What are the general boundaries and criteria for counselling, and what if we already know each other?

At present I offer counselling to adults only.

Although counselling may sometimes feel like having a conversation, it's actually a very specific

type of conversation with the intent of making therapeutic progress.

Most counsellors prefer not to counsel someone they already know, and are even less inclined if that person

is thought of as a friend, because it's harder to be objective or to ask challenging questions if you think your

friendship may be compromised as a result. It's also better to start from scratch rather than starting with any

preconceived ideas about the client, or the client about the counsellor.

So generally speaking, I prefer not to counsel people/friends I already know, but there are potential exceptions,

for example if you are already a massage client then I may consider it, or if I think that we can both work together

objectively and therapeutically without being influenced by prior knowledge of each other. 


Do you counsel couples?

Yes. The sessions fees are the same as those for individuals. It is important that both of you are willing

participants and neither of you feels unduly pressured or coerced. It is counter-productive to good counselling

if one party refuses to engage and is only attending to keep the other one happy.  

Of course, individuals who book in for counselling are welcome to bring up 

issues to do with their relationships (and quite often do!)


How many counselling sessions will I need?

Every client will present with their own unique set of circumstances and their own unique abilities

to make progress. Therefore, it is impossible to say. 

Some clients bring up one issue and then realise that it would be helpful to bring up other

issues also. Peoples lives are complex and one issue often integrates with other factors.

It is rare for a client to get what they want from just one session. Most clients need at least three 

and some counsellors have clients that regularly come for as many as fifty sessions.

It really is that varied !


I can't find a childminder, can I bring my child with me for my counselling session?

Having the distraction of a child in the room will ruin the value of the session. And besides...

do you really want to talk so intimately and personally in front of your child? Best to re-book.


I'd like my partner to sit in on my counselling session. Is this okay?

Having a partner in the room will totally compromise our confidentiality and may compromise

your authenticity as you speak. If you expect them to only chip in when prompted, or to stay quiet

altogether.... think again!   Not a chance! 

Obviously this is different for couples counselling, but individual counselling is just that... individual.

It may be helpful for you to talk about why you want them present. What is it you want them to hear?


What about COVID 19 ?

At the time of this update, 27/8/2021, we do not wear masks and we do not require our clients to wear masks,

for both counselling and massage. However, if you wish to wear a mask you may do so.

Hand sanitizer is available upon request.


Can I be massaged in my own home? Are you mobile?

Our massage room is set up to ensure you have the best experience we can offer

and we would always recommend that you visit us here. We do not openly advertise

a mobile service but occasionally, if there is good reason, we may be able to consider

a home visit at a premium cost. It depends on your circumstances and whether there

is close parking and good access to your property etc.



Does "full body massage" literally mean every square inch?

Not usually, but there are exceptions. Parts that are normally covered by underwear aren't touched unless the client

expressly wants "full body" to mean "full body". We often get clients who prefer

to have their massage totally naked, and we are okay with this. Clients who prefer this usually assume

that the glutes will be included and that's fine by us, but we'll check first. Everything happens by mutual understanding and consent.

It's a negotiation and understanding between therapist and client. For example, we wouldn't just assume a female wanted

her breasts included in the massage without checking, but if she asks for her breasts to be included then we'll include them.

The golden rule is consent and understanding. We also get clients who suffer pain or sciatica that extends through the

glutes so we are happy to massage there if required. 

All this kind of thing can be discussed and agreed upon with the client before and during massage.



Can massage be used as an alternative to medication?

No. We find that people take massage for three different reasons: to relax and be pampered,

to relieve aches and pains, or for stress and anxiety issues. However, massage should be seen as 

complementary and should not be used instead of medical advice.



What do you mean by "holistic" ?

When a treatment or therapy is described as holistic it means that the overall effect is beneficial

to the whole person. In the case of massage, although it is primarily a physical experience, you may

well find mental and emotional benefit aswell. The tensions that we hold in our emotions are often

reflected in our bodies. As those tensions are relieved and the body relaxes, then its quite possible

you'll feel so much better in your mind also. To those who are new to massage this often comes as

rather pleasant surprise, and some folks who've been really "stressed" can feel strangely relieved and emotional.


