Below are some common questions that people have about attending counselling.  If you have any more things you are curious about, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss any concerns you may have.

Q. Can I bring a support person to my counselling session?  Absolutely!  If you have a friend, family member or support worker that you would like to bring along, please do.  It can be a powerful thing to tackle problems with the help of people in your community.

Q. Can children attend counselling? Yes they can, however if the child is under 12yrs old, they will need to be accompanied by an adult during the session.

Q. How many sessions will I need to attend? As many as you feel is helpful. Sometimes it’s good to talk with somebody once and sometimes it helps to talk regularly over a longer period of time.  Sometimes its helpful to come along for a while then take a break and resume conversations at a later date.  You will know what works best for you.

Q. Will I have to talk about embarrassing things?  No!  You only need to talk about things that feel safe and comfortable to you. Please let me know if you feel the conversation is 'going off-track' or you feel uncomfortable in any way.  Counselling should not be a distressing experience.  My hope is that our conversations will help to make you feel stronger in tackling the problems that are getting in your way.

Q. Can I bring things along that will help me tell my story?  Yes.  You may like to bring along photo’s, certificates, special fluffy friends, favourite books, special pictures, pets, poems, songs etc.  Anything that is important to you and your life.

Q. What does ‘confidentiality’ mean?  Confidentiality in counselling means that what you say during counselling can not be told to anyone else without your permission.  There are some exceptions to this as all social workers are legally required to report to the appropriate authorities if they have reasonable suspicions or evidence that a minor is being abused, a person’s life is in danger or they have plans to endanger the life of someone else.  It is also important to remember that social workers are people too and need to be treated with respect.

Q. What if I don’t feel comfortable talking in a room?  Sometimes it can be easier to talk outside or while going for a walk.  Please let me know what you need to feel safe and comfortable.

Q. What if I don’t like the counsellor?  This is ok, not everybody gets along with everyone.  If you don’t feel that it is the ‘right fit’ for you, please let me know and I can help you find somebody else to talk with.  You can also look up the 'find a social worker' section of the AASW website to find another social worker.  There are a number of community organisations that provide counselling services at low or no cost.

Q. What if I panic and get overwhelmed during the conversation?   If panic is taking over, sometimes it can be helpful to stop the conversation and get safe again.  You can tell me what you would like me to do if panic takes over before your counselling session.   This may be calling a friend to come and pick you up, or just sitting quietly with a cup of tea until the panic quiets down.

Q. Can I talk about sexuality and gender issues?  Yes.  Everyone has their own unique sexuality, sexual experiences and gender identity.  Sometimes these experiences and identities don’t ‘fit the norm’ and it can be difficult to speak about these without the fear of shame and discrimination.  No matter what your sexual and gender identity or sexual experiences are, they will be treated with respect and you are welcome to speak openly about these issues.

Q. What if I have particular accessibility needs?  If you have particular requirements to be able to access counselling, please speak with me prior to the session and every effort will be made to make accessibility possible for you.

Q. What if I want to make a complaint about the service I have received?  All registered Mental Health Social Workers are required to adhere to a Code of Ethics which is governed by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). If you are unhappy about any aspect of you counselling sessions, please speak with me or contact the AASW about your concerns. You can visit their website for more information at    http://www.aasw.asn.au

Do you have any other questions you would like to ask?  Please feel free to call or email jenniferswan5555@gmail.com  or call mobile 0423332969