Welcome, and thank you for visiting the Rockpools Counselling site.
My name is Ben and I'm a counsellor providing both short term and long term therapy for adult individuals in Swindon and the surrounding area. As well as face to face sessions, I also offer counselling online, using FaceTime or Zoom.
We all experience times of difficulty in our lives, when events or relationships feel overwhelming and we feel at a loss or not know where to turn. Right now, perhaps you have a clear idea of what's troubling you, it's something known, an experience you struggle to process or maybe you have a diagnosis from the GP. What's going on could be more subtle, problems sleeping or often getting distracted, maybe it's just a feeling something isn't quite right in your life.
Wherever you are on your journey, I can be there alongside you, providing a safe and confidential space in which you can explore your feelings, thoughts and experiences. Talking to a trained professional helps us make sense of those challenging times and can offer a way through them, moving towards a greater understanding of ourselves.
I work with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, coming to me with a diverse range of problems. As a fully-qualified counsellor I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and abide by the BACP 'Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions'.
Making the decision to see a counsellor is a big step to take - but it can be a positive one. Please read on to find out more about how I could help you.
Life brings many challenges, and it is understandable that at times we might look for support in facing them. As a counsellor my role is to provide a space and accompany you on your journey of self-discovery; to enable you to explore your experiences, examine your life and make meaningful differences within it.
I offer a chance to reflect on the difficulties or problems you are experiencing in a safe and confidential environment, with someone from outside your day-to-day life. Together we can explore what you bring in a way that leads to fresh perspectives - and perhaps a new understanding of yourself. Counselling isn’t about giving you solutions or advice, but empowering you to make your own changes.
My approach to therapy is a person-centred one. This means the belief everyone is trying their best to get by and grow is at the core of my work. During our lives we can develop a sense of self worth based on the thoughts and opinions of others, by working in a non-judgemental way and giving you that safe space, person-centred therapy can help internalise that valuing system and facilitate healthy growth to your authentic self. Even though it might not feel like this at the moment, I believe you have the capability and resources within yourself to overcome the obstacles you're experiencing, and by doing this, move towards - and achieve - your fullest potential.
People come to me for help with a wide range of issues. Here are a few of the more common topics that I can support you with through counselling:
Problems with confidence or self-esteem
Feelings of stress or anxiety
Isolation or loneliness
Problems with addiction
Medication prescribed for mental health issues
Grief, loss or bereavement
Difficulties at work or in retirement
Anger and frustration
Counselling takes place in a safe space, where you can meet with someone who will listen with sensitivity and empathy - and without judgement. In the therapy space thoughts and feelings can be expressed freely and in confidence.
Trouble with a relationship; anxiety or panic attacks; mood swings or depression - many people face difficulties in their everyday lives that can be hard to get on top of. Counselling gives us a means to help gain a better understanding of what’s causing these problems - and how you can move towards accepting and managing them.
Working together I can help you gain greater insight into the difficulties you are facing, help you to understand why you act or react to them the way you do, and see how you can start to make better, heathier choices moving forward.
Counselling sessions for individuals last 50 minutes, usually taking place on a weekly basis, and cost £45 per session. I also provide a limited number of spaces for those on low-income or for students; contact me to enquire about availability. A free initial telephone consultation will be booked for up to 30 minutes. I accept payment by card/contactless or bank transfer.
Note that if you want to cancel an appointment I require 48 hours’ notice; otherwise you will still need to pay for any sessions missed.
I currently have limited sessions available and am holding a waiting list.
It can be scary and confusing making the decision to contact a counsellor or therapist, but in my experience people will struggle with a mental health issue, a personal crisis or problems with a relationship for much longer than is healthy. Sometimes a friend or relative has proved to be a source of comfort, but this help can only go so far. Realising that resolving a problem requires something more means you have actually already taken the first step towards improving your life.
How long a period of counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues they are facing. For some people a few sessions helps to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; other problems may require more of an open-ended approach.
Before we begin any work we will agree on the number of sessions we’ll undertake, and at the end of that number review our progress. As long as we both agree further therapy will be of benefit to you, sessions can continue.
My aim is to offer a first appointment - known as an initial assessment - within 2 weeks. Then we would arrange for the sessions sessions to take place at the same time every week, which is convenient for you and where I have availability. How quickly these sessions can begin will depend on the availability of that free ‘slot’.
[Covid-19: availability is currently reduced, sessions will be available from early May]
Everything that is said within the counselling room is private - this is one of the main ways counselling and therapy differ from talking to a friend or relative. Once you are comfortable with the format of weekly sessions and the safe space they provide, you will find the freedom to speak in confidence is of great value.
Please note there are some situations where it may sound as if you are at risk to yourself or others, if this is the case I will discuss it with you and subsequently may need to inform someone else. There are also situations where I would be required by law to share information. However, please be reassured the need to break confidentiality is very rare, and only happens after the person concerned has been informed.
Usually I am asked this question by people who are nervous about entering into counselling, or when they are looking for support in coming to see a therapist. This anxiety is understandable, however a key aspect of therapy is you feel free to talk about any issues that you feel are important to you. Having someone else with you who can be connected those issues makes this opening-up more difficult, so for this reason I do not see clients accompanied by friends or family.
©2021 Ben Sloper
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