Common questions that potential clients will often ask.
Can I have one session, bi-weekly sessions or monthly check-ins?
I offer regular, weekly or twice-weekly therapy sessions only. In my experience, this creates a secure, predictable and consistent relationship which is central to successful outcomes in therapy. It is my experience that therapy at any less than this frequency becomes more of a ‘catch-up’ and it is impossible to create the kind of relationship necessary for deep healing.
If I can’t start therapy now, do you have a waiting list?
Due to the long-term nature of the therapy I offer, I do not currently run a waiting list. If you make contact and I am unable to offer you a meeting, but know that a space may shortly be available, I shall make this known and offer to contact you when it does. Otherwise, it could be months or years until I am able to work with you, in which case, I advise you search for another therapist using the BACP or UKCP Directories.
What will happen in therapy sessions?
The therapeutic hour is yours to talk about anything you wish. You might reflect on what is going on in your life, what has happened in the past or what you’d like in the future. Whatever you choose to talk about, my role as your therapist is to provide a relationship that is therapeutic for you, so I work to provide the conditions needed for you to feel safe, comfortable and free of judgement.
As well as listening to the content of what you’re saying, I will be paying attention to unconscious processes; noticing how you are saying things, what is not being said and how we are relating to each other. Bringing this information into conscious awareness reveals deeply held patterns and beliefs that can help us make sense of feelings of being stuck, anxious and confused. This ongoing depth of self-understanding can help us process feelings, effectively problem-solve and engage the energy and motivation needed to change behaviours.
To a fly-on-the-wall, a session will look like any two people talking and listening. In reality, I am using my skills and experience to facilitate you knowing, understanding and accepting yourself and others at a deeper level. You are simply showing-up, as you are; to reflect on your inner and outer worlds. This dynamic is the key difference between a conversation with a therapist and a conversation with a friend.
Is your style of therapy right for me?
Research has consistently shown that regardless of the type of therapy, the relationship between client and therapist is the best predictor of a successful therapy.
Having said this, relationships are complex and most of us find them difficult in one way or another. The ways that we struggle with them often play out in therapy. Relational therapy makes use of these dynamics to help you learn to relate in healthier ways that help you feel closer to others and more satisfied in life and relationships.
Neutrality and boundaries are essential to this process. As we come to know each other, sometimes things are revealed that mean a neutral and therapeutic relationship might be difficult. For example, if I have an existing relationship (including one of therapeutic use) with someone close to you, or I recognise that I cannot offer you the level, or type of support that you need. In such situations, we will discuss this together and find another source of support that is more appropriate and more likely to be beneficial to you. Wherever possible, this is a joint process, undertaken together, in your best interests
How long will my therapy take?
How long have you struggled with your issue before searching for a therapist? How long did it take to build up, to impact your thinking, feeling and behaviour? To change your relationships, sense of self and day-to-day life? In my experience the answer is usually years, if not decades.
Yet, the NHS model of therapy has led us to expect to resolve a specific issue in a finite amount of sessions; for example, your GP might refer you to 6-8 sessions of counselling or CBT. While excellent work can be done in short-term therapy, my experience has shown me that the deeper and more permanent relief many clients seek is only accomplished in a long-term therapeutic relationship.
The psychotherapy I offer is in-depth and open-ended, rather than my suggesting a certain amount of sessions. I work with my clients on a long-term basis, sometimes over a period of months, but more often, years.
Psychotherapy is similar to the acquisition of a new skill or the learning of a different language and most of us would agree this takes longer than 6-8 hours. Changing the trajectory of your life takes considerable time, patience and commitment. Many clients find that the predictability and certainty of a long-term therapeutic relationship allows them to better regulate and organise their emotional and psychological world and relax into their lives; knowing they can rely on their weekly appointment as a time to reconnect with themselves.
We will regularly review how you are experiencing your therapy, what you have learned and done differently, as well as where you'd like to go next. The length of therapy does not correlate to the length of time it will take to feel relief from your symptoms; but more so the depth of change you would like to make.
Can you see my partner, friends and family too?
While it is deeply meaningful to know clients would like to recommend me to others in their lives, I do not accept personal referrals. As is explained above, this impacts not only the neutrality of our relationship but also the confidentiality. It is important that what I know about you is what you have chosen to tell me and so I limit the chances that I might learn something from another source, as much as is within my control.
Will others in the building you work in know about my therapy?
Although my practise is located within a multidisciplinary centre, I operate independently. This means the nature of our relationship and details of your sessions are not shared with or acknowledged to anyone else working in the building, or its adjoining premises. It is not necessary that you check-in at reception prior to our meetings, but if you choose to inform reception staff that you have arrived to see me, this will of course, reveal some of the nature of our relationship.