What will happen at the first session?
Undertaking counselling or psychotherapy is an important decision, so it is very important to find the right person with whom you feel safe to work. You may wish to visit a number of practitioners for an initial consultation and trust your intuition in selecting the person who feels right for you.
In your first session with me, we would talk together about the things that are concerning you. I would be interested to know something about your history and some details about your story as well as current life.
Part of our discussion would focus on your hopes for what you would like to change. You would also have the chance to ask questions about me and my approach to counselling and psychotherapy.
After this assessment session I would be able to tell you whether I feel I am an appropriate person to help and on leaving, you will have the opportunity to reflect on whether I am the person you would like to work with.
What are the different therapies that are used?
Psychological therapies generally fall into three categories. These are behavioural therapies which focus first on thinking and behaviours, psychoanalytical/psychodynamic therapies which focus on unconscious patterns and processes and humanistic therapies which focus firstly on self development and the ‘here and now’.
A number of newer modalities include contemporary findings in neuroscience to understand and explore how our bodies hold pain and can be a resource for our healing and understanding.
What kind of counselling/psychotherapy do you offer and what is the difference between them?
I am in Integrative Psychotherapist so I use a number of approaches and techniques in my work, primarily drawing on psychodynamic, humanistic and sensorimotor thinking. I think that it is not unusual for individuals to understand a lot about their emotional difficulties but can find themselves locked into repeating patterns and sometimes feel powerless to change them. It can be that these recurring patterns can cause distress and these issues can be addressed within the safety of a therapeutic relationship.
Counselling is generally a shorter term process and psychotherapy is generally more in depth for a more substantial time. As I work with you, we would have regular reviews to work out where you are in your process. I am often able to offer help and tools for you to manage things in between sessions.
How long do sessions last?
Each session lasts 50 minutes.
How regularly do I meet with you?
Sessions will usually be weekly, sometimes twice weekly. Your sessions will usually be at the same time and on the same day each week.
What about payment?
There is a fixed fee per session and there will normally be a small increase at the beginning of April. Cancellations will be charged at the same rate.
How long will it take?
The number of sessions needed will depend on the nature of the problem or issue that you bring. Sometimes a short sequence of sessions is sufficient and sometimes a longer time is needed to explore issues in greater depth.
What benefits can be expected?
Clients who have engaged in a process of counselling or psychotherapy often report a greater sense of clarity which can lead to feeling greater vitality and creativity in their lives. A process of self discovery can be enlightening, challenging, relieving and sometimes painful.
How can I be assured of your professionalism?
I have a Master’s Degree in Integrative Psychotherapy (Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University) and a Diploma in Person Centred Counselling (Metanoia Institute).
I am an Accredited Member of UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) and a Senior Accredited Member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). I adhere to their ethics and am bound by their complaints procedures.
I also hold a Diploma in Clinical Supervision (Cascade). I have completed Levels One and Two in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and also completed the Advanced Training in Complex Trauma and Dissociation. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a newer paradigm that directly effects trauma in the body without the need to use touch. Clients report an appreciation of its gentle and empowering interventions and its practical approach to internal distress.