The initial consultation lasts for up to 90 minutes and it is an opportunity for you to experience what therapy with me would be like.
I will do my best to make you feel comfortable and relaxed and you will be able to talk about whatever you like in a safe and confidential space.
Gradually, we will try to make sense of what you are experiencing and set some initial goals for your therapy.
If at the end of the meeting you decide you would like to work with me, we can then arrange to meet for regular weekly sessions.
I provide a calm, safe, reflective space which is dedicated to you. It is a place where you can explore your thoughts, your feelings and your relationships.
There is no fixed way of working and you may start by simply talking about what anything which is difficult or confusing for you.
Gradually we will begin to find patterns in the ways that you relate to others, yourself and your feelings and it is in these patterns that most of our difficulties can be located and worked with.
Psychotherapy creates a supportive relationship in which your patterns of thinking and feeling are not only talked about but also in some unique way experienced together.
My psychoanalytic approach is informed by the understanding that our ways of thinking and relating to ourselves and others are unconscious.
These unseen patterns are steadily uncovered during our work and, over time, this can lead to profound and lasting change.
My approach is also relational. I see the supportive, non-judgemental therapeutic relationship which is focused on thinking about you and your needs as the vehicle for emotional change.
I work in accordance with the BACP Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct and under the guidance of regular clinical supervision (as do all registered psychotherapists).
Therapy can be hard work, yes! It takes a certain amount of resolve to stay with emotional graft of working through your feelings, fears and difficulties.
Therapy is only successful if you take an active role. Your own efforts, openness and desire to learn will help you towards a deeper understanding of yourself.
Your therapist is there to listen and help you to make sense of things and so he will not be doing most of the talking.
A therapist’s role is not to encourage you to live life the way he does but rather to guide you towards a better understanding of yourself and what is best for you.
Your therapist will therefore generally not offer specific advice to you and will typically remain neutral about decisions you make in your life so as to support your own autonomy.
Therapy takes time. Issues which have built up over a lifetime are unlikely to be resolved instantly. Long lasting emotional change and growth happens incrementally over months and years, not days and weeks.
In a world of speed and ‘quick fix’, it has to be accepted that therapy is something which is gradual.
Therapy takes perseverance, strength of mind
and an investment of time and money.
All therapists have undertaken extensive therapy as part of their training. This means that they have had first-hand experience of being in the client’s position and of the challenges you are facing when approaching therapy (maybe for the first time).
It also gives us confidence in the therapeutic process as we have reaped the rewards of therapy. I believe therapy
provides an opportunity for deep and lasting emotional change allowing us to live a more fulfilling life.
Counselling often focuses on resolving a particular issue. You may want to talk about something specific – perhaps a difficult relationship, painful emotions, unsettling memories etc. In this case, counselling for a few weeks or months may be appropriate.
Talking with someone who is trained to listen and make helpful interventions is quite a different experience from talking with friends or family. It can provide a sense of relief and create a change in how you think, feel or act in situations which have been frustrating or distressing. This may well allow you to move on without any further support.
Psychotherapy aims for more profound changes to take place. There is an opportunity to explore and change unconscious ways of relating, thinking and feeling which may be impacting on your relationships, emotions and sense of well being. These problems may have troubled you for years or they may have surfaced more recently.
Psychotherapy is generally open-ended allowing time for difficulties to be worked through within a safe, supportive relationship. It is also possible, however, to arrange for fixed-term psychotherapy in which only the more pressing matters are focused on.
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