Q and A

If your question isn’t answered below or if you want more information, please call me on (02) 8005 4852 or 0427 405 832 for a free, 10 minute chat to see if we can work together or Email me.

Q: What’s the difference between therapy, counselling and coaching?

A: The way I think of it is related to the amount of distress or emotional pain you are experiencing: we will do therapy if and when you are in pain, we’ll do counselling for those issues that are difficult and distressing and we’ll do coaching for those issues that are just difficult to do. You’ll see some overlap there and that’s true. In fact, we’ll probably spend some time doing each as our issues usually manage to present us with at least a couple of those three levels of difficulty.

Q: What is Developmental Coaching?

A:  Developmental Coaching is based on the understanding that we continue growing and maturing throughout our adult lives and aims to help you in that process.  There’s now a lot of evidence that our development can continue in several dimensions as we move through adulthood and I’m passionately committed to helping those who are interested to pursue and develop their potential.

Q: If I come to you does that mean that I’m sick or weak?

A: I certainly don’t think so. I’ve spent many hours and much money  myself in therapy/counselling/coaching and, while I have been very distressed at times, thinking of myself as sick doesn’t feel right.  And I always learned something new that helped me grow.  There are times that we all need help and our society, for all its strengths, has made it more difficult for us to find the deep personal support we used to get from our wider family or from religious leaders.  It’s also widely accepted that modern life is more complex and personally conflicted for us (family v work, family v me, drugs, internet, …) than for our parents and grandparents.  So seeking help seems to me more sensible and much more hopeful than suffering in silence, or just making do.

Q: How long will this take?

A: That will depend on what you want to achieve.  As I say on the welcome page, my goal for you is stable, long term change but I understand that, for many reasons (time, urgency, cost, etc.) a fast, effective make-do may be the best option for you.  And I know from my own experience that a quick fix can sometimes set the wheels of more lasting change in motion.  So I’d recommend that you be prepared to invest in six sessions.  I will ask you to briefly assess your progress and how well we’re working together in each session and more thoroughly after every three sessions to let us both get a feel for whether we should continue and how best to proceed.

Q: Do you work with gays?

A: Yes, certainly.

Q: Are you comfortable working with my spiritual stuff?

A: Yes, indeed. While I’m a secular or non-theistic Buddhist, I’m familiar with both Christianity (father was Catholic, mother C of E) and Judaism (mother-in-law); I’m not so familiar with Islam but am happy to learn.  Spiritual practice, and the ethical and behavioural imperatives that are derive from it, is central to my life and to my practice with clients.  I’m very aware of how important spirituality and religion are to many people and am happy to meet you in your spiritual and/or religious orientation.

Q: I, or my loved one, have had a frightening medical diagnosis and am very upset. Can I talk to you about it?

A: Yes, please do. I’ve also had a scary diagnosis and surgery, so have some understanding of how you might be feeling. While mortality is a big issue for all of us, it’s sometimes only when the possibility of death is raised by our doctor that we begin really to understand that this can happen to us and may now happen much sooner than we had hoped or planned for. This radical undermining of everything that we hold dear is a huge emotional challenge and I would feel privileged to help you with it. I work as a subsidised counsellor with Blue Mountains Cancer Help so have a range of experience with folks in your situation.

Q: Do you work with people with substance abuse issues.

A: I’m very happy to work with people who simply want to reduce their social use of drink, tobacco or other drugs but my skills do not include working with people in active, serious addiction. I do have experience working with people in early recovery where those people are actively involved in a support group like AA, NA, Smart Recovery or similar and have access to qualified and regular medical support. If this is you, then I am happy to work with you if you commit to showing up for sessions clean/sober and free of after-effects while we’re working together.