For most people , medication changes how they feel, but psychotherapy is what changes what their lives are like - Vaughan 1997
I believe that many of our difficulties develop as a result of our first relationships in life and our past experiences in general. We repeat patterns in our lives in the hope that one day things will turn out differently. Therapy offers you the possibility of gaining insight into these patterns and the opportunity to change them for more rewarding and satisfying ways of being with yourself and with others.
In order to survive difficult experiences, people often feel compelled to hide their feelings. These repressed feelings are frequently expressed in depression, anxiety, mood swings or physical symptoms. Counselling or psychotherapy can offer an opportunity to look at what has previously been hidden away.
After your initial contact (by phone or email), we agree to meet for a first assessment session. This is an opportunity for you to tell me more about yourself and your current difficulties, and to check if you feel comfortable with me. It is also a chance for me to check that I am able to offer you the help that you need.
If at the end of this we are both happy to proceed, we can arrange further sessions, or you can take time to think about things further. You are under no obligation to continue. If at this point I do not think I have the skills needed to help you, I will talk with you about other possible options.
How long is each session?
Each session lasts for 50 minutes.
How often will I need to attend?
I like to see people once a week. This is an important requirement for building the solid working relationship usually needed to help people explore and work through most presenting issues.
How much will the sessions cost?
My charge is £60 for a 50 minute session (same charge for our initial meeting). This is reviewed annually, usually in April (rising in line with inflation).
I ask you to pay at the start of each session, either by cheque or with cash. Please note that I do not invoice insurance companies or accept credit or debit cards.
Do you charge for cancellations?
Yes. I ask you to give me 48 hour's notice.
How many sessions will I need?
This is not something we can predict at the outset. Essentially, we will work for as long as is necessary for you to resolve the issues you came with. However this is mutually negotiable, and so, we will review our work regularly to check that you are receiving the therapy that is right for you. Of course, you are free to end at any stage.
What happens when I want to stop coming?
We will negotiate an ending period, which, depending on the length of time you have been attending and your requirements, may be anything from one session to a few months. I usually suggest that we end our work face to face in a session though, rather than over the phone/email etc. This closes our work cleanly rather than leaving any loose ends, and gives you a chance to face any difficulties surfacing at this stage.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
In the UK the two terms are used interchangeably. I think of counselling as responding to an immediate problem or issue which can be resolved relatively quickly. Psychotherapy is the term I use to describe work with people whose problems are longer lasting and typically originate in a person's earliest relationships.