Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about therapy and counselling and what to expect:
How do I know if I need psychotherapy?
The short answer is that everyone on this planet would benefit from some therapy. This is because we all have things stopping us being who we could truly be. Investing in some therapy or counselling is one of the best investments you can make in your life – a toothbrush for the soul. If you feel that you are somehow stuck, unhappy, not yourself, not living your full potential in life, depressed, anxious, stressed – these are just some of the reasons to have some therapy.
What happens in a session?
We would start by exploring what you would like to have happen as a result of therapy – how you would like to be living your life if you no longer had the problem. Then we work towards achieving this. There is no set formula – everyone is unique, your problem and how you are doing it is unique and so how we go about solving it is unique. I work with you in a way that honours you. You need to be prepared to work too – and make gentle, positive changes. Yes this will include some personal history and considerations of your family background, in order to understand patterns that have got you here. Each session you will understand yourself better and you will be more in touch with your body and its wisdom. Therapy is an empowering process, I certainly won’t be telling you what to do, instead I will help you find your own solutions.
How long will I need to see you for?
Honestly, I cannot answer this. Some people see the changes they want in six sessions, others longer. The average is around 12 sessions in my therapeutic base. Others want longer term support. You decide.
How frequent do sessions need to be?
This is up to you and your budget to some extent. Although I do recommend that initially sessions are a little closer together, perhaps weekly, or if there is a crisis even more frequent. Other than that biweekly, monthly or any frequency to suit you.
How much are the sessions?
The sessions are an hour long and my standard rates are £50/hr weekdays up to 5.30pm and £55/hr evenings and weekends. However, I know that sometimes income is limited so I will work with you to agree a price that suits you. I generally ask that you come on board for two sessions at the full rate first.
What if I don’t want to continue after the initial session?
That is perfectly fine, there is no obligation whatsoever.
How do I choose a psychotherapist or counsellor?
This is a very important question. I have written a separate post to help you which you can read here. You need to look for professional credentials as well as personal qualities. And I always advise to shop around – try a few out to see if you get a feeling you like them and can work with them. Many therapists offer a free initial session to help you do this.
What if I am not happy with the therapy or not seeing results?
Of course, you would not continue. I always work with people to check on this each session, the counselling and psychotherapy that I practice is outcome focused, and I regularly check that you feel you are making progress towards your goals. If you are not, we would talk about this and change the approach or end the work. I find this rarely happens, however it is your right and responsibility to tell me if you feel the therapy is not working and we will do something about it.
What if I can’t make a session?
If you can’t make a session, let me know and we will rebook. I ask for 48 hours’ notice, sessions that are cancelled in less than 48 hours are chargeable at your full rate. Conversely, if I have to cancel a session at less than 48 hours’ notice, your next session will be free.
What if I can’t talk about my problem?
It is not unusual feel embarrassed talking about problems, this can be part of the problem. Thankfully shame and stigma of getting helping and receiving talking therapy is becoming a thing of the past. I understand that our relationship as psychotherapist and client is a unique; many of my clients have said “I’ve never told anybody that before.” and they’ve also appreciated that they don’t have to take care of my feelings when they are sharing something deeply personal or painful. We work at your pace, and go at the level of change that you’re comfortable with.
How come you don’t have any testimonials?
Many clients find me through their own networks, via word of mouth, which is a great honour because they trust and know that I will keep their confidence. Currently the code of ethics of both UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy governing body) and NLPtCA (Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy & Counselling Association) prohibit members from gathering and advertising testimonials from clients. So whilst I have many notes and cards of thanks; and a whole host of feedback from clients I am not permitted to share.