Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in the first session?
We get to know each other. In the first session I invite you to tell me what brought you to therapy? This is also your opportunity to voice your concerns, needs & desires regarding the therapeutic process you are about to engage in.
It is helpful to be mindful of the answers to the following questions:
1. What triggered you to seek help at this point in time? This may be life events or crisis, such as, illness, childbirth, trauma, sexual dysfunction, unemployment, bereavement etc.
2. What keeps your current issue ‘alive’ for you? - What are the behaviours or attitudes that you might have to give up, in order for change to happen?
3. What may be behind/underlying the problem? Here think about what in your history may have set the issue up - conscious/unconscious messages acquired at childhood - ignorance, repressive upbringing, taboos, incest, false expectations, outdated beliefs etc.
However, please don’t worry if you don’t have a clue, this will be part of our work together!
How long are sessions / how often do I need to attend?
Individual clients - attend for 50 minutes a session once a week or as arranged. Some clients may choose to have double sessions every other week or weekly.
Couples - are seen for 60 minutes per session, though from experience, many couples find it helpful to be seen for a double session (2 hours), once every 2 weeks. This can be negotiated in our initial consultation and later reviewed if needed.
Whether you come as an individual client or as a couple I must emphasise regular attendance is an important requirement to the therapeutic process; it shows real commitment to the work involved – without commitment change is difficult.
How long do I need to attend therapy for?
This will depend on you and the issue you have come to therapy to resolve. We can discuss this at your initial consultation. However, it is often not easy to predict at the start. Short-term therapy usually indicates an issue that does not involve in-depth work. This may be an issue that has only occurred recently for the first time. Long-term therapy may be needed where there is unresolved trauma or long-term behavioural issues that are reoccurring. Long or short- term therapy may also be appropriate for personal development, again depending on the individual, their outlook, and personal goals.
How do I know when I am ready to end therapy?
In a open-ended contract when you feel you may want to end therapy we can discuss this in a review/ending session. – Here your work & progress in terms of goals achieved can be assessed. Should you decide to end we can plan for an appropriate ending session to follow. Endings are an important part of the therapeutic process; much can be gained from a good ending.
If the sessions are contracted for a specific amount of time – these sessions will either naturally come to an end at the last contracted session, – being the review/ending session or if we agree more work needs to be done, you can either opt for a further specific amount of sessions or for an open-end contract.
For couples, I suggest (not prescribe) at least 12 sessions to begin with. Research suggests that most couples give up between sessions 3-5 when their issues start to surface and they begin to feel uncomfortable. Although this can be initially disconcerting, it is crucial to stay through this period if therapeutic progress is to be made. - Anxiety is a natural part of our growth cycle, learning to hold onto oneself through our anxiety is an important part of the healing process.
What happens about confidentiality?
The sessions are confidential with the exception of BACP regulations relating to the following:
➢ on occasion, I need to discuss my work with my supervisor who is bound by the same code of ethics in terms of confidentiality.
➢ if I become aware that you are at risk or may potentially put others at risk.
➢ I am required to give evidence to a court of law.
➢ I am required by the BACP to keep brief notes, which are stored, securely & not identifiable by your name.