top of page
Blue cloud_edited.jpg

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1

1. WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A THERAPIST?

Sure, you look for someone with the proper education, degree, and accreditation. Maybe you consider gender, age or if they share your culture or background. The online lists of credentials and clinical jargon are overwhelming when you need help. So, let me guide you from the heart.

What you really want to look for – what is most important above all else – is finding someone who gets you. The term ‘gets you’ is hard to explain with mere language. But, you all know what I mean and you certainly know when it happens. You want someone who is able to see through the surface and past the narrative to get who you really are inside. There’s little value in partnering with someone from the right university, with the right degree or title, if they don’t get you.

 

Admittedly, it’s more art than science. It takes a few sessions to unfold. Our time together should feel authentic. It may not always feel comfortable because growth is impossible without pushing through discomfort. So, don’t confuse the two. It’s my job to challenge you, to be your biggest cheerleader and to confront you with utter honesty and truthfulness. It’s worth remembering that mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs. Be active in your experience and brave enough to openly discuss any concerns or doubts. 

The right therapist can be one of the most meaningful relationships that you will ever experience. For some, it has been life changing and for others it has been lifesaving. Choose from your heart. Choose from your gut. Dare greatly and enter the arena with someone who gets you.

 

2. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM THERAPY?

 

Asking for help isn’t something that comes naturally for most of us. New clients commonly have fears and confusion about therapy and what to expect. Even people who’ve been in treatment before feel anxious to start up again with someone new. I get it – because I’ve been in therapy and I know what it’s like to sit in that other chair. We’re fellow travellers in this journey. I’ve learned that the best way to reduce apprehension and get the most out of therapy, is to understand what therapy is and what to expect. I believe in therapy and its ability to heal and transform lives. Knowing what to expect will help prepare you for the process of psychotherapy.

 

Phase One: Initial Inquiry

One thing I’ve discovered, having responded to numerous new client inquiries, is that therapy doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Either an incident has occurred or you’re seeking therapy because you’ve reached threshold. Incidents, especially those unexpected, bring pain and confusion. The threshold is the moment when you’ve just had it and you know you can’t continue to live like this anymore. Take heart. Painful incidents and reaching a threshold are powerful catalysts to get you to take action. Without them, people settle into the same states of dissatisfaction, without the motivation ever needed to transform their lives into something extraordinary.

Phase Two: Enter Therapy

It’s common for new clients to enter therapy with a sense of immediacy and heightened emotion. You’re still experiencing pain from a recent incident or in the recognition that your status quo can’t go on. My Clients report entering therapy, not with anxiety, but with a great sense of relief because they know help is on the way and they’re no longer alone. Either way, it’s not uncommon to experience intense emotions during your first sessions. Don’t worry. This is a normal part of the process and the intensity will decrease. I will support you through this phase with compassion, and at your own pace in a safe space without judgment.

Phase Three: Symptom Relief

