Services – Individual Therapy
After initial telephone contact, I meet new clients for about an hour to explore together whether we can work usefully for their benefit. Once we decide to do so (and sometimes the client goes away to think this over) we arrange a series of sessions in advance. These are usually for an hour each, though sometimes we arrange longer sessions.
I recommend clients allow an extra twenty minutes when scheduling events which follow a session as we occasionally start or end a little later than planned.
If we agree to short term work, we’ll try to arrange all the sessions in advance, including a review and ending session. In longer-term work, we arrange a few sessions at a time and review how it is going from time to time by agreement. When we decide to end therapy (whether altogether or for a period) we schedule at least one, and sometimes several, ending sessions to review and complete our work together.
Sessions booked are your confidential time and will never normally be changed or interrupted.
At the beginning we agree what our work together is for and what your goals are and only proceed if we can agree that these seem realistic for us both.
The success of therapy and counselling has been repeatedly shown to have more to do with the quality of the relationship and rapport between therapist and client than about any particular ‘methods’ or theories.
Thus it is important that clients feel both challenged and safe with a therapist or counsellor, not cosy and not pushed around at a pace which is wrong for them.
Most, though not all, therapy sessions involve talking: some also involve drawing or movement or role-play or visualisation or other exercises. My training is ‘eclectic’, which means I make use of whatever tools (from a very wide range) seem to me most suitable for an individual, couple or group at the time.
My work is also ‘Humanistic’, so it begins with the client and where exactly the person is in the process of coming to terms with an issue or experience and never tries to fit you into a pre-existing model or theory of growth or change.
I often ask clients to complete ‘homework’ reading or assignments between sessions to help to integrate our work and I always recommend you keep a notebook or ‘journal’ of our work to help your understanding and reflection as we go along.
Sometimes the ‘work’ turns out to be more complex, or about something different from, what you came to talk about at first. Then we discuss where the process is leading and agree together on how far and how deep you are willing and able to go in those directions. Obviously, it is difficult to be exact about how long such personal work might take. People all have different wishes in terms of depth and detail.
Medication, drugs and alcohol:
It is very important that I know about any medications or drugs – medically prescribed, self prescribed, illegal or whatever – as these can influence the therapeutic process. It is also important, for the same reason, to know about your use of alcohol and other substances, which may alter mood, and I ask that all clients come to sessions ‘sober’. We discuss the meanings of these things when we meet.
Fees and cancellations:
I set different fees for therapy with individuals, relationship work and groups. Please ask what my current fee is. I reserve 20% of my work in all these areas at ‘concessionary’ rates, so do discuss your circumstances with me if you are unable to pay the full fee. If you are unwaged, or your circumstances change while we are working together, we will negotiate a fee we can both manage for a specific time.
Once we have agreed this fee, that will be due to me for all arranged sessions whether you are able to attend them or not. I arrange my diary on a fortnightly basis well in advance, so I must ask that cancellations be made ten days or more before a booked session, or paid for. It is often possible for us to agree a change within the same week if I have a space, so that no cancellation fee will be due. Otherwise I will expect you to pay for cancelled sessions (unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances) and to rebook the missed session as soon as possible. Fees are due for all missed appointments which are not re-arranged.
I increase my fees annually, usually in February – by roughly the rate of inflation – to keep abreast of rising practice expenses.
Note: I am happy to discuss any of these matters with you before we start our work together, or at any time during it.