred to as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). In line with GDPR digital material will be password protected and/or encrypted, and physical material will be kept in a locked cabinet. Any notes that are made will be anonymous and any information that contains your personal details (name, phone number, email, GP and emergency contact) will be kept separately. Any records, either physical or digital, such as worksheets, diagrams or notes will be confidentially destroyed when the therapy has ended. Information will be kept only as long as is necessary which may be a maximum of 6 years after our final session. Personal information is collected to make sure I have a way of managing my practice, communicating with you and for navigating emergencies.
My website receives, collects and stores any information you enter and it collects your Internet protocol (IP) address, e-mail address, and computer and connection information. It may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page. It does this to operate the website, offer technical support and service related messages, promote the service, gather statistical data and non-personal information to improve the service, and to comply with regulations. You have the option to choose which cookies you consent to. Any links to third parties (like the BACP, MIND or google services) may result in those parties collecting or using your data separately from the information my website may collect.
Despite all the efforts that I take to ensure your information remains confidential there might be breaches due to unforeseen circumstances. I will make every effort to mitigate this and review my data security policies regularly. If you have concerns about how your information is being processed please do let me know. You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office with whom I am registered.