I normally start by asking what has brought you to therapy and why now? It is a chance to talk through your expectations and what you hope to achieve. You can ask me any questions you may have and I can also give you some information about how I work. Above all, it’s a chance for you to get an idea of how it might be to work with me as your therapist; am I the right fit for you?
We would work through an intake form together where I would gain a bit more information from you around your medical and psychological history. I may ask some questions relating to your issues and any potential risks that may come up for us. This is all to ensure your safety and security as we begin to embark on a therapeutic journey. Once the intake form is complete, there is time to reflect on what has come up for you during the session and we can discuss a counselling contract.
The contract is essentially a set of boundaries we lay down at the start of therapy to ensure your expectations are managed as well as can be, that we both have a clear understanding of how our therapeutic relationship will work and how long we can anticipate working together. It is flexible and can continually be reviewed should something arise during therapy.
This very much depends on you. NICE guidelines suggest anywhere from 8-15 sessions if you are seeking therapy for one particular issue. However, it may feel better for you to work open-ended with regular reviews at set points to see how you are getting on. I normally suggest a review at around session 6 for us to assess how it's going for you.
Yes. I understand that not everyone can organise their sessions for the same time each week. I can be flexible to your needs as much as possible. This can be discussed at the contracting stage.
Online: I work using end-to-end encrypted emails and video-call platforms and regularly keep 3rd part software updated. I also work alone in a room that I look internally to avoid any interruptions. As with any technology, there is a chance of a data breach. However, I have made every effort on my part to avoid that happening, or at least minimise the risk to personal data.
All: Your therapy sessions are confidential, however there are some limits to this. If I feel you are a harm to self or others, I may be forced to break confidentiality by contacting your GP, the emergency services or your next-of-kin. In most cases I will notify you when I plan to break confidentiality, except in the cases of terrorism where I am not legally obliged to.
My specialist work involves working with new parents and I understand it is not always possible to find childcare to attend a therapy session on your own. It may suit you most to have outdoor therapy sessions as it is specifically designed for new parents to bring their babies along in the pram or a sling. Time in the session can be allocated to feeding the baby and the walking motion may be much easier to manage with a baby rather than hoping for them to sit calmly in a therapy room for 50 minutes!
Online therapy is also another good option as you can slot it around your baby’s nap-time without having to travel and to and from a therapy room. I have also taken sessions with a baby asleep on a client's chest, so it is something I am familiar working with.
Whatever works best for you is best.
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