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Coming to therapy for the first time can be a daunting experience, but with the right help it can be the first step on a life changing journey. The idea of sharing your innermost thoughts with a ‘stranger’ can cause anxiety and worries about being misunderstood, judged or the therapy not working. You may also have practical questions about the sessions and below there is some useful information. Should you have more questions, I am happy to talk to you and you can book your free initial consultation on the bottom of this page. 

How common are mental health problems? 


Mental health problems are very common and it’s estimated that one in six people struggle with anxiety and depression. Lack of confidence, insecurity and low self esteem are even more common. 


There are many reasons why people struggle with mental health issues, and today’s lifestyle has introduced new stresses and uncertainties which can be challenging. 


What does an initial free consultation involve? 


The initial consultation is a 30 minute call when you can ask any questions. The call provides an opportunity for me to explain how I work, but also to briefly discuss what brings you to therapy. We may discuss any concerns you may have about therapy or I can tell you a little more about my qualifications and experience. Following this consultation you will decide if you would like to book your first session. You may take time to think about it and book online later or book straight away with me. 


Is therapy for me? 


Therapy is all about change and if there is something you would like to change in your life, therapy may well help. 

When's the right time to start therapy? 


Deciding whether it’s the right time to start therapy can be complicated and varies from person to person. On one hand therapy requires a commitment to change which often involves putting yourself first and getting out of your comfort zone in order to build a more fulfilling life. On the other hand, therapy often involves overcoming anxiety which makes it easy to come up with reasons, why it’s not the right time to start therapy. It’s a common conundrum and I’m happy to talk through your individual situation in an initial telephone consultation.

What does the first session involve? 


The first session is designed to find out more about you and develop a tailored therapy package. I’ll ask about what has brought you to therapy (short and long term), what aspects of your life have been affected, and what you would like to be different.  


It also provides an opportunity to explain my professional approach and talk through how we can best work together. At the end of this session we may discuss a plan and agree on the focus and number of sessions. 


Currently I only provide online sessions.


Can I bring someone for support? 


It is perfectly normal to feel anxious about starting therapy and I’m happy for you to have a friend or a family member in the first 20 minutes of the session. However, it’s rarely helpful to have someone else throughout the session and not recommended in most instances. 


How long are sessions? 


Each session lasts for 50 minutes. 


Do I need to do anything between sessions? 


At the end of each session we will discuss specific ways of improving your wellbeing between sessions. 


What happens if I need to cancel a session? 


Continuity is a key part of therapy and it’s important to attend all agreed sessions. However, life can be complicated and you may need to cancel an appointment. Sessions cancelled 24-hours in advance won’t be charged and can be rescheduled, but please let me know as soon as possible. Sessions cancelled with less than 24-hours notice will be charged as it’s unlikely I’ll be able to fill the appointment at short notice. 


Do I need to pay in advance? 


Payment is not taken in advance but after each session.


Can I reach you outside of sessions? 


Contact outside of sessions depends on the client and the therapy. Sometimes it can prove beneficial while sometimes not, and it’s something we can discuss in the initial session.  


Can you prescribe medicine? 


As a professional psychotherapist I am not able to prescribe medication, which can only be prescribed by your GP or a psychiatrist. However, during sessions we can discuss the use of medication, the pros and cons of taking medication and issues surrounding compliance. 


Is everything confidential? 


The general rule is that everything is kept confidential between client and therapist. However, there are some circumstances when I may be obliged to disclose information to third parties (such as your GP or the police), for example if you pose a risk to yourself or others. However, I will always try to let you know about such circumstances in advance. 


Will I have to lie down on a couch? 


No, sessions are sitting down facing each other. 


Is there anything else I need to know? 


People who are in crisis, and feel they require immediate psychological support, should seek help from specialist services (useful information and contacts can be found in Resources).

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