How I work
Coming to counselling for the first time can be a very daunting prospect. For many people it is the first time they have spoken to anyone about a particular issue, let alone someone who is a stranger. I understand how frightening this can feel and also understand how difficult it is to make that initial leap into the unknown.
The first session tends to be more of a consultation to attempt to help you decide if and how therapy can help you, and in particular if you feel comfortable talking to me and whether we will be able to work together. In this session (and at any other time) I am more than happy to answer any questions you have about my professional background, qualifications, and the way I work. This decision is, of course, a two way process and there may be rare occasions whereby I may recommend another therapist who may better suit your needs.
This first session does not commit you to continuing therapy with me, although if you do wish to work with me, I like to encourage clients to commit to a minimum of 6 sessions to give the therapeutic relationship and process time to develop.
One important aspects of therapy is the need to identify goals that you wish to work towards. These goals may already be clear to you at the start of our work together. Alternatively they may arise out of the initial consultation session (or subsequent sessions) as we begin to explore different aspects of your life. Soon we will both have a common understanding of your current problems or difficulties and also the direction you wish to take therapy. From here we can begin to work collaboratively towards achieving these identified goals.
As we progress. Once we have identified a goal (or goals) that you wish to work towards, the real work of therapy can commence. During this period I will continue to work collaboratively with you to try and promote and facilitate the changes in your life that you desire. Through this collaboration I will work with you in an Integrative manner, whereby I will tailor my therapeutic approach to meet your specific needs and personality. During these periods of change, therapy can occasionally feel unsettling and difficult, however with time and commitment profound changes can often occur.
I believe that in order for therapy to be effective, it is important to make clear that endings should be thought about from the outset. This ensures that treatment can be focused, time-limited, and with a specific outcome. That is not to say that a fixed number of sessions is prescribed at the start (some people require only a few weeks of therapy and others need several months). Rather, that an identifiable endpoint should always be borne in mind by both of us with a view to working towards it.