Richard Stiles Counselling & Coaching

The Counselling Relationship

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The relationship between you and me is like no other. I know nothing about you except what you choose to share with me. I have no preconceptions about you that others in your life may have. For example, family members may have expectations of you based on your position in the family and their perception of you. Friends may have similar expectations or you may feel you need to live up to some kind of ideal in their eyes. In our relationship I will encourage you to be as open and honest as possible without fear of being judged. Of course, that fear may very well exist at the beginning but as time passes the aim is that you will feel comfortable enough to share with me things that you would find difficult to share with others. You may not have shared some of these things with yourself before, or said them out loud. This is part of the relationship that we build together. In a way it is like talking to yourself frankly about who you are and what makes you tick. Nothing is wasted or irrelevant as it all provides insights into how you view the world and your place in it.

Our relationship exists in the bubble of the therapy room. We have no contact outside of it. This is very important as it protects the integrity of what makes it so unique – confidentiality. Nothing leaks out of the bubble (except if you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or others). What you say to me in the room is confidential and will not be shared with others in your life. This bubble creates a safe place to explore whatever you want to. Of course we may exchange emails to reschedule a session, or something similar, but we have no therapeutic contact outside of the room. If we were to bump into each other outside (which can happen – I go shopping, too), we will normally agree to simply acknowledge each other and walk on. In this confidential relationship you can really express your feelings about life that you wouldn’t dream of sharing in others’ company.

I don’t tell you what I think you should do. Instead I help you explore your choices and examine what is meaningful to you. This may feel strange at first as you may have come to therapy wanting answers from me. I will encourage you to accept that there are no right or wrong answers, only solutions that make sense to you and how you choose to see the world.  If this is frustrating then we can simply explore the frustration as it is happening.

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