This is a general guide to what to expect when you make contact with me with a view to starting online web based therapy, from start to finish.
This is a free 30-minute conversation - usually by video. You can enquire to book through here. It is a chance for you to tell me what has brought you to therapy so I can better understand and see how I can help, and for you to get a sense of me and see if I might be the right therapist for you. There is not commitment at this stage, I'll take down some basic information, and write a few notes when we meet. If you decide not to go ahead then I'll destroy these notes and won't save your information.
Beginning regular sessions
After we have met and agreed a treatment plan, we will then be meeting on a regular basis for 50-minute therapy sessions. Dependent on whether we are working to a fixed number of sessions or open ended, and dependent on whether you have a specific therapy goal, we will be working with a loose or more specific degree of focus. I will keep notes on our sessions for my own records, and I will store your information and appointments in my secure client management software.
My approach to therapy is strongly collaborative, I will be actively seeking input from you at all times on how you feel therapy is going, and tailoring my approach to fit your unique needs.
I will be working to make you feel safe and secure in therapy, to support you in opening up to me about your problems. I will be listening attentively and using my training and knowledge to give helpful and constructive input. I will no be judging you, or your problems.
Whatever the approach, and the goal, in sessions I will be supporting and facilitating you to explore and understand your issues. Therapy is a different conversation to one you have with a friend or colleague, and as such it can feel a little odd to start with. Getting used to talking about yourself for 50-minutes can bring up issues in itself, sometimes people worry they are talking too much, or feel they should be asking how I am, don't worry, you'll get used to it. I find that often it is the people who worry the most about taking up space that need it the most, and who stand to benefit a lot from therapy.
There is no set length of time that anyone should have therapy for. For some issues a short-term intervention is sufficient. For others, they may prefer to explore without worrying about how much time they have to do it in. There is no right way to have therapy, and no right answer to how long it should last. I see clients for weeks, months, and years. In my experience, when a client has got what they need from therapy, for now, it will feel like the right time to end.
Ending therapy is an an important part of the process. Therapy is a relationship and one that does end. It can often bring up other experiences of ending or loss for clients. Reaching a stage with therapy where you feel ready and able to go it alone is a big deal and a marker of your own progress.
Good therapy doesn't just end when you finish sessions. When you are ready to end therapy, it is because you have learnt new things about yourself, new ways of coping, you keep this and use this or the rest of your life. Some people like to have therapy for a while, take a break, and then come back, I welcome this approach where it fits.