When a client decides to end their time with me, I ask them to complete an evaluation form so that I can take on board feedback about the service I provide. Some of my clients have been kind enough to grant me permission to put some of their comments here. Their identities are kept strictly confidential, but I hope that their words are of benefit to you.
After 20 sessions, this female client said:
"My therapy 100% helped me feel better, whether my difficulties are ‘resolved’ I couldn’t say. You helped me get difficult conversations off my chest, and shoulders.. and I feel lighter from it. From the start you made me feel welcome and comfortable and helped me navigate my way through the moments of my past that I was struggling with. You helped me realise and identify aspects that had been weighing down on me for a long time. And by talking them through I’ve come away feeling lighter and more at peace. Thank you."
After just over 6 months of weekly sessions, this male client said
"...I feel the therapy has opened up new avenues of thought, allowing me to question my rationale in a gentle, kinder way, see things differently and avoid repeating mistakes of the past by recognising ingrained but unhelpful reactions to situations. Perhaps most importantly of all, therapy has allowed me to accept that I am who I am, that there is no definitive answer to all these questions that I have and that it’s ok to be me."
Following approximately two and a half years of therapy, this male client fed back to me:
"Attending therapy with Richard was the first time I felt I had permission to ask whether I was ‘OK’, and to potentially begin investigating and understanding my own personal needs as a priority... I have had to accept that life will be an eternal work in progress and that I will need to be attentive to the likely reincarnations of any unhelpful traits I’ve picked up along the journey so far. However, what Richard’s sessions have done is give me a clearer idea of who I am and why I am how I am. With that knowledge, I can more confidently identify and challenge any knee-jerk responses or biased decisions I might make, and challenge myself to explore what better options there might be to choose from, which could help me grow, rather than always stay the same...I have Richard to thank for living a more honest life and being better equipped to mediate between my thoughts and my actions."
Following 48 weekly sessions over almost a year, this female client reported
"The support I received helped me more than I could have anticipated. I was consistently supported, I learned how to look at things in new and different ways, I learned ways to cope, ways to resolve, and most importantly learned a lot about myself, all thanks to the work I did with Richard.
Richard was always very structured and boundaried, which was what I needed from him, and I felt that he met me where I was, as it were. I feel infinitely more able to cope with life’s difficulties because of Richard’s help. I feel confident in myself, and feel I can trust myself. I am a happier and less anxious person now."
In a different section of the feedback form, this client went on to say
"I just have a lot of gratitude for everything you did. I really appreciated your professionalism and your sense of humour and warmth. I was able to be totally honest with you and most importantly I was able to be honest with myself. THANK YOU!!!!!"
After 38 sessions, this male client said
"I learned a lot over the year and benefitted as a whole, not just in my issues of concern."
Following 18 sessions, this male client fed back to me
"I found my sessions with Richard extremely helpful, giving me the confidence to talk about what I felt I needed and wanted to. I feel I have come away from these sessions more confindent, calm and much more able to rationally deal with a number of situations in my life which before hand I would have struggled with."
After more than 40 sessions this male client put on their feedback form
"I came to you Richard at a time in my life where I was in a bit of a crisis and certainly needed some help to make sense of a lot of conflict that I was experiencing mentally. I have to say that coming to see you was the best thing that I could have done not only for my personal sanity but in order to avoid the potential problems that were starting to appear as a result of not being able to address these issues on my own. For meeting and working with you I will be forever thankful that I found the right person, you."
Following approximately 20 sessions of counselling, this male client said
"My attendance at first was full of reluctance. Mostly because I felt any issues I had were not deserving of therapy. I spent ten years trying to just get on with it. Only when I had the opportunity to explain things to Richard did I realise that I had every right to be there, and my issues were not irrelevant. A big part of moving forward for me had to do with accepting that I had indeed suffered — and trying being ok with that thought alone before anything else. Richard enabled that."
Following six months of weekly sessions, this female client said.
"I think sometimes it took me a while to realise what my own feelings were, but I always felt like you were trying to help me unravel them, so if they weren’t clear at first you always had the patience to go through it with me bit by bit."
And that same client also fed back to me...
"Thank you for helping me through a very difficult time. When I sought your help I knew that I couldn’t cope with everything that was going on in my life and was worried that I was headed towards a bit of a mental collapse.
I needed to pour out all the mess from my head and to make sense of it all and find a way of coping with stuff that just felt too much for me.
You listened when I needed to have a rant; you asked questions that meant something; you offered excellent, practical advice when I asked for it; you met me at the level I was at and helped me find my way again.
It has made the world of difference to me, I feel my head has had a good spring clean, my relationships are more healthily balanced and I gained a lot for myself & my business with the practical bits of advice you offered."
After 12 sessions, this female client said...
"It seems unlikely that 12 one-hour sessions with a therapist could make so much difference to a life, but they have. When I started this journey, I was lost. I no longer knew who or where I was, I knew only that I couldn’t bear to be there any longer. Your skill as a therapist created a sanctuary for me, a safe, compassionate place in which to come to terms with my past and how it has shaped me, accept the harm that has been done to me and lay it to rest. You helped me regain the courage to find my way through and out of the pain that I have lived with for so long now. You unerringly knew when to shine a light into dark corners I haven’t dared look at for years, corners I didn’t even know were there sometimes, and I found that they were not scary after all. You walked beside me as I found my way out of the jungle in which I was lost and I could not have done it without your help."
Following 18 sessions, I received the following comments from a male client.
