What is a Doctor of Psychology?
Please bear in mind that "counsellor", "therapist", and "psychotherapist" are not legally protected titles in this country and anyone can use them. A psychologist is a specialist in mental health and well-being that has trained at the highest level by completing a doctoral degree. It takes a minimum of 6-8 years to qualify as a Counselling Psychologist. "Counselling Psychologist" is a protected title, regulated by the Health and Care professions Council. You can check my registration details here.
Who comes to therapy?
People come to therapy because they are unhappy with some aspect of their life and their attempts to resolve problems so far have not been successful. The different sections of the website and blog provide detailed information on individual, couple, and family therapy.
Does therapy work?
There is extensive research evidence about the effectiveness of therapy for a wide variety of difficulties.
How do I go about arranging an initial consultation?
Please ring 07805945233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set a date and time that suits you.
Can I use my insurance policy?
Yes, I am registered with BUPA, Aviva, Axa PPP, Cigna, and WPA. You may often need to have a meeting with a GP or psychiatrist who can approve your request for therapy before accessing my service. If in doubt do not hesitate to call me on 07805945233.
What can I expect during the initial consultation
This is an opportunity to discuss what you need help with. I know that meeting for the first time can be anxiety provoking and I am experiened with helping people manage these feelings. A consultation may result in a recommendation for therapy, a further meeting to gain more clarity on the situation, or a referral to another professional.
I am nor really sure if I should be looking at individual, couple, or family therapy.
We can usually speak briefly on the phone before arranging a consultation. You can also attend an initial consultation on your own and we can then consider inviting other members of the family. We will think about this together.
What if I come to see you and I don't think that your services are appropriate for me?
My priority is what is in your best interests. I will assist you in finding a therapist/service provider that can meet your needs.
What happens if we agree to work together?
We discuss your goals for therapy and how we will approach these. We set a time and day each week which is reserved for your use.
Do I need to come every week?
I understand that people have multiple commitments in their lives. I want to make every possible effort to accomodate these. However, I am also aware that for therapy to be effective this frequency is necessary. Coming less frequently does not provide the momentum necessary, slows down progress, and extends the time that you need to attend.
How long will it take?
One of the advantages of accessing private therapy is that duration is based solely on your needs and not dictated by external factors such as organisational restrictions. The aim of therapy is to transfer knowledge and skills and eventually to make the therapist redundant. In order to achieve this, time needs to be invested in order to secure long lasting change.
Will you tell me what to do or give me advice?
The aim of therapy is to help you make more sense of your thoughts and feelings, and how you relate to yourself and other people. A therapist is an expert in helping people and you are an expert in yourself. You will be working as a team in order to gain an in-depth understanding of your problems and to effect lasting change.
Isn't therapy expensive?
Therapy is very cost-effective. In my experience people can spend signficicant amounts of money on holidays, clothes, gadgets, and other things that only give short-term relief. Therapy is an investment. It is, in a sense, an educational activity that confers emotional skills that can last a lifetime. People also find that when they gain more clarity about their situations they tend to make better financial decisions that can offset the intial cost of therapy.
Are sessions confidential?
Most definately. The only instances where I would extend the limits of confidentiality is if I became seriously concerned about harm coming to you or others around you, if you were involved in serious crime, or if your records were requested by a court. In these cases I would endeavour to first talk with you. I also receive regular supervision to ensure a high standard of professional practice and clients are presented anonymously. Supervisors are also bound by codes of confidentiality and ethical practice of their professional organisations.
I fully comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
What if there is a serious emergency between sessions?
I will always plan with you what to do to keep yourself safe and can refer you to psychiatry colleagues for additional support during your therapy. As I do not operate a crisis service, and cannot guarantee my availabilty outside your session times, if you are in need of urgent support you can visit your GP, local accident and emergency department, or telephone the Samaritans (08457909090).
What if something bothers me during therapy?
It is not uncommon for people to sometimes struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings in therapy and this is usually a good sign that important work is taking place. I encourage you to give me regular feedback about anything that concerns you. If at any point you wish to raise a complaint you can do so through the Health and Care Professions Council.
I have a question that is not listed here.
Arranging an initial consultation is a good opportunity to bring such questions up and does not commit you to starting therapy.