What to expect
It may feel daunting to come for help. Clients are often very distressed after having tried to cope on their own for some time. I aim to provide a sensitive, non-judgemental and confidential space based on trust and respect, so that we can explore what may have been difficult.
How does it work?
Psychological counselling and therapy involves us meeting usually weekly to discuss issues you wish to address. We will first develop a shared understanding of your current difficulties. We may look back in life to when difficulties developed and how past patterns influence the present. I aim to increase your awareness of traps and vicious cycles which seem to maintain your difficulties – with the view of developing more helpful ways and strategies.
Getting to know you may allow me to point out new perspectives, which can be informed by psychological theory and research. We consider the meaning certain issues hold for you and look to discover more helpful ways to deal with life’s challenges, paradoxes and dilemmas. We may work on certain skills. To get unstuck and move forwards, we look into the future and you are encouraged to gradually test out new ways of living, one step at a time.
What we talk about is confidential and I will not share with anyone, unless you instruct me to do so (such as informing your GP or write on-referrals). However, there are three exceptions:
1. Following best practice, I have supervision to discuss my clinical work and any information within supervision is strictly confidential within that context.
2. Should I become aware that you or somebody else is at serious risk of harm, then I may involve another suitable professional to make things safer.
3. If I am instructed by court, then I may have to disclose some information.
I offer a free phone consultation (up to 20min) to hear what you come for. We can discuss how therapy could be useful for you and, if we both agree, we can arrange to meet for an assessment.
In our initial one or two meetings we explore the area or difficulty you want to address, expectations you hold and changes you want to make. I will ask you about your general history and current situation. You have the opportunity to ask questions and get a sense of how I work. It is important that we both feel we can work together.
We then consider options. For some people short-term work is enough. Others will want to take more time to gain better understanding or work on gradual improvements. Maybe this is not the right time or someone else offers a more suitable option.
If we decide to work together, we agree time, duration and area of focus.
Sessions and length of therapy
Sessions are usually weekly. A session lasts 50 minutes. Please arrive on time as I cannot extend the session time.
Following the assessment, we agree a number of sessions we set out for. This may be short-term (6 to 12 sessions), mid-term (16-24 sessions) or longer-term (6 -12 months), depending on your needs and goals.
We will regularly review our work to check how things are going. We may decide together to end after the agreed number of sessoins or to extend for more sessions.
Contact between sessions
For booking or cancelling appiontments you will be able to contact me by email or phone.
During a course of therapy, I offer no further contact between sessions. However, should there be a specific necessity, then you can of course leave a message. I respond as soon as I can and I charge phone contacts at session rate.