"It Has awakened me to a deeper understanding of my behaviour and attitudes which has given me scope to make alternative choices and not be stuck in the default pattern of always doing what I believe is expected!" He went on to say. "...I have been staggered at the difference this has made to my life, reaching right to the core of my being...and am now unlearning more than I am learning, and feeling so much more fulfilled."
After 12 sessions, this male client fed back the following.
"Cannot begin to say how (our) time spent has improved the way I look at myself and life in general. Thank you, it has changed the way I look at things for the better in all ways."
This male client, said the following after ten sessions.
"Getting help has been life changing for me. It helped me to slowly become the person I wanted to be again and has helped me to clean up my life. Richard I really am grateful for your time, kindness and support!"
Following 8 months of weekly sessions, this female client put on her feedback form...
"It helped me come to terms with what I had to do and think about the possibilities of not doing it. It straightened my thinking about it." And of the location she said, "The drive and to be in green space was very calming and restful."
After completing 15 weekly sessions, this male client said
To an extent, I think I arrived hoping for someone to tell me what to do. I realise now that it doesn’t work like that, and waiting for someone else to steer my life is something that I do a lot and shouldn’t."
After ten sessions, this female client said that her therapy had.
"Helped me to think more positively about aspects of myself & my responses to my situation."
Following three months of weekly sessions, this female client reflected...
"I appreciate that the venue was away from work and that the timings were fitted as much as possible around work. Your positive, quiet, calm manner whilst a little disconcerting at the beginning really helped me to feel safe about discussing issues I wasn’t sure I could discuss with anyone. I hope that I can remember all the words of wisdom you imparted so that I move on with my life! Lastly, but very not least thank you very much."
After just four sessions, this female client said...
"I would like to thank you again for making me realise why I think/act the way I do. I feel so confident that I can make the right choices for me now.
I don’t feel scared to do things for myself & I‘m not afraid to say how I really feel. I believe this will help me in all aspects of my life (work, social, personal) and a big thank you for making me smile again!!"
This male client attended seven months of weekly sessions. He said...
"I genuinely believe that the sessions have been one of the most benefiting and worthwhile experiences of my life to date, and I am extremely grateful..." He went on to say, "Therapy was not what I expected, having never been before, but I found it extremely rewarding because I was not given instructions or told answers...which meant that I worked things out for myself. I did not expect this, and it is what made the sessions so beneficial for me."
After completing 8 sessions, this female client said that her therapy was...
"...very useful in helping me to explore my current issues and feelings. It was a positive place to help me gain some further insight into myself... The room was a comfortable and positive environment that made me feel safe and able to share and explore things with you."
Following a total of 22 sessions this female client said...
"I cannot thank you enough. Your style of counselling worked for me brilliantly. You listen well and questioned me in such a way that I felt my thoughts, feelings were still my own, you were just helping me to understand them and view them differently. I have spent the majority of my life very much in a sad way. I feel great now and I really hope that will continue. If there are any blips then I am very comfortable about coming back to see you."
After 9 months, this female client wrote...
"Thank you for all the help you have given me over the last few months. Before I started therapy I was struggling with a lot of issues that I felt I was unable to talk to anybody about. You were not just a listening ear, but encouraged me to look at myself and others differently. Now that I have had therapy with you, I feel much more positive about myself and my life."
Following 8 sessions, this female client commented...
"The therapy I have received has helped me and is helping resolve the initial issues I had/have along with my life as a whole...so I will be able to help myself when the circumstances arise that in the past have troubled me so much.
It was an absolutely beautiful setting...Even though it took me almost an hour to drive to it was really very well worth it.
I could never have thought over 8 weeks ago that I could feel how I do now. I feel that I have far more awareness of the reason I may feel the way I do at times, but I now know that I can help myself to challenge my thoughts and by doing this I can actually have some control over my feelings.
Richard I am truly grateful to you for listening, understanding, challenging, informing and educating me on being me."
After completing 6 sessions, this male client wrote...
"I felt very understood and believed by you. The things you picked up on and fed back to me were spot on, giving me much food for thought and I always felt you were genuinely interested in what I had to say.
…I didn’t have particularly high expectations to be honest. I really valued our sessions and for the first time felt some rapport, between a counsellor and myself – thank you."
After 3 months, this female client said...
"The Arlington venue was very accommodating, private, peaceful and safe.
Your non judgemental, humanistic approach contributed greatly to me feeling safe enough to open up."
After 5 sessions this male client said...
In the few sessions that I had, I came to the conclusion that I’m the only person who can change the way I am. Talking with you has helped me considerably in reaching that goal."
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I have checked on the governments website https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/uk-gdpr-guidance-and-resources/ and while I have no legal obligations in this area, I do have an ethical duty to adhere to the principles of the legislation, and I am happy to do so.
Counselling and psychotherapy is a confidential activity. I do not share clients’ personal data with others. The exception being that if I believe that a client is at risk of seriously harming themselves, or someone else then I reserve the right to break confidentiality in order to prevent harm. The other exception is that if I am ordered to by a court of law, then I would have to. This would be following a court order, signed by a judge. The police or anyone else have no right to obtain details of my clients without a signed court order.
So what information do I store? Your name, address, phone number and that of your General Practitioner are noted on paper and kept locked away separately from all other paperwork.
I do keep notes about my sessions with clients, and these are not identifiable by name, just a code that only I know. These notes are again stored on paper and are kept locked away separately. I do not keep any client records stored electronically. However clients’ phone numbers and their first name are stored on my phone and if you email me then your email address will be recorded within the hard drive of my lap top.
Client’s may withdraw consent for me to hold the above information at any time and may ask for any information I hold to be sent to them. I have a duty to comply with any such request within one month.