Beginning Therapy

Initial Consultation

Choosing a counsellor or psychotherapist can feel like stepping into the unknown, so to help you decide if you would like to work with me, I offer a free telephone consultation.  This call usually lasts around 40 minutes and is an opportunity for us to get to know each other. I’ll invite you to tell me what’s happening in your life right now and your reasons for starting therapy. We’ll talk about how I can help you and I’ll answer any questions you have about how I work.

During the consultation we will also talk about support, safety and privacy.  If we’re preparing to work online or by telephone then we will cover important practicalities like your IT confidence, security and creating a suitable space for therapy.

Working Online and By Telephone

If we decide to work in this way, I will provide you with an information sheet to help you get started.

Frequency of Sessions

When starting therapy it helps to have a regular and consistent appointment time that fits into your schedule.  Usually I see clients weekly for 50 minutes.

When you are ready to start, we will seek a mutually convenient day and time to meet. Ideally, I will offer you the same appointment slot each week. If needed, we can look at a more flexible arrangement to fit around your work or family commitments.  As you prepare to end therapy, you may decided to reduce the frequency of sessions, when you are ready, we can talk about this.

Number of Sessions

I offer both long-term open ended and short-term counselling and psychotherapy.  The number of sessions depends very much on you and what you would like to achieve.  During the initial consultation and at our first session we will talk more about this and explore what might work best for you.

Once you start therapy with me, from time to time, I will invite you to review progress and check with you that we are still on the right track. It is important to remember that you are not tied in to a fixed number of sessions and can decide to end at any point. However, when you are ready to stop, I would invite you to bring this up a few weeks before your final session, so that we can prepare for a good ending.

Fees and Terms of Business

My current fee for individual therapy is £50 per 50 minute session.  Payment is made by bank transfer in advance of the session.

I keep a small number of concessionary places for full-time students. Please ask about joining the waiting list.

Before we start working together, I will ask you read and sign a Therapy Agreement. This document sets out my terms of business and explains my approach to cancellations, missed appointments, late arrivals and contact between sessions. I will also provide you with information about my approach to data protection and confidentiality.

Confidentiality

Our therapeutic relationship and the content of our sessions are confidential. This means I hold your personal details and everything you say to me in complete confidence. I will not release any information about you to a third party, without your written consent, except where I am required to do this for safety reasons or by law.  Before we start working together, I will provide you with a copy of my confidentiality  statement. This document explains the circumstances where I may be required to break confidentiality.

Keeping Your Personal Information Safe

To support our therapeutic work I will keep certain records and information about you. I will always treat your personal information with care and respect. I am registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and work in accordance with data protection law as it applies to small UK businesses. Before you start therapy with me, I will provide you with a copy of my data protection and privacy statement.

Emergency Support

If you need help for a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown it is important that you contact your local NHS urgent mental health helpline. You can find the number for your area on the NHS website www.nhs.uk alternatively you can use the NHS 111 online service or call 111.

If you or someone else’s life is at risk or if you do not feel you can keep yourself or the other person safe call 999 or go to A&E now.

Your GP can also offer mental health support and refer you to specialist services. You can ask your GP for an urgent appointment.

Ready to Start

Please visit my contact page to arrange your free consultation.