Therapy

Hello and welcome to Momentum Counselling.

The phrase "it's good to talk" sums up perfectly what counselling is about. It provides a space where you can express yourself freely and be listened to without judgment. This is something unique to counselling.

Life can be stressful and difficult to deal with. Sometimes it's hard to know who to turn to or we may fear being ridiculed or rejected if we spoke openly with our loved ones.

A counsellor is someone who is trained to handle difficult emotions and experiences that you are dealing with, in a confidential, non-judgemental and supportive environment. We act as guides, helping you along in your journey to discover more about yourself.

Therapy enables you to get in touch with your emotions and provides meaning to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It can offer you a chance to explore current issues or familiar repeating patterns of behaviour which you can't quite get a grip on, no matter how hard you try.

Counselling offers you fresh perspectives on your situation, where you learn to trust your choices and decision making processes leading to a more fulfilling and contented life. Of course, things don't always go our own way, so therapy can also give you the tools to better deal with those times in life that we find challenging.

The first step to getting help is acknowledging you have a problem, so if this is you, well done for getting this far! Please take your time to look at my website and when you are ready, get in touch.

Therapy for healthy weight

Eat less and exercise more. It’s a phrase we are all too familiar with and one which seems so logical, so easy, yet so hard to attain. What’s more, it may miss the point entirely. If you have struggled with your weight and have tried every diet there is, with hard fought but short lived successes, then you may be missing one vital component that could help you. That component concerns your emotions. If you recognise yourself as an emotional or comfort eater, then unless you deal with the emotional attachments you have with food, practical methods of tackling weight such as diets, fasting, and exercise may yield few long term results. It could lead you to gaining more weight than you had to lose initially and to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

This is where therapy can come into play. Counselling gives you much needed time and space to look at your relationship with food. What was your upbringing like in relation to food? Was food used as a punishment or a reward? What does food give you that you can’t give yourself? Once we start to explore these areas and get a handle on how your past experiences play out in the present, then we can look at making changes.

I don’t offer the secret to losing weight - there isn’t one. But I do offer a non-judgemental space where you can explore your issues with me. I have several years’ experience working with overweight people, many of whom wish to have gastric surgery. Despite the challenges that people can encounter when undertaking therapy for their weight, I have had the privilege of witnessing much personal change with those I have helped. I know that change is possible. And it could happen to you too.

If you are struggling with your weight, please get in touch with me to arrange a free initial consultation.

About

Hi, my name is Luisa. I am a qualified counsellor, Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), working in Kent and online. I have a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology in addition to a Diploma in Integrative Counselling. This means I draw on a wide range of theories and approaches which enables me to adapt to your needs.

Through my experience with clients I have dealt with a variety of challenging issues such as: abuse, addiction, anger, anxiety, helplessness, low self-worth, relationships, stress and weight management. Over the years I have had the privilege of witnessing much personal change for my clients which has been a joy to see.

In addition to running my own private practice I have worked for a Tier 3 Specialist Weight Management Service helping overweight people deal with their issues around eating. I have also worked for Therapy Partners helping young people with eating disorders, typically anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

I am an Accredited Registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) which is the largest professional organisation that represents counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. Accreditation recognises my capacity for independent, ethical and competent practice. It also demonstrates that I have achieved high standards of knowledge, experience and development.

You can view my entry on the Counselling Directory here.

Fees

Free 20 minute introductory session.

All sessions thereafter are fifty minutes in length, typically on a weekly basis. Initially we can contract for six to eight weeks and review after four. Telephone and online counselling fees are paid before the session starts. I accept payment by bank transfer (BACS). I see individual adults who are 18+

  • Telephone counselling: £50
  • Online counselling using Google Meet: £50

FAQs

Is online therapy right for me?

Studies show that online therapy can be just as effective as in person counselling. There are many other benefits to being online as it makes therapy much more accessible. It opens up opportunities for people who live in remote areas, or for those who find it difficult, time consuming or expensive to travel. You can have therapy in the comfort of your own home or any other setting where you have reliable internet connection and can maintain privacy.

Online therapy is not recommended for individuals who have more serious, psychiatric illnesses where physical interventions would be required.

How much does counselling cost?

Each session costs £50 and lasts for fifty minutes. Payment is to be made by bank transfer prior to the start of the session.

How many sessions do I need?

There are no limits to the number of sessions you can have. This is solely based on your needs which we will discuss at the beginning. We will then review your progress regularly – around every 4-6 sessions. Sessions normally occur on a weekly basis however this can change depending upon your circumstances and personal requirements.

What is the length of each session?

Each session is fifty minutes in length. It’s important that you are on time for your appointment. If you are late this means your sessions will still finish at the same time.

What qualifications and experience do you have?

In addition to a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, I have a Diploma in Integrative Counselling. This means I draw from a range of different therapies instead of one particular approach, in order to adapt to your needs. I have had experience in dealing with many issues, most commonly: anxiety, depression, relationship problems, work related stress, and low self-esteem. I also specialise in counselling adults and young people with eating disorders at both ends of the spectrum.

You are Accredited. What does that mean?

I am an Accredited member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). Accreditation is awarded "through an in-depth application and assessment process" requiring me to demonstrate a real understanding of the way I work and how I help my clients. It is designed to recognise my capacity for "independent, ethical and competent practice".

What happens in the introductory session?

This is a 20-minute free-of-charge meeting which allows you to outline your issues and to see if we are the right fit. This is not a counselling session. I will run through the various practicalities of having therapy e.g. payment, how to contact me, missed appointments etc. I can also answer any questions you have about treatment. If we both decide that proceeding with me in counselling is appropriate, then we can book mutually agreeable follow-up sessions, usually held on a weekly basis at the same time. If you’re not sure, then you are free to take your time to think about your options. You are under no obligation to continue.

