Unsure about therapy
Feeling unsure or anxious about beginning therapy is natural. I am very happy to chat briefly with you by phone, in order to help you answer any questions you have, and to help you decide if therapy is right for you at this time.
How do I book an appointment
It is possible to set up an appointment online, or by phone or e-mail. If you phone and I am unavailable, please leave your name, phone number, and a convenient time for me to return your call, and I will phone back as soon as I am able.
What happens in the first session?
The first session lasts 50 minutes and it is an opportunity for us both to explore the nature of the difficulties which have brought you into therapy. The session will also focus on identifying your goals for therapeutic work, and which type of therapy you might find useful. During this session we will also decide together on the frequency and depth of sessions which you need, and we will also explore how to review and monitor your sessions, so that we can both understand if you are benefiting from the therapy.
What happens in further sessions
Further sessions will also last 50 minutes, and the depth and frequency will be based on your needs which were discussed in the first session. The end of therapy will usually be reached when you have begun to move towards experiencing the changes you need, or have begun to move towards resolving the issue which initially brought you into therapy. To help you reach this point, we will regularly review your therapy sessions to ensure that we are proceeding in a therapeutic direction which is useful.
Ending your therapy
As part of the process of ending counseling or psychotherapy, I like to recommend that we spend at least a month working towards a successful ending, particularly when therapy has taken place over many months. Taking time to think about the ending, allows us both to respect the process which has taken place between us, as well as offering you further therapeutic insights for the future.
Are the sessions confidential?
What you discuss in your therapy sessions is confidential, and information you present will not be disclosed to others without your consent. Only in exceptional circumstances would this contract of confidentiality be broken. An example of an exceptional circumstance would be if you were to tell me about a serious crime, or if you were at serious risk of harming yourself or another person. In such a case, I would be obliged legally and professionally to disclose this information. If such a position were to arise in your therapy, I would expect that we would discuss this together first, so that we can both decide the best solution to resolve such a situation.
If you are taking medication or have a chronic illness
It sometimes can be useful for me to work in collaboration with your GP or medical consultant, but this would be discussed at the first session, and your consent sought, before I liaised with other health professionals concerning your therapy.
If you are attending therapy as part of an 'Employee Assisted Program'
The normal requirement is that I will send a report to your referrer at the end of therapy. If this is the case, I always discuss reports with you, since I expect that we will co-author this together before it is sent to your referrer.
If you have been referred to therapy through your GP
It is also expected that I will send a report to your medical practioner at the end of therapy. If this is the case, I always discuss and co-author reports with you, before these are sent out to your doctor.
What professional codes do you follow?
As a member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I work to a professional Code of Ethics and Practice which can be found on the BACP website. I also follow the ethical practice guidelines of The British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Institute for Learning (IFL).
Online social media & professional boundaries
Since the world is a small place, if you enter therapy with me, it is likely that we might come across each other online. We might even find that we have mutual friends on Facebook or other social media sites. Since I do not socialize with clients who are in therapy with me, I also keep these professional boundaries when it comes to online social media websites. This is why I do not accept friend requests on Facebook and Google+, or connection requests on LinkedIn, or reciprocate following requests on twitter.