Alison Clarke
Relationship Counselling & Sex Therapy in North Oxford

FAQ 9th August 2022
About Relationship Counselling
About Sex Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in couples counselling or sex therapy?

Couples counselling or sex therapy helps you in your couple to think clearly about the problems you are experiencing with each other, to communicate better about them, and to identify choices and changes for your future. It provides a safe, non-judgemental, confidential and professional environment and the support of someone professionally trained and experienced to work with a whole range of relationship and sexual issues. You and your partner have the opportunity to explore difficulties that you may not have been confident enough or felt safe enough to discuss at home, where earlier attempts to discuss things may have ended in despair or disaster. In sex therapy deeply held, long-term anxieties about sexual "performance" or "normality" can be allayed and then help provided for you and your partner to clarify the nature and causes of your problem, to work through it, and to develop or rediscover sexual confidence together.

What happens in the first session?

At the first session we talk about your reasons for seeking help and what you want to gain from it. We discuss together whether this environment and approach "feels" right to you, whether I believe I am able to help you, and practicalities of going foward into regular sessions if appropriate. (I may also be able to provide useful referral elsewhere if not.) There is no commitment to on-going counselling or sex therapy as a result of attending a preliminary assessment session.

How confidential is it?

I work to the BACP and COSRT codes of ethics, in which respect and confidentiality are key principles. THe matters discussed in sessions are strictly confidential(except where I believe that there is a serious risk/danger for my client or an other, or where I am legally bound to reveal information. These matters are clarified at the initial session).

In practical terms, how do the sessions work?

In my practice the sessions are held weekly (same time and day as initially agreed - with some flexibility), they are of 1 hour duration and the cost is 50 for the initial session with a rate between 50 and 25 for ongoing sessions (agreed at the end of the initial session, according to clients' circumstances).

How long does the process take/ when does it end?

This is variable, depending on your needs and wishes. It might be a short piece of work (a number of weeks) if the problem is specific and a short term intervention aimed at changing patterns of behaviour is sought. Alternatively it might be longer term, if underlying issues need exploring and working through in greater depth. This is a matter for discussion between us at the beginning and at various stages throughout the work, where progress is reviewed.

Do I have to come with my partner, or can I attend alone?

In some situations I am happy to see clients alone, if their focus of concern is a relationship issue, but in general relationship difficulties are more successfully addressed with both parties engaging in the work.

What's the best way of making contact, if I wish to take this further?

You can ring and leave a message or send a brief email (to 07763 803734 or and I will come back to you for a brief telephone conversation to get a rough idea of the nature of the problem and to book a preliminary session. 07763803734

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