What is counselling and psychotherapy?
Therapy is a bit like a structured conversation where you can speak freely about your life without judgement. It isn’t always necessary to have a problem to focus on, sometimes it can be helpful to reflect on how you are thinking and feeling about your values, experiences and relationships. Therapy can provide the space to grow self-awareness, develop personally and achieve your potential.
The BACP has put together a handy guide on what therapy is and what to expect, that you can read here.
Therapy sessions are weekly and last for 50 minutes. CBT-E sessions run differently. You can read more about these in the 'Eating Disorders' section of my website.
I am qualified to work online with video, email, phone and instant chat. Online therapy offers access to therapy that is convenient, accessible and has the benefit of being in the comfort of your own home. Research has shown that therapeutic outcomes are comparable to face to face. However, online therapy isn't for everyone and probably isn’t the best fit for your needs if you have active suicidal ideation, a diagnosis of Personality Disorder, a diagnosed mental health condition, an addiction to substances or alcohol, or a chaotic lifestyle. Online therapy in general is not suitable for someone who is living with an abusive partner.
Note: Due to State licensing restrictions, I do not work with clients in the USA or Canada.
I am a trained CBT-E therapist offering a 21 session treatment plan. For more information on this please have a look at the Eating Disorder page.
What is the first step?
After you've had a look at my website and decided that you want to talk to me about starting therapy, email me at email@example.com or go to the 'Contact' page on my website and write me a brief message about your reasons for seeking therapy.
If our availability* for sessions matches we will agree a date and time for the initial phone consultation which can last between 15 and 30 minutes.
We will use the time on the phone call to talk about what you are looking for from therapy to see if I am the right therapist for you. There is no obligation to work with me at any time. If we agree that I could be the right therapist for you, we will book a first session together.
How many sessions will there be?
I offer one-to-one individual therapy on an ongoing, open-ended basis. Therapy ranges from one session to long-term therapy. We will agree an initial number of sessions during the first one or two sessions
Our work will involve a therapeutic conversation, with occasional creative work including drawing and using objects. We will look at how your thoughts, emotions and behaviour interact, and how they may be influenced by your relationships with others, both in the here and now and in the past. My role is to work with you to develop your awareness of the meaning of these experiences and start to consider the underlying needs you have and how these might be best met. We may agree on thinking to be done between sessions, and you may try changing your behaviour in relation to your growing self-awareness. My approach supports you to:
Explore issues with your mental health, body image, identity, grief, loss, and both personal and professional relationships.
Explore how your thoughts, feelings and behaviour influence your communication with others and development of healthy relationships.
Develop insight into relationships in the past and present and how these impact you today.
Find what works for you to improve your experience of life.
In the first session I will follow up on what we have talked about on the phone and check my understanding of what you are looking for from therapy and what you would like to focus on in the sessions. Typically you will then use the time to explain more about these experiences, issues you are having, or relationships and we will engage in a therapeutic conversation about these, exploring the meaning they hold for you and the impact on you and your relationships with others. At the beginning and end of the session I will ask you how you are feeling about the session, and at the end of the session we will talk about whether you would like to book another session.
What does therapeutic change look like?
It is normal for therapeutic change to be a process of improvement, then feeling stuck or in difficulty, and then to improve again. Therapeutic change isn't linear. Sometimes your relationship with yourself and others might feel healthier and more compassionate and then at other times your relationship with yourself and others may feel difficult. Change happens gradually. It is through continuing to prioritise space (in and outside of therapy) for reflection and by making decisions to behave differently in relation to ourselves and others that our relationships, mental health and wellbeing can start to change.
This is a brief overview that we can talk more about when we meet.
*My availability through the website does not reflect my actual availability for phone consultations, as my current clients use the same diary to book sessions online. Apologies for any confusion this may cause. I occasionally may not have capacity to take on further clients.