Brief counselling usually of 1-hour duration, of up to 12 sessions, for patients of the practice, referred to her by the clinical team. She works from both surgeries, seeing patients at Yew Tree Surgery on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday and Thursday at Middleton.
Counselling can be useful in a whole range of contexts: painful life events, especially losses, happen to everyone, but can sometimes stretch coping abilities to the limit. Relationships at home or at work can be a major source of stress. Low mood, depression or anxiety states can exacerbate the strain of life events, or be serious problems in themselves. In these cases and many others, counselling can provide a setting in which to explore the problem, to understand one's feelings and motives better, and to make significant changes in behaviour or perspective.
Once a referral has been made by the doctor, the counsellor will offer an initial one hour assessment session followed by up to 12 weekly sessions of one hour. After this, patients will often be given the opportunity to make occasional review appointments to ensure that they are maintaining progress. From time to time, counselling may lead to a referral for further sessions at the hospital or a specialist unit, if this is necessary and appropriate.
Patients who have used the counselling service have greatly appreciated the opportunity it provides to discuss their problems in greater depth than can be accommodated within the surgery appointment time; the great majority express satisfaction with the outcome and are sometimes surprised at just how much can be accomplished through "the talking treatment".