24 March 2020

Professional, confidential, friendly counselling in central Exeter



**ONLINE VIDEO & TELEPHONE SESSIONS AVAILABLE  **

Serious about making changes in your life?



If you are looking for a therapist you have taken a courageous first step. Life can be hard for us all at times.  I love the work I do; helping people to explore what's troubling them in order to live more fulfilling lives.

I work privately from beautiful premises on Southernhay, right in
the centre of Exeter, Devon, with a wide spectrum of people with many differing presenting issues. Professional, approachable, open-minded and non-judgmental, I have the utmost respect for your individuality and life circumstances. 

I draw from several reputable theories of practice enabling me to work effectively, progressively and collaboratively with individuals and couples.

Offering a fully professional service I am fortunate enough to be able to work full-time at my dedicated Exeter practice, seeing clients five days a week. I do short, medium and long term therapeutic and supportive work.

I am committed to facilitating the exploration of the issues you bring. If you are serious about committing the time and energy required I invite you to make contact to arrange an initial appointment.



This site is where you can find out information about counselling and how it can help you, my personal approach and services offered, and some details about my background, by clicking on the information tabs above. 

This is also a blogsite which I use to make regular posts about my work and continuing professional development as a counsellor. Click here for my Articles.

I would be very happy to discuss your requirements should you be interested in coming along for counselling. Embarking on a course of counselling can be daunting and I aim to help you feel relaxed and confident that you make the choice that is right for you.

Regulation 


Please, whoever you decide to have counselling with,  whether individual or agency, ensure that they are registered with an adequate professional body. The BACP is the largest professional body and have a robust complaints procedure which is why I choose to be registered with them. BACP Accredited status is an established, recognised and accepted assurance of experience and maturity as a practitioner. Without membership of a self-regulating professional body then clients have no recourse should they feel that they are being treated unethically. At the moment, there is nothing to stop people practising as counsellors without this protection for their clients. Following the dreadful scandal involving the Exeter based Palace Gate Counselling Service I researched and wrote about this topic on this post about the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy

I spent several years campaiging for the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy along with Phil Dore via the website Unsafe Spaces. I have taken a step back from this to focus on my practice (March 2018).



Check my BACP Registration entry here  




Registered with WPA Health Insurance 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but in the case of therapists lifting content directly from other therapists' websites I reckon that this is not good for our clients and does not reflect well on either ourselves as practitioners with integrity nor the profession as a whole. We all take inspiration from other professionals but please at least change some of the words and sentences around. I am proud of the content of my website which has been carefully constructed over many years of practice and have been concerned to see some of my site lifted almost word for word on other therapist sites. 

Google Plus 

Reassurance in light of recent guidelines regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

**24th March 2020 - FOLLOWING CURRENT GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS ALL SESSIONS WILL BE VIA VIDEO OR TELEPHONE FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS**

In light of the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic I have provided some information mainly aimed at existing clients but also useful for potential clients considering starting therapy.

Telephone and video therapy

I am ensuring that I am able to continue to provide therapy sessions via WhatsApp and Facetime video (these are both end-end encrypted and therefore more secure platforms) and Skype (this is less secure; there is a very small chance that the conversation may be intercepted). All these mediums are free. I am also happy to have telephone sessions and I will call you so no charge will be incurred by you.

We will need to establish connection via the chosen format prior to the session so please provide me with the correct mobile phone number to use (for WhatsApp and Facetime) or send a contact request to amandagwilliamson on Skype.

Please ensure you are in a private space. Some therapists have told me that their clients are using their car for privacy which I think is a good idea in the absence of another suitable private space.

If via video, it is better if I am able to see your head and upper body where possible. It might be worth wearing headphones. I have good data connectivity; it might be worth using wi-fi if your telephone data signal is impaired.

I advise that you give yourself sufficient time and space either side of the session in order to be in the right head space. It can feel a little confusing with no journey to and from the therapy room. I have been doing video and telephone sessions for several years so it is familiar territory for me. I am also suitably insured.

Continuity

During these uncertain times I have decided to keep existing client sessions at the same time and day each week. I do have some flexibility over the next few weeks so can look at temporarily adjusting appointment times to ensure my clients are able to find a private space for their sessions to take place.


Please refer to the original therapeutic contract in respect of cancellations and sickness:



      Cancellations made at least one week in advance - no fee payable
      Between one week and 48 hours in advance – half fee payable
      Less than 48 hours – full cost of the session is payable

Cancellation charges also apply in the event of sickness and poor weather conditions. Telephone sessions and usually Skype or FaceTime/WhatsApp Video sessions are available by prior arrangement if you are unable to physically attend.



General anxiety around COVID-19

There is quite understandably a lot of anxiety around the ever changing situation. Please limit your exposure to the onslaught of information regarding this pandemic. If we expose ourselves to a constant drip feed of panic inducing articles we do not improve outcome and may even harm our psychological and emotional wellbeing. Of course we need to be prudent in this unprecedented situation and work together to protect the more vulnerable in society. My suggestion is to spend some time once a day, maximum twice a day, reading government updates https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response which includes a link to the NHS coronavirus updates.

As always I recommend the use of mindfulness apps such as Headspace and Calm (especially their Breathe feature; good for help with calming down breathing). Eating well, exercising (eg walking, running, yoga if well enough) and good sleep hygiene (definitely no reading about coronavirus in bed!) are steps that we can all take to maximise our physical and mental wellbeing.

I look forward to connecting and continuing our work together and will contact clients directly should there be any further developments.


Amanda

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