What happens in a therapy session?
In our first session together we will go through a little of your background and what brings you to therapy, I will explain the process to you and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We will then agree what you want to achieve and how we plan to work towards that - you might decide to commit to a certain number of sessions, or just take them one at a time. I provide a safe space and supportive environment for you to explore and reflect on your experiences. Where appropriate, I will help you to recognise and challenge negative patterns. We will regularly review how you are feeling and your progress towards your goal.
I'm not sure if it's for me?
You do not have to be in crisis to benefit from therapy. You may simply be feeling more anxious, tearful, stressed or angry than usual without really knowing why, and wondering how to get back to whatever feels more "normal" for you. You may be having problems at work, experiencing difficulties with relationships at home or generally feeling dissatisfied with life. Perhaps you feel you are at a crossroads in your life and need some space to reflect on what path to choose. Whatever it is that has made you curious about therapy, we can find an approach to help.
Our first session is a time to discuss what you want from therapy and how we might work together to achieve this. If at the end of the session you decide that it is not for you, then that is as far as we need to go. I may be able to suggest alternative approaches which might suit you better, and you will have a better understanding of what you need, so it will definitely not be time wasted.
I don't know where to start?
It really doesn't matter where we start our work together - you may choose to talk about something that happened yesterday or many years ago, or simply tell me how you are feeling right now. We will get to the heart of the matter by whatever route you choose.
"I don't want to take tablets for my mood, can counselling help instead?"
"I'm on antidepressants so do I need counselling as well?"
Counselling can help whether on its own or alongside medication. It can help address the root causes of how you are feeling and help you to make changes to stop negative patterns recurring in the future. So whether you have recently been prescribed antidepressants or similar medication, are reluctant to take tablets or have been on them for years, counselling can help you in a very positive way.
How long does therapy take?
This will be up to you. In your initial session we will discuss what it is you want to achieve, and agree an initial number of sessions. As a guide, six to ten sessions are often enough to address specific issues, maybe a particular relationship problem or help through a difficult period in your life. If you wish to explore deeper issues our work may continue for a longer period, but we will always keep our objectives focussed and under regular review.
I feel uncomfortable about coming to therapy.
Many people see therapy as a positive step towards improving their psychological wellbeing, just like joining a gym to get their body into shape or seeing a physiotherapist to help heal a physical injury. However I work with many clients for whom coming to therapy feels more negative and I am acutely aware of just how difficult it can be to take that first step.
I work from discreet and professional premises and abide by strict rules of confidentiality which, unless I feel there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or to others, I will never break without your consent. If I should see you in the street, I will leave it to you to say hello, or not, as you choose.
How long is a session and how often do I need to come?
Sessions are 50 minutes long and I usually recommend that we meet weekly to maintain momentum in our work together. We will agree times and dates at the beginning of our work together and can plan around your known commitments. I ask that you give a week's notice if you need to cancel or rearrange an appointment.
How much does it cost?
The cost is £60 per session.
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