Starting therapy – what to expect

Our first session gives you an opportunity to talk about your reasons for seeking therapy, to address any questions you may have and to discuss how we might work together. In preparation for this meeting I will ask you to complete and return a simple questionnaire and a consent form, both of which will be sent to you when your booking is confirmed and paid for, along with a letter confirming all the appointment details.

The first session lasts for an hour. Subsequent sessions last for fifty minutes. Very occasionally a double* session (90 to 100 minutes) may be necessary but this would be discussed and planned in advance.

If, after our first meeting, we are both happy to continue working together, we will probably agree to meet for a further four or five sessions. These sessions are important as they give us the opportunity to make a thorough assessment of your needs, your resources and your limitations. Clients usually find this initial ‘map making’ stage helpful in all sorts of ways, even though they may also become more aware of painful feelings and of the extent of the work that may lie ahead.

At the end of this period we will review how the work has been going. I will be able to give you a realistic idea of what could be achieved if we continue working together and we will discuss how to proceed. Clients usually attend once a week, at the same time wherever possible. This is particularly important during the early stages of therapy as we build an effective working relationship and establish a rhythm to our work. As the work progresses it may be appropriate to space the sessions further apart.

Occasionally, if the work is particularly demanding or you need extra support, sessions may take place more frequently, providing I have the availability. Sometimes it may be possible to schedule an extra session by telephone or by Skype to help you in a time of crisis. However, please be aware that I am not able to provide additional support outside of pre-arranged sessions. If you feel unable to cope with the intensity of your feelings between sessions we will discuss what other resources are available to help. However, it may be that our work will need to be placed on hold while you access other types of support.

*Please note double sessions cost twice the usual fee.