Why 'Curvy' Counselling?
Firstly, counselling is rarely a straight path to where you
want to go. It’s hard work, and there can be twists and
turns along the way. Sometimes, like peeling off the
layers of an onion one by one, we come to tackle the
same issues again and again, at ever deepening levels.
But I'm there to support you. We go at your pace. You take
a break when you need to. We carry on if / when you're ready.
Secondly, I am a fat, and fat-friendly, counsellor. I support clients in accepting their bodies as they are right now, today.
I know how hard it is to be big in our society. Fat stigma is real, and studies show that larger people are judged as lazy, greedy and immoral, amongst other negative attributes.
Women in particular, but increasingly all people, are expected to be thin. And if you aren't thin, you're expected to be working bloomin' hard to become so.
It’s incredibly difficult to accept yourself when you don’t have the acceptance of society. Or even of your friends, family or partner.
And it can be scary to trust a new counsellor, because you don’t know whether they're also biased against fatness.
I’m not biased against you because of your size. If you want to build a better relationship with your body, I can work with you towards that.
I’ll give you the space to figure out how YOU feel about your body. I'll support you in increasing your self-esteem and becoming more comfortable in your own skin.
And if your body has nothing to do with why you want counselling, that's fine with me too!
My highest qualification is the Master’s degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This is a higher qualification than a post-graduate diploma. I also have a degree in Psychology. I’m a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work in line with the BACP’s Ethical Framework.
My main aim is for you to feel at ease, so you can explore what matters to you freely and without feeling judged. I’m highly trained in various approaches to counselling / psychotherapy, and draw on these approaches as needed.
Counselling can help with a wide range of issues, such as:
Stress and anxiety
Grief, loss and bereavement
Issues relating to sexuality
Difficulties at work or in retirement
What's the difference between body-image counselling and general counselling?
On the face of it, not a lot!
There are no tricks with body-image counselling. I don't set goals, give 'top tips' or suggest a series of steps to follow. It's just the same as general counselling.
The only difference - but it's
such an important one - is in
what you know about me.
You know from the start
that I'm not anti-fat.
And that knowledge alone
can have a massive impact.
It frees you up,
so that you can use your sessions however you choose.
I work from my peaceful garden office in Keighley, West Yorkshire,
but I offer sessions remotely. We will meet over the telephone, or online, such as by Teams, Zoom and Skype.
This means that I can work with clients across the country and abroad.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss any adjustments you need to make meeting like this accessible for you.
I offer sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, in the daytime and evening.
People usually have sessions weekly, but may also choose to have them fortnightly, monthly or ad hoc.
All sessions are 50 minutes long. The fee is £45 per session.
I offer a limited number of sessions at a concessionary rate to students or clients on a low income. Please contact me to check availability.
The Counselling Contract
Appointments - My working days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and sessions are by telephone or online. We negotiate mutually convenient times.
Payments - Payment for each session is due by bank transfer before or on the day of the session. If I need to increase my fee, I give at least 4 weeks’ notice.
Cancellations - If a session isn't attended, or is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice, the fee is still be payable.
Contact outside of sessions - Contact outside of sessions is limited to making or changing appointments. We cannot discuss the content of therapy between sessions. I do not accept client invitations on social media.
Ending counselling - If you’ve been having ongoing counselling, when you feel you want to finish, please give me at least one sessions’ notice if you can. This is so that we are both prepared for the ending.
Confidentiality - I’m a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work in line with the BACP’s Ethical Framework. You can find more information at www.bacp.co.uk. In line with the Ethical Framework, everything you say to me in counselling is confidential, with the following exceptions.
Privacy and data collection - I’m registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and work in line with GDPR. I may take brief notes during or after our sessions, to help me think about our work together. I store such notes securely and keep them no longer than necessary. I ensure that when we speak on the telephone or online, we are not overheard where I am. But no form of communication is risk-free. You accept the risks involved with communicating with me on the telephone, via text or online.
Many therapists tend to view counselling as short-term work, when someone has a problem that can be looked at and discussed in a clearly-resolvable way. Psychotherapy is a word used more to describe long-term work, on more substantial issues and things that might be life-changing on a deeper level. I am both a counsellor and psychotherapist.
It depends what you want to achieve and how deeply you want to explore things. Some people want to work on a particular issue for just a session or two, and that's enough for them. Around 10 to 15 sessions is quite common. And other people may decide from the beginning that they want long-term therapy. It's really just what's right for you at this particular time, and you can decide as you go along.
If I have capacity and think I may be a good fit for you, I'll try to arrange your first session within a week, depending on your own availability.
Confidentiality is one of the great benefits of counselling. You can say things to me that you can't say to the people in your life, knowing it'll go no further. But I can't promise 100% confidentiality. As I say in my contract, there are some situations where the law requires disclosure, and if someone is at risk from harm I may have to consider breaking confidentiality. But such instances are rare, and usually only happen after talking to the person concerned.
I only offer 1:1 counselling. I can understand that a family member or friend may wish to support you, or you may want them just to be next to you when we talk, especially at first. But this can make it harder for you to open up about what really matters to you. Your counselling is for you, and you alone.
©2022 Frances Varney
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