How many sessions will I need?
The honest answer is “at this stage, I don’t know”. I will have a good understanding of approximately how many sessions will be needed following the initial assessment. The types of therapy that I offer are time-limited; typically between 6-20 sessions. However, if a problem is long-standing (has been around for many years) or you have multiple difficulties, therapy can last longer than 20 sessions. Duration of therapy depends on the nature of your problems and on progress.
How often do I need to attend for therapy?
This again can vary. Most sessions are once weekly at the start of treatment, however, sometimes, when people are very low, it can be helpful to have two sessions per week, and then gradually decrease the frequency with progress. That is, once you start to feel better we will discuss reducing the frequency of our sessions to every fortnight, etc. When you feel ready to end therapy, we can plan some follow-up appointments to help you maintain the progress you have made, usually at 3 and 6 month intervals.
Who can refer for therapy?
As well as self-referrals, I accept referrals from GPs, Consultant Psychiatrists, other Health Professionals, Employers, and Occupational Health Departments.
Will anyone else have to be involved in my treatment?
No, nobody else has to know that you are seeking therapy, however, if we both agree that you would benefit from an antidepressant, I would normally refer you to your GP. Some people like their GP’s to be aware that they are seeking treatment; if you would like me to write to your GP informing them that you are seeing me for therapy, I would be happy to do so.
Is everything we discuss confidential?
Everything you tell me is confidential, however, sometimes, to help me to help you better, I may discuss you with my supervisor. My supervisor is bound by the same ethical guidelines regarding confidentiality as I am. I will not disclose your details to a third party without your prior consent, except under the following circumstances:
1) if, in my opinion you are at risk of hurting yourself
2) if, in my opinion, you present a risk to others. Under these circumstances, I reserve the right to inform appropriate external agencies, normally your GP (as in circumstance 1) or the police (as in circumstance 2).
In the event that I need to disclose information to a third party, I will discuss this with you beforehand.
Will I need medication? Do you prescribe medication?
If we decide that your mood is so low that it is making it difficult for you to concentrate on the therapy, and if your low mood is also making it difficult for you to attend work, or attend to your day to day tasks at home, we can discuss the role of medication. I am not qualified to prescribe medication (most therapists are not qualified). If I thought you would benefit from starting an anti-depressant, or other medication, I would recommend that you visit your GP, or a psychiatrist. They are both qualified to prescribe medication.
Why should I choose these types of therapy over other therapies?
There are a lot of “talking therapies” available, with some offering longer-term therapy (traditionally, psychoanalysis lasts over one year). The types of therapy I offer are recommend by NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as the treatments of choice for depression and anxiety related difficulties. Clinical trials have demonstrated their effectiveness, compared to other talking therapies. They have also recently received a lot of coverage in the media recently because they are shown to be effective in treating a number of emotional and behavioural problems.
Are there problems that the types of therapies you offer cannot help?
The types of therapy I offer can help with most emotional and psychological problems. However, I personally do not specialise in:
- Anorexia Nervosa – when severe/requiring specialist inpatient support.
- Under 16s (children and adolescents)
- Couples Counselling
If you think you may be benefit for support for any of these, I would refer you to your GP for further guidance.
Will this work for me?
This is largely dependent on how much time, effort and hard work you are prepared to put into your treatment. We will review your progress regularly and if you do not think you are making progress, we can discuss the possible reasons why this may be. Therapy is not for everyone; after your initial assessment, if I think you will benefit more from a different approach, I will discuss this with you, and will either provide you with contact details of another service, or I may offer to refer you elsewhere if necessary.
Do you have questions?
It's not unusual to have questions about what type(s) of therapy may be suitable for you.
I'm here to help. Please don't hesitate to get in touch so we can discuss what might help you.