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The therapy process
The term counselling is often used to describe therapy of a shorter duration where you perhaps need help with one particular problem, for example, painful feelings arising from the end of a relationship, a work-related issue or bereavement. Psychotherapy usually describes sessions taking place over a longer period of time, looking at more deep-rooted problems, often relating to earlier life experiences. Sometimes you may begin therapy with a limited number of sessions but then discover you want to continue to explore many different feelings and experiences and brief therapy or counselling becomes longer term work.
I offer short or longer term therapy depending upon your particular needs. I normally suggest six sessions (including an initial assessment session) to begin our work and then a review to explore whether and how you wish to continue.
In both counselling and psychotherapy, looking at problems you have experienced in the past can sometimes help in understanding current psychological difficulties and emotional distress. A deeper understanding of how problems have developed and being able to identify patterns of behaviour can ease difficult feelings and increase self-awareness. With greater awareness, you may be able to manage problems more easily and find ways of changing unhelpful patterns of behaviour.
I usually speak to you on the telephone before setting up an assessment meeting when we will agree the time and place of your ongoing therapy. There is a reception with waiting facilities at Tokenhouse Yard in Bank, but no waiting area in Wimbledon, so I ask that you arrive at the agreed time, if possible. It is not possible to extend sessions if you are late. The initial assessment meeting usually lasts for one hour and is an opportunity for us to meet each other and see if we can work together. It is also an opportunity for me to ask some questions about you and the way you are feeling to ascertain if I am the appropriate therapist to help you. Thereafter, therapy sessions last for fifty minutes (this is known as the therapy hour) once a week.
I charge £40 for the assessment meeting and then £60 for ongoing therapy sessions.
I generally charge for all cancellations or missed sessions, other than agreed holidays but I try to be flexible in this and will discuss charges for cancellations with you directly. If you need to cancel a session, please contact me as soon as possible. In some circumstances and at my discretion, I will waive payment for a missed session.
I usually take holidays which coincide with half term breaks, Christmas, Easter and a longer break in the summer. I book holidays some months in advance so will give you plenty of notice of these breaks.
I treat all information disclosed in our sessions as confidential (except in discussions with my supervisor who follows the same rules of confidentiality). I would only breach confidentiality if I became concerned that you might cause serious harm to yourself or to someone else. If that situation arose, I would always try to discuss my concerns with you first before contacting anyone else.
If we haven’t already agreed a final session date, I would ask that, if possible, you give me a minimum of two sessions notice of your intention to end therapy. These two sessions will allow us to finish off and review our work together, which is an important part of the therapeutic process.
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