Ben Middleton


About counselling and psychotherapy

We can all feel a bit lost sometimes. It can be quite daunting to take that first step and seek help. I know for me at a time I needed it, counselling made all the difference. This page tells you a bit about counselling and what to expect when you come to see me.  I hope it answers your questions , feel free to get in touch with any more you might have. I look forward to hearing from you.

What is counselling?

Counselling and psychotherapy are fairly broad descriptions for a range of, mainly, talking therapies. What they tend to have in common is that you and the therapist will work together to understand the challenges you face and to try and find a way through them.

I take a client centred approach - which means that you are in control of the sessions and what we talk about. However, I can bring in elements from different types of counselling where we both think that might help.

We may also find ourselves working in different ways - for example using creative methods to help you think about things from a different angle, or to help you find a way to understand difficult feelings.

How should I choose a counsellor?

It is really important that you feel comfortable with your counsellor or psychotherapist. Whoever you decide to work with, meet them and ask as many questions as you like. Your counsellor won't usually tell you anything about their personal life, but they should be happy to talk about their training, experience and how they work. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with the counsellor you choose to work with, 

The terms counsellor and psychotherapist are not legally defined and are sometimes used interchangeably. Always look out for whether they are registered with a professional body. The two most common are BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), and UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy). Both these bodies regulate their members and ensure there are clear standards and methods for complaining if things go wrong. 

What happens when we first meet?

Our first session is about finding out if I am the right therapist for you and discussing what you hope to get from our work. You will be able to ask any questions you have, I'll ask you about what has brought you to therapy and I'll take you through some of the practicalities.

There is no obligation to continue working with me after this initial session. And I will usually suggest you go away and reflect on how it felt before you commit to continuing.

If you decide to work with me, we'll agree a set time for weekly counselling in Brighton. This is usually at a the same time each week, but I aim to be flexible and will discuss this with you in our first session.

How long will I need counselling for?

This really depends on you and is not a question any counsellor can reliably answer at the beginning of the work.

You may have a very specific issue you want to resolve or you may be looking for more general support in exploring your world. The minimum number of sessions I recommend is six, people are often looking for longer term support.

We would keep this under review. It is always your decision to come for counselling and we can stop whenever you want. I would always recommend that we discuss it before you end your counselling and, ideally, plan for the end of counselling if we have been working together for a while

How much does it cost?

Sessions are £50 and last for 50 minutes. There are some lower cost places available for those on benefits and for trainee counsellors. The initial appointment costs £10.  I am happy to be paid by cash or online transfer. I am sorry I don't take cheques or accept card payment. 

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."

Richard Bach