Phil Tanner
Based in Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, I offer couple counselling, family counselling and individual counselling. I can help you find a way forward when life & relationships get tough.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

When people first enquire about counselling, they often have a number of questions.
I have tried to answer some commonly asked questions below - if you have questions that aren't covered in this section, feel free to email me: [email protected] or send me a message using the form on the 'Contact' page of this site.

What is counselling?
Well, if you Google it, you might find this; "The provision of professional assistance and  guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems."
Helpful eh? - Well, maybe to a point! Briefly, my view of counselling is as follows...
Firstly, I guess, counselling is about talking through problems, issues, or difficulties, with a qualified person - a counsellor. Their training should mean that a conversation with them is very different to a chat with a friend, or family member.
For example, it is pretty common for friends & family members to offer advice - that's pretty unusual for a counsellor!
Also, friends & family will often make a judgement about what they think you ought to do - again, it's unlikely a counsellor will make that sort of judgement at all. Instead, counsellors often talk about being 'non-judgemental' - an idea that they would not be critical, or judgemental, about what you have said, or done, or thought.
Secondly, counselling should be confidential. Family & friends might well talk to other people about conversations that they have with you. Generally speaking a counsellor will keep private the things that are said to them & their 'confidentiality' is something that they will probably discuss with you at your first meeting.
Thirdly, counselling should aim to help you deal with whatever issues or problems you feel you have. It isn't a 'quick fix' - it may take some time, but it should make a difference.

How much does it cost?
I charge £70 a session for couples and families, £50 a session for individuals.
A session lasts for 50-60 minutes - about an hour.

How do I choose a Counsellor?
Well, there's certainly a lot of choice!
If you've found your way here, you've probably searched for counsellors in your local area & have realised there's quite a few!
Selecting the 'right one' might look quite daunting. My suggestion would be to consider first, what do you want counselling to help with - then find a counsellor who works with the issues or problems that you would like help wth.
After that, it is probably worth looking to see what professional organisation they belong to - there are a quite a few, although the BACP (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy) is probably the largest in the UK.
I would see membership of a professional organisation as important because each organisation has its own set of rules & guidelines that members have to keep to.
In my view, counselling is a largely unregulated profession & professional organisations often do their best to regulate their members & ensure that they have an ethical practice.

What is different about the kind of counselling you do, Phil?
I think the first difference is that the vast majority of counsellors seem to train initially to work with individuals.
Some may then do additional training to work with couples.
My approach is different because my counselling practice, right from the beginning,  has been to focus on working with couples and families.
I still work with individuals, but what is different about my counselling is that I specialise in couple and family work.
I think the second difference is in the way that I work with people. A lot of counsellors focus on what's going on 'inside' people - what they're thinking and feeling. This is often a valuable approach & I add to this by helping people consider the impact this has on their relationships with others - my focus is not solely on how we think & feel, but also on how this impacts on our relationships. 

What kind of problems do you deal with?
My particular focus with clients is helping them resolve difficulties with some of the relationships they have with others.
Those relationships can be with a husband, wife or partner - or with a family member, a parent, a child, a sibling. Some of the difficulties people experience in relationships can be to do with affairs, bereavement, parenting of children, communication, the impact of social media, or use of pornography - it's a pretty wide range of things!

How long will I need counselling for?
This is a very frequently asked question - and a very important one! It's also extremely tricky to answer!
I often work within a model of counselling that suggests most people might need between 6 - 8 sessions. Having said that, I can work with clients for fewer sessions than that - or more. Ultimately, the number of sessions, or how long you need counselling for, is very much down to you. This isn't like a gym, or mobile phone contract, that might tie you in for 12 or 18 months -  you remain very much in charge of how many counselling sessions you have.

What happens if I get upset, or angry in my counselling session?
Sometimes people can find that they talk about, or hear, some upsetting things in counselling sessions.
If that happens, generally speaking, counsellors are trained to deal with people becoming upset & it can often often lead to some useful realisations for the counsellor and the client.
Outside, in the 'real world' people often find it hard to know what to do when we're upset - a good counsellor shouldn't have that problem!