What can I expect from therapy?

You can expect confidentiality and respect, in a warm, non-judgmental, comfortable setting. This is your space to talk, to reflect, to laugh, to cry, to express yourself as you wish. Counselling is a collaborative process where I act as guide to your needs, helping you gain a clearer insight into your issues. Counselling is not advice giving – it seeks to increase your self-confidence so you are able to make the best decisions for you.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

I require a 24 hour notice period of cancellation, otherwise a full fee will be charged. If you miss a session without informing me, you will also be charged for the full price of the session.

When can I contact you?

You are free to contact me via email or phone during usual working hours. I aim to respond within 24 hours (Mon-Fri). For confidentiality reasons, I will not return a missed call if you have not left a message. Please note, I am not an emergency service so if you have urgent needs please take a look at the organisations listed here on the Time to Change website for who to contact.

What if I want to end therapy?

You are free to end therapy at any time. Although, it’s beneficial to have some degree of notice about finishing in order to properly manage the process. Ending any kind of relationship can give rise to strong emotions and anxiety which are better dealt with in session. Once you have decided to end therapy, we can choose a date to work towards and use the remaining time for you to get used to the idea and to ask any “what next?” questions.

What other things should I look for in a therapist?

Counsellors and psychotherapists are currently not regulated by UK law. However, these are the things you should be looking out for when searching for a therapist:

Membership of a professional body

I am a Member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). It is the leading professional body for counsellors and psychotherapists. I adhere to its ethical framework which can be found here.

Therapists are not legally required to be a member of a professional body, however by belonging to one this means they have met certain requirements set by that organisation.

Supervision

I undertake monthly supervision with a qualified counsellor each month. Supervision provides therapists with regular and ongoing opportunities to reflect in depth about all aspects of their practice in order to work as effectively, safely and ethically as possible.

Confidentiality

All therapeutic sessions we have and supervision I undertake is done in absolute confidence. Any notes I take are kept anonymous and stored securely. There may be occasions where I break confidentiality when it comes to matters of harming yourself or others, or if someone were to break the law. Confidentiality is also discussed in the initial session.

Privacy Policy

Introduction

Your privacy is very important to me and you can be confident that your personal information will be kept safe and secure and will only be used for the purpose it was given to me. I adhere to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) (the GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

This privacy notice tells you what I will do with your personal information from initial point of contact through to after your therapy has ended, including:

  • What data I keep and why I need it
  • Whether I share your data with anyone and if so, who I share it with and for what purpose
  • How I protect and store your data
  • How long I store your data for and how I dispose of it
  • Your data protection rights

I am happy to chat through any questions you might have about my data protection policy and you can contact me via luisa@momentumcounselling.co.uk.

"Data controller" is the term used to describe the person/ organisation that collects and stores and has responsibility for people's personal data. In this instance, the data controller is me.

My lawful basis for holding and using your personal information

The GDPR states that I must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. There are different lawful bases depending on the stage at which I am processing your data. I have explained these below:

If you have had therapy with me and it has now ended, I will use legitimate interest as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information.

If you are currently having therapy or if you are in contact with me to consider therapy, I will process your personal data where it is necessary for the performance of our contract.

The GDPR also makes sure that I look after any sensitive personal information that you may disclose to me appropriately. This type of information is called "special category personal information". The lawful basis for me processing any special categories of personal information is that it is for provision of health treatment (in this case counselling) and necessary for a contract with a health professional (in this case, a contract between me and you).

How I use your information

Initial contact

When you contact me with an enquiry about my counselling services I will not record any details about you. The only information I have at this point relates to the method/s of communication you have used to reach me, e.g phone number, email address.

If you decide not to proceed I will ensure all your personal data is deleted within one month. If you would like me to delete this information sooner, just let me know.

While you are accessing counselling

If you do decide to proceed with therapy, I will collect the following information: full name, date of birth, address, email address, phone number, GP details.

I will keep a record of your personal details to help the counselling services run smoothly. These details are kept securely on paper in a locked filing cabinet and are not shared with any third party.

I will keep written notes of each session, these are kept securely on paper in a separate locked filing cabinet.

For security reasons I do not retain text messages for more than one month. Likewise, any email correspondence will be deleted after one month if it is not important. Personal data sent and collected by email is printed for paper storage; the email is then deleted.

Everything you discuss with me is confidential. That confidentiality will only be broken if: there are serious concerns about the safety of a child or a vulnerable adult; you mention any harm to yourself or others; there is an obligation on me by law to do so. I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.

After counselling has ended

Once counselling has ended, all identifiable paper/electronic information will be destroyed/deleted after one month. Your paper session notes are kept for seven years from the end of our contact with each other, as per the requirements of my insurance company, and then shredded.

Data security

I take the security of the data I hold about you very seriously and as such I take every effort to make sure it is kept secure. My mobile phone, voicemail and computer are password protected. Records kept on paper are stored securely in locked filing cabinets.

Your rights

If you wish to remove your agreement to my use of your data at any time, please let me know.

You can read more about your rights at ico.org.uk/your-data-matters.

Visitors to my website

When someone visits my website, I use a third party service, UK2.net to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. I do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way that does not identify anyone. I do not make, and do not allow UK2.net to make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website.

I use legitimate interests as my lawful basis for holding and using your personal information in this way when you visit my website.

You can read UK2.net's privacy notice here uk2.net/terms-and-conditions/privacy-policy/.

No user-specific data is collected by me or any third party.