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 you decide if therapy with me is for you.
I usually like to have a 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. You are invited to come for an initial meeting, which lasts 30 mins, which gives you the opportunity to me questions, get a sense of who I am and how I work and see where I work from. If we decide to proceed further then we begin the therapy assessment. There is no obligation to enter into therapy until assessment is complete.
The assessment stage is where I take a detailed history, look at what the issues are and what you want from therapy. I ask questions about your current and past life experience in order to gain a good overall picture. The duration of assessment varies from person to person, lasting anything from one to two hours in the main. The assessment is usually completed in one sitting, but occasionally works best to complete in two sessions.
As the assessment 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 and these sessions are charged pro-rata.
I work from a therapy room in Borrowash that benefits from being in natural surroundings, is tranquil and has good privacy. I also work outdoors in natural environments in Derbyshire.
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 (please 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.