What to expect
The therapy room
Making first contact
Whether or not you have experienced therapy or counselling before, taking the first steps to get professional support can be daunting. I understand the feelings people have when they first contact me as completely normal and usual. It's important to hold in mind that you are under no obligation to enter into therapy until you have enough information to make your decision The following is aimed at letting you know the process involved to help people make that decision. .
When people first contact me, either via email, phone or text, I usually like to have a very brief chat on the phone to arrange a time to meet when we can talk in a little more depth. Right from the outset, I hold any discussions in the strictest confidence.
First meeting - consultation
The initial meeting, which lasts 30 mins, is to help people start to decide whether they want to look into working with me. Being able to meet me person to person, see where I work from, ask me questions about the way I work and the models of therapy I use, can give people an initial sense of whether they think I could help them. If we decide to proceed further then we begin the therapy assessment.
The assessment stage is where I take a detailed history, look at what the issues are and what people want from therapy. I ask questions about their current and past life experience in order to gain a good overall picture of them.
As this requires people to talk about their experiences, some of which are painful, it can be a tricky process for them. I try to make it as comfortable as possible by encouraging brief replies and avoid in depth stories about their past which can re-traumatise by engaging too deeply in memories.
The initial meeting and the assessment are not therapy sessions and therefore doesn't offer therapeutic interventions, however, people do often leave feeling 'lighter' due to sharing about their difficulties, focusing on what they want instead and simply from sharing with another person in a non-judgemental environment.
Following the assessment, if I think I can help, I will offer them therapy sessions. Alternatively, if I assess that I am not the appropriate therapist for that individual, I will refer them to an alternative therapist, or therapy, to the best of my ability.
Frequency and duration of therapy
Sometimes people only need a few sessions to get what they need, and others need longer, several months, a year, or more in some cases. I work with a treatment plan focusing clearly on what it is people want to attend to and put regular reviews in place to consider where we are in relation to these aims. I always aim to support people through their difficulties as fast as is possible, whilst respecting the pace of each individual.
Therapy is most effective on a weekly basis, although fortnightly sessions are sometimes agreed to with Lifespan Integration (LI). Sessions are normally 60 minutes but if using LI, sessions can sometimes last up to one and a half hours.
I work from a therapy room in Borrowash that benefits from being in natural surroundings, is tranquil and has good privacy. I only offer therapy face to face and not via Skype (or similar software).
I hope this offers an idea of what to expect initially. If you have any further questions about the process please don’t hesitate to contact me (go to ‘contact’).
People whom have worked with me have reported that they are often unsure as to what to expect and the start, but that as time goes by they become more confident, feel safe and share things that they have found hard to do in the past. This has enabled them to feel freer and shifted blocks that have held them back in the past.