Questions about counselling




What is counselling?


Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing.

You should expect one or a series of confidential, professional appointments of 50 minutes in length in a suitable private setting.

I am an experienced psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist.



Does counselling work?


I believe there is very strong evidence that counselling helps people understand themselves. This is both from my personal experience as a therapist but also from academic research evidence.

The current research evidence indicates that counselling can be an effective intervention for a range of presenting issues, from common mental health problems, to personality disorders, substance misuse, and long term health conditions, and that it can be utilised successfully with various client groups. Different counselling interventions are reported to have comparable treatment efficacy, and can have greater clinical effectiveness than usual care and other forms of treatment such as pharmacotherapy. Counselling also has the potential to be a cost effective intervention when compared with the available alternatives.

The BACP has carried out a lot of research and provides good evidence that can be found here: Evidence for counselling and psychotherapy.

Evidence for Psychodynamic counselling:
"Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic therapy. Effect sizes for psychodynamic therapy are as large as those reported for other therapies that have been actively promoted as “empirically supported” and “evidence based.” In addition, patients who receive psychodynamic therapy maintain therapeutic gains and appear to continue to improve after treatment ends. Finally, non psychodynamic therapies may be effective in part because the more skilled practitioners utilize techniques that have long been central to psychodynamic theory and practice. The perception that psychodynamic approaches lack empirical support does not accord with available scientific evidence and may reflect selective dissemination of research findings." 


What issues can you work with?


I am comfortable working with a very wide range of issues. I am particularly experienced in dealing with the following:
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Trauma and recovery 
  • LGBT and sexuality 
If your particular concern or issue is not listed here, please call me to discuss if it is something I can work on with you. I have experience in many areas and have worked with a diverse range of people and issues.


Starting Therapy 


What happens in the first session? 

I want you to get the most from your counselling. Before we begin we will arrange a time and a day to meet, this will be our regular weekly meeting time. A weekly session is important to provide continuity and stability to our work. I am aware that for some people starting counselling can feel daunting. It is part of my job to help you think about this and work through any difficulties. During the first session I will spend time finding out about you and may ask a lot of questions. We will agree a contract of how things will work and make sure you are happy with the details. We may agree a focus for the counselling, this is particularly important in short term work. We may also agree to work on an open-ended basis if you are looking to think more generally about your life.

Are all sessions like this?

Subsequent sessions will not have so many questions and I will allow lots of time for you to bring your particular concerns. I will expect you to start the session each week and to lead our discussions. I find this allows you to take the direction of the session were it needs to go. This enable you to get the most from each session. However my job is to keep us focused on the agreed area and to not avoid important issues.

Will you tell me what to do?

Sadly there is no magic fix, I can't prescribe pills or tell you what to do. Instead we will sit in comfortable chairs and you will do most of the talking. I do the listening and then reflect back and interpret what I have heard. I believe this will allow you to understand your past and make informed decisions about your future life.  Counselling with me is a joint effort, we think about what is happening in your life in the present and in the past. You may wish to make changes in your life and this may help you make decisions but I do not tell you what to do. It can however lead to you making better informed decisions about change in your life.

How long does a session last?

All sessions last 50 minutes. It is important to start and finish on time and I will be responsible for ending on time. 

How much does counselling cost?

Standard Rate - £60 per session
Low Cost/Student Rate - Please contact me for details.

I currently have some low cost places available during the day. Please call me to discuss this.

How many sessions will I need?

It is difficult to be firm about the exact number of sessions until we meet. In our first session we can agree the duration or we can agree to meet for an open-ended period of time. Any agreed number of sessions can be extended after discussion.

I offer both counselling and psychotherapy. I think of counselling as being focused on a particular issue or problem. This is usually for a short term, fixed number of weeks. Psychotherapy has no specific focus and is open ended in duration. What we discuss can change in each session but themes often emerge. It can be a more intense, deeper experience that takes time but can be more rewarding.


How can I contact you?


I prefer if you call and leave a message. I will call you back as soon as I am able, usually the same day.

07985 495 432

This is a confidential number and voicemail that only I have access to. Please leave a clear message with a number to call you back on and if possible the best times to call you. 

I can also be contacted on the following email therapy@kenclarkecounsellor.co.uk

Please let me know a number I can call you back on and a suitable time to call. We can then discuss setting up an initial meeting.


Equality and Diversity

To me equal opportunity means I recognise and respect the different and equal needs of individuals that I work with. I aim to be accessible and promote my counselling service on a fair and equal basis.

I live and work in an area of incredible richness and diversity. I am strongly committed to recognise and support the diversity of the people I work with. I am committed to equal opportunities in all the services that I offer. 

I have worked with a wide range of clients from many backgrounds. I want to provide a positive experience to those of any ethnic or national origin, religion, gender, class, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. My training and ongoing personal development supports my understanding and awareness of the inequalities in accessing good psychological support for people from these backgrounds.

My counselling room in Forest Gate is up one flight of stairs. if you have any specific requirements please let me know.


What is psychodynamic counselling?


Psychodynamic counselling seeks to relieve mental suffering by uncovering the patterns of thinking; feeling and behaving which are hidden beneath the surface but reveal themselves in the relationship with the counsellor. You will talk about your current situation but we will also think about your past and childhood. This uncovers information and knowledge that can be used to develop new ways of thinking and behaving.

How do I know you are trust worthy?


I am a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and work using it's ethical framework. If you have any concerns about who I am they are able to confirm my professional status. I am also able to provide copies of qualifications etc. on request.



I fully support the BACP Equality and Diversity Policy Statement

"Our aims are to be supportive, fair, just and free from discrimination. In line with these objectives, we will challenge discrimination based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation; actively promote equality and diversity; and ensure that the legislation and policy requirements within the nine protected characteristics of equality and diversity are implemented into all our working practices."