What are the aims of therapy sessions?
My aim is to facilitate a non-judgemental, reflective discussion in which you have space to explore your thoughts and feelings. I may then encourage you to identify and access your strengths and resources, recognise the choices you have and, if you desire, to implement change. We are both active participants during therapy and the overall outcome also depends on your input, especially between sessions.
To get a feel for what working with me might be like, I encourage you to get in touch with me and book an initial consultation.
Are you working face-to-face?
I am only offering online therapy for the foreseeable future. Please see my page by clicking the link above to get some ideas about how to get the most out of this experience.
Can I talk to you before I make an appointment?
It can be useful to have a phone call to discuss any practical concerns you might have about therapy. I like to keep calls to around 10-15 minutes, so that we can discuss your main issues in session to give them proper attention. It is best if you email me at email@example.com to arrange a time for this.
When are you available?
I am available for weekday appointments between 08:00 – 20:00, with some flexibility. As a private practitioner I am unable to offer an emergency service. If you need urgent support and cannot wait to book in a session, I recommend that you call The Samaritans on 116 123; free of charge from any phone.
What happens in the initial consultation?
During the initial consultation we can discuss your reasons for coming to therapy and explore how we might work together. It is a good opportunity to have a taster session and to ask any questions you might have. I will also demonstrate and explain some of the terms of how we might work together, both therapeutically and logistically.
What happens after?
If we choose to continue working together, we can agree on the frequency and timing of your sessions and fee. I will email you my ‘Therapy Agreement’ which puts all the logistics I will have covered in your initial consultation in writing, alongside my Privacy Statement which gives you a more detailed account of how I hold your data according to GDPR and why. I will ask you to confirm you have read and understood these before we continue. I will also ask you for some personal details such as your DOB and GP contact details which I hold in case of emergency. This is all the administration that is required at the start, with the aim of clarifying the practical terms of the therapeutic process before we begin.
How long are sessions and how often do we meet?
Sessions typically last for up to 50 minutes at the same time each week, unless agreed otherwise. This provides you with a regular and consistent session time, which can be therapeutic in itself, as well as potentially allowing for greater momentum in your therapeutic journey.
Whilst weekly therapy is most traditional, it may not be right for you, in which case I try to be flexible where possible. However, please note that if you choose ad-hoc or fortnightly sessions, I cannot hold a recurring time for you. Instead, each new session is booked in towards the the end of the current one, and will depend on availability. In busier months, this may mean having to wait longer between sessions.
You may choose to have a limited number of sessions, for example if you are dealing with a specific issue that you feel would benefit from a time-limited approach. Alternatively, where you may be experiencing ongoing and more complex problems with living, you may choose to have ‘open-ended’ sessions, where the ending is approached more organically. The length of the therapeutic process will vary for each person and we can review this together as we go along, making adjustments as needed.
How does it end?
Endings can be just as transformative as the rest of the work, therefore I encourage you to let me know in advance when you would like to end so there is time for reflection and closure. For example, you may wish to taper the ending by spacing sessions further apart before coming to a final close. However, I appreciate that circumstances can suddenly change, and you may decide to stop immediately. If this is the case, I ask that you let me know as soon as you reasonably can so that I can be aware.
Is it confidential?
Everything you discuss with me is confidential, and that confidentiality will only be broken:
- Where it is deemed that you, or connected persons, are at serious risk, in which case relevant third parties may be contacted in the interests of safety.
- Where you give explicit permission for private information to be shared with third parties, for instance with your medical practitioner.
- Where I am required to divulge information by a court of law.
I will always try to speak to you about this first, unless there are safeguarding issues that prevent this.
In keeping with BACP guidelines and to ensure best practice, I attend regular supervision. Here, conversations will be conducted in such a way as to safeguard your confidentiality.
Please see my Privacy Statement for more details.
What if I need to cancel?
You will be charged the full fee for cancellations outside of 24 hours’ notice, unless in case of emergency. I will give you as much notice as possible of any planned absences on my part and no charge will be incurred for these.