When you first contact me about counselling / psychotherapy we will have a conversation on the telephone to discuss out what you are looking for, and to establish whether I may be able to help you. Assuming I think I can, we would then arrange an initial appointment at my consulting room in Angel in north London or Stroud in Gloucestershire.
At this session I would expect to find out some of what has brought you to this point, as well as finding out at least some of your background and history. We would also explore what it is that you think you would like to get out of our work so that we can set down some objectives from the start. This is also an opportunity for you to get a sense of me. The initial appointment will take around 60 minutes.
There is no obligation to take things any further at this point. If we do decide to work together, then we will agree a mutually convenient time when we can meet on a regular basis, and an appropriate fee based on my sliding scale (see practicalities).
It is really important that you feel comfortable with whoever you decide to work with as a counsellor or psychotherapist, because so much of what unfolds will depend on the working relationship that you develop. For this reason, I suggest that people take time to speak to or even meet a couple of prospective therapists to get a sense of who feels like the best fit. I've written more about how to find the right therapist here.
I usually see my counselling and psychotherapy clients on a weekly basis, and once we agree a mutually convenient time, then that becomes your regular slot.
On occasion I see people more frequently, but I find that meeting once a week suits most people’s routine and allows enough space between sessions for the necessary processing to take place. Sessions last 50 minutes.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Sometimes it is appropriate to work for just a few sessions, while other times the work can go on for a number of years.
Ultimately it all depends on many factors including what you want to achieve, the nature of the issues that you are bringing, how much space you are able to give to the process between sessions and how ready you are for change. If we are working on an open-ended basis I would expect us to review the work every now and then to see how we both think it is proceeding.
Our work will be confidential. Everything that you say to me will be held in confidence by me, with the exception of a few circumstances as laid out by the UKCP and BACP codes of professional ethics by which I am bound.