Valley Counselling

Problems are personal, bereavement, depression, stress, relationship breakdowns and anxiety can all feel unbearable and isolating. The reasons for seeking counselling or psychotherapy are as unique and varied as we are. Sometimes we have an idea of what is annoying or upsetting us. Sometimes we struggle to understand issues that darken our days. We might enter a cycle of blame or self-loathing in which we get lost, finding it difficult to move forwards in our lives.

I offer psychodynamic counselling which is a talking therapy. It aims to explore both past and present aspects of our lives with the hope of coping better with grief, depression or stress. Counselling can offer the time we lack in everyday life to acknowledge and examine the losses, anxieties or frustrations we may be feeling. It can also create the space we need to reflect on the assumptions and beliefs that might be underpinning these feelings and which may be burdening or overwhelming us. We might explore what or who impacts on, or has contributed towards, our current beliefs or ways of looking at relationships or situations. In doing so, we can reflect on and re-evaluate the significance and meaning of these past triggers or events in light of our life today and take those steps towards enabling change and growth.

Counselling for bereavement, depression or anxiety is often challenging work as it involves self-reflection, exploring feelings and testing out deeply rooted thoughts and beliefs in order to begin thinking about the possibility of change. It might provide new opportunities for you to examine what has brought you to this point or what is obstructing you from moving forwards.

 

About Me

My name is Erica Spencer Green and I am a qualified psychodynamic counsellor and an insured member of the BACP. I have also broadened my training through studies at The Minster, Confer, WPF Therapy and The Manor House Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling. It is part of my ethical approach to continue my professional and personal development whilst under regular supervision.

As a counsellor I have worked with: depression, self-harm, retirement anxiety, exam/work stress, relationship breakdown and bereavement. My experiences both personally and professionally have involved working closely with diverse social and cultural considerations such as ethnicity, religion, sexuality, sibling rivalry and class.

I have done bereavement couselling with Peace Hospice Care in Watford and relationship and anxiety counselling support for the Alzheimer Society at the Dementia Cafe in Borehamwood. I am currently giving depression, suicide and anxiety counselling for Sorted Counselling in Dunstable.

I have 20 years previous experience as a personal trainer providing encouragement, support and advice on issues including body image, ageing concerns, weight management and self-esteem.

Initial meeting and fees

Our initial meeting is about first impressions, a chance to see whether we feel comfortable to talk and work together. This first consultation is a time to discuss what has brought you to counselling so that we can decide on which type and duration of counselling would be most helpful for you.

At the end of our first meeting we can decide whether to proceed with weekly, 50 minute counselling sessions together and agree on a regular day and time to meet.

I have a network of qualified practitioners to suggest should we decide not to proceed with one another.

My fees are £50 per initial consultation and £45 per 50 minute counselling session. For couples couselling the fees are £80 per session. Payment can be in cash at the end of each meeting or via bank transfer either in advance.

My counselling rooms are at The Harpenden Clinic, Old Batford Mill, Batford, Herts AL5 5BZ and Focal Point, 22 Station Road, Harpenden, Herts. AL5 4SE

Digital Policy

Keeping Boundaries: The nature of an online presence can blur interpersonal boundaries, so it is important to be as clear as possible about how boundaries may be challenged in an online environment. I keep clinical work in the consultation room as much as possible. However, the nature of the digital world can sometimes stretch these boundaries, so I offer the best clarity I can below.

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Email: I am not currently using an e-mail encryption programme, so any emails we send to each other may be vulnerable to viruses or human error. For this reason, it is best to be thoughtful about what you include in emails to me, and which email address you choose to use with me. Often, it is best to rely on email for non-confidential communications like setting up appointment times and things like that. In an effort to keep confidential and psychological material “in the room” it is best avoided in emails unless we discuss it beforehand. I will always request your preferred email address from our first session.

If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of Internet Service Providers. Furthermore, they can be vulnerable to viruses and unintended forwarding or replication. If you are concerned about the confidentiality of your emails, you may wish to contact me by telephone instead.

Text messages: You may feel free to contact me by text message to alert me if you are running late for a session or for similar reasons. However, because of the lack of context of text messages, it is generally not the best method for communicating with me about more important matters, so please do phone and leave me a message.

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Telephone and Skype: While I do not generally run my practice remotely, there may be times when we have a session by telephone or video conferencing, for example, if either one of us is abroad. Any such sessions will be discussed in advance. I make every effort to choose video conferencing software that is recognised to be adequately encrypted – so this may involve you downloading certain software or logging into a web-based application. When engaging via video conferencing, we both agree not to use any recording devices for remote sessions.

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E-invoicing: I use an online software application to process my invoices that are then sent out to your chosen e-mail address. If you would prefer not to receive these invoices by email, please let me know and I can bring you a printed copy at the beginning of each calendar month.

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Twitter: I maintain a Twitter profile as a way of promoting psychological ideas through the media, and to make people aware of workshops, conferences, or other events that I may be taking part in, or that might be of interest to followers. I frequently send across relevant links and sometimes engage in public conversations on these topics. Despite my online presence, I would prefer that our relationship remain as much as possible between us in the consultation room, therefore I will not knowingly follow any current or former clients on Twitter. Whether you follow me or not is of course to your discretion, though I would suggest for reasons of confidentiality and preserving our therapeutic relationship that you do not.

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Facebook and LinkedIn: I, like many others, maintain a private Facebook account for personal reasons, and a Linked-In account for professional ones. I aim to keep my Facebook as private as possible and it would not be appropriate to be Facebook “friends” with former or current clients. I acknowledge that there can be some overlap across social networks, and that this sometimes comes to light on Facebook. If this were the case, it would be something we would need to discuss in session. As the above, I have decided that it would not be appropriate to add current or former clients as “connections” on Linked-In.

Google: It is likely that you will have Googled me before you contacted me. While I acknowledge that Googling others is now a generally accepted aspect of daily life, I wish to avoid encountering information about my clients that does not come directly from them. In general practice I do not Google my clients before I meet them. It is of course your right to Google me. However, if in your search some questions are raised, I would request that you raise them with me at the first opportunity.

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The world is changing fast: my own responses to it are in constant development and I will continue to update this digital policy as I learn more, and would appreciate your honesty and input along the way. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please do let me know.