Are you available evenings and weekends?

Yes. We don't have set working hours and we'll always do our best to accommodate you.



Do you play music during massage?

Yes. We play gentle relaxing music. If you'd rather play your own then that's fine.



Can massage help alleviate stress?

Absolutely yes. It won't solve your problems but it may give you a sense of wellbeing that helps you to cope.



To what extent will my hair get messed up during an Indian Head Massage?

Your hair will get really messed up but it shouldn't get tangled. Best to bring a hair brush if you're

heading out somewhere afterwards.



What else do you do?

Val has a crystal therapy qualification and can incorporate this into her massage routine or

offer it as a separate service. 


Although Val is not a trained counsellor, some clients find they can connect

well with Val and find benefit in airing their life issues with her during massage.



Do you do gift cards?

Yes. They are sold at face value and can be printed for any variety of treatments or a specific amount.

Payment can be made by cash, debit/credit card or Paypal.



Are you on facebook?

No. As a marketing tool we found it completely and utterly useless. 

Our clients find us in other ways, usually by words of mouth or Google.



When would you offer discount?

If you commited to a number of massage treatments or there were a few of you who wanted to book as a group

then we may come to an arrangement with you.



Are you DBS checked?

Our last checks were in 2017. 

As we are self-employed we are unable to request self checks.

We can only get checked if a third party requests it before using our services.


Can I book you for a mates night in or a party night?

Requests will be considered on an individual basis, but generally speaking we found we were often operating in

less than ideal conditions so we lessened our activity in this area. The biggest problem we found was that hosts

often under-estimated the need for sufficient space and privacy in which to operate. If you have a large house

with sufficent space and privacy then feel free to enquire. Massage is probably best conducted at a quiet mates

night in rather than a party. (Just our opinion)



What if I'm pregnant?

We don't usually massage pregnant women but there are some limited ways that we may be able to

accommodate you. Contact us to discuss.



Can we book in as a couple for massage?

Yes. We have a spare massage table that can be set up in the living room. This means that one of you

will be massaged in the massage room and the other in the living room.

Val does one, Bri does the other.

Couples booking for tantric massage may be able opt to be in the same room (details available).



Am I covered during massage? What will I be wearing?

Towels are used to cover parts that are not currently being massaged. For full body massage you will

only have your lower briefs on. For back massage you may choose to keep your trousers on.

This is our default position and is standard throughout the industry.

However, some clients prefer to feel unrestricted and state a preference to be naked, which is fine by us as long as

no assumptions are made.

For sports massage we advise wearing "short" shorts as some treatments involve changing positions in ways that

make it impractical to fuss about with towels.


Do you do naturist massages?

Yes, but this needs some clarification. Once in a while a client, or potential client will ask if we do "naturist" massages,

ie can they remain naked (with or without towels).

We would consider requests for naturist massage from members of British Naturism and from clients we already know.

Other new clients will need to be respectfully aware of our boundaries and present themselves as clean and odour-free.

Clients who wish to be massaged naked should not just assume that other things are included!

For clarification, just ask; we won't be offended. We'd rather you asked than risk misunderstanding.



Do you ever work together and perform four-handed massage? 

We used to, but not anymore. Certain practicalities made it unviable for us to continue.



Are there any client or age restrictions?

Our own personal policy is that you have to be eighteen or over to receive massage.

If a parent or guardian is present then we may at our own discretion provide massage to a 16 or 17 year old.

There is no upper age limit as long as you are healthy enough. You must be medically suitable to

receive massage and an initial consultation will determine that you are. 


Whats the best way of contacting you?

In this order: text message, phone call, website enquiry form on the "Contact Us" tab.

Please be specific and give as much detail as you can. It saves lots of ping-pong messaging.

For example, a message that says  "Can I book a massage?" tells us nothing about which massage you are

booking for, who you want it with, and what times are best for you.