If you decide you would like to see me the first session or two would involve talking with me about the main difficulties you are experiencing, what you would like to change from our work together (identifying therapeutic goals) and finding out about your life to date. I will ask you lots of questions and guide you through the process so you don’t need to feel worried about it. I will probably ask you to complete some questionnaires between the sessions as this gives us additional valuable information. We will then discuss what treatment approach would be most suitable, what this is likely to involve and how many sessions you might need. There is no obligation to continue meeting with me if you do not feel I am the right person to work with or if you do not feel ready to undertake therapy at this time.
If you decide you want to continue working with me, the treatment approach we use will depend on the assessment. I often use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as this is recommended for many difficulties. CBT involves understanding the cycles that exist between our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Once we have made these links it is possible to see how our thoughts affect how we feel and how we cope with them by using certain behaviours. Sometimes these behaviours seem like the only way to cope but they are unhelpful in the long-term and often inadvertently keep problems going. I often integrate therapy with other models (especially schema therapy, EMDR, DBT and compassion-based approaches) and these will be discussed with you.
Therapy sessions are usually weekly (particularly at the start of therapy) and last for an hour. They are collaborative (in other words we work together to understand your difficulties and find ways to help). There is usually work to be done between the sessions in order to make the most of the work in the session.