chris hart: faq

Some frequently asked questions about counselling and coaching.

Q: What’s the difference between counselling and coaching?

A: Counselling’s a wonderful way to explore issues in your life, for example in your relationships, with someone who really understands. I have huge experience of relationship issues, and problems such as anxiety, depression, stress, grief and social skills. Coaching’s very similar to counselling, but there’s a greater focus on guided growth and active problem solving compared to traditional counselling. I believe that this approach produces the best results, so as well as dealing with your immediate problems, I will also help you to acquire new skills and insights into how to be more successful in your relationships, family, social life and work, and to question your goals, plans and habits in life, if that’s appropriate.

Q: What about confidentiality?

A: Your sessions are completely confidential, the only exception being where the possibility of harm to self or others emerges. In which case the involvement of other professionals will be suggested.

Q: What techniques do you use?

A: The sessions are primarily based on a technique known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This will help you to identify how your thoughts are affecting your behaviour and feelings. You will be shown how to challenge unhelpful thought patterns, and to build better ones.

Q: What does a session feel like?

A: You will probably be a little nervous at the beginning of your very first session, but within a few moments you will start to relax as you realise that just being able to talk about your problem with someone who really ‘gets it,’ and who is completely non-judgemental, is a great relief. And as you begin to explore your issues and discuss how to deal with them, you will feel your mood start to lift. Many people start their first session in a mood of deep gloom, frustration or confusion, and leave with a new sense of optimism and purpose. You will probably be given ‘homework’ to do, new techniques to try, and follow-up sessions will be arranged as needed.

Q: How many will I need?

A: You’ll find that we will get to grips with the key issues very quickly, and so you’ll begin to see light at the end of the tunnel right straight away. Most people need only a very few sessions, although people who are coping with intractable difficulties may continue to see me for years. But that is very unusual.

Q: How do I book a session?

A: The best way to make initial contact with me is by email or a WhatsApp message to 0722709644 from within Kenya, +254722709644 elsewhere, 07479006114 in the UK or +447479006114 elsewhere. WhatsApp finds me even when I’m travelling! I will then give you details of how to set up an on-line session, costs, availability and so on.

Q: Why on-line?

A: Many of my clients live in very remote locations, and so there’s really no other way to meet. Others simply prefer the convenience and privacy of an on-line session, either video or audio (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Meet or WhatsApp).

Meeting online will save you time, because there’s no travel or traffic involved.

If you’re often away from home, you don’t have to miss your session. Just log on and connect.

Many people feel more comfortable working with a coach who’s not local to them – no chance of bumping into them at the shops!

I’m also happy to discuss your issues by email and messaging services. Contact me to discuss your needs.

Q: But it is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

A: Research studies show that on-line sessions produce results that are at least equal to those involving in-person coaching, and in some cases better. And client satisfaction is high, with clients feeling at least as bonded with their on-line coach compared to those who had in-person sessions.

Many clients also find it more comfortable talking on-line as opposed to face to face. They feel less inhibited, find it easier to be open, and are more forthright during their sessions, because the on-line environment encourages honest and authentic communication.

Q: Is there any way to meet you face to face?

A: I’m currently based in the South West of the UK, in a beautiful and popular holiday area. So if you and your spouse, for example, would like to take a short break with several intense sessions mixed in with exploring the local beaches, then I can arrange accommodation for you. Just email me to explore the possibilities

I also visit Nairobi frequently, and so I can arrange similar 'working safaris' there. Just email me to explore that option.

If you have other questions that I should include here, please let me know by email!