During uncertain times it’s perfectly normal to feel out of sorts and confused about what you should be doing or how to manage your current situation.

COVID-19 has thrust all of us into unchartered territories and many relationships have been put under tremendous strain as a result.  Some may be struggling to articulate how they are feeling, or what it is that they are particularly struggling with.  Some may be facing more traumatic situations such as living with domestic violence, financial hardship or the loss of a loved one.

There are people out there who you can talk to, and one of those is West Sussex based Jessica Macey.  We talked to Jessica about the wonderful work she does as a Counsellor, and how she helps her clients to understand the world around them.   We asked Jessica the following questions;

Who are you and what are your counselling qualifications/experience?

Jessica Macey; I’m a qualified Humanistic Integrative Counsellor and a registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) to which standards and code of ethics I adhere to.   I studied at the Wealden Institute in Crowborough.

Humanistic means that I believe everybody is an expert on themselves and are able to make their own decisions. Working integratively means that I draw from 3 different theories to support and suit the needs of the individual.  

I have worked for St Catherine’s Hospice as a volunteer counsellor for a number of years as well as the Horsham and Crawley Counselling Group.  

I have my own practice in West Sussex and also hold counselling appointments online, working evenings and weekends.   I regularly attend ongoing training which is also required by the BACP.

What type of clients benefit most from working with you?

Each person is very different and view therapy differently. My aim is to provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space to explore whatever challenges each person experiences at the time. The individual is the expert on themselves and know what is right for them and what we explore in our shared space is led by them. Therapy comes with emotional challenges which can be very scary and also incredibly rewarding to a point where a new understanding and resolution is found by the individual thus enabling them to move forward in life.  I counsel individual adults only.

What areas of counselling do you specialise in?  

Where do you feel most comfortable in terms of topics? Generally speaking there are no areas I specialise in most or am uncomfortable with. Because whatever challenge each person faces is very individual, the impact and affect it has on them is never the same. I do however, have a keen interest in supporting individuals with experiences of sexual violence in childhood or adulthood, bereavement, carers or supporting parents of disabled children.

Which personal experiences help you to bring perspective to your discussions with your clients?

Obviously only ones you are happy to share All experiences we face as children or adults shape us in one way or another to who we are as a person. Facing difficult challenges in life we learn from and move on from can also help us help others. Being a parent of a deaf child as well as caring for a loved one was very challenging for me in all aspects from dealing with family, diagnosis, schools, special support in schools, spreading awareness to the immediate environment, dealing with prejudice, my emotional sanity or insanity… I know how I felt and though each person perceives their life and what goes on within it differently, I can relate and believe I can provide support to the struggles/challenges parents or carers are facing.

How does counselling work – how many sessions typically, what is the cost, what does the journey look like.

Going through an emotionally difficult time can be very challenging and affect our every day lives in a detrimental way. My aim as your counsellor is not to give advice or tell you what to do, my aim is to provide a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space where you don’t have to worry about who is offended in the process.

Having the opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings can be very beneficial to identify and understand your difficulties. It can help you make positive choices and provide you with the tools you need to deal with stress and anxiety, as well as bring clarity. ​

Each person has their own unique experience of counselling and your outcome will, to an extent, depend on you and what you want to achieve.     

Typically 6 sessions initially are recommended to start with and of course, after review we can negotiate further sessions.

I currently charge £45 for 50-60 minutes face to face or online. To find out whether we can work together, I usually start with an assessment appointment face to face which lasts 40 minutes where I take down some historical detail. This is charged at £30. 

Online assessments, for working online, lasts 20 minutes and are free of charge. Reduced rates are available for pensioners, students or people on low-income support. Please ask.    I recommend that before starting therapy you try out and see as many counsellors as possible to ensure the right fit.

Entering into therapy is based on a good relationship and you want to make sure your counsellor is somebody you trust and suits your needs. Counselling can be very challenging and sometimes also very scary once we lift the lid on issues, we either packed away or thought we had dealt with. There may be times when we think we can’t cope with more therapy and times when we really start to benefit.

In order to get the highs, we have to go through the lows first and deal with them.  Remember these questions are just for me, they won’t be published, and will just help me to build a story about you and what you do.

You can contact Jessica through her website https://www.jmcounselling.co.uk