What happens in the initial consultation?

We will meet for around 50 minutes (the same length of time as ongoing sessions) and I will find out about you and what has brought you to therapy. We will work out together what it is that you want to get out of your therapy. You will get an understanding of how I work, and also get the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We will then decide whether we will have ongoing sessions, or whether another therapist, or service, might suit you better. Sometimes this assessment process takes longer than one meeting, and in which case would be extended to another time.

How long does therapy last for?

Therapy can last for varying lengths of time, from months to years. It depends on what you want to get out of the process. Planning the ending of our meetings is important.

What do I have to do in therapy?

You will be asked to attend sessions at the same time and place each week. Sessions will last for 50 minutes. Apart from that, all that is asked for is to say whatever is on your mind, being as honest as you are able to be. It is my job to facilitate an atmosphere in which you are able to express your fears, anxieties, hopes and desires without feeling you have to censure them.

How do I know if therapy is right for me?

This will be carefully assessed in our initial consultation. We will make a joint decision about whether your needs are best served by psychotherapy/counselling, and if they are, whether I am an appropriate psychotherapist for you to see.

What information should I provide for you when I enquire?

Some basic details about why you are seeking therapy would be appreciated, but are not strictly necessary. When we meet for an initial consultation we will discuss your reasons for contacting me in detail.

I am a parent, searching for help for my son/daughter. How do I proceed?

Firstly, you should note that I do not see children aged under 16. If your child is aged 16 and over, then it's important that they know you are arranging an initial consultation (or at the least not objecting to it), as counselling and psychotherapy are not activities that one can be forced into.

If that is the case then I find it helpful to speak to the parent on the phone prior to the initial consultation to get an understanding of the situation. I will then meet with the young person face-to-face for an initial consultation, and my relationship will be with them henceforth. I generally will have minimal contact with the parent subsequent to the initial phone call, as the young person will benefit most from knowing they have a confidential relationship with me. This is, of course, subject to any potential safeguarding concerns, in which case the parent may be notified, depending on the age of the young person. We may also liaise further in relation to travel arrangements and/or funding the sessions, if you are doing so, but in the main you will discuss that with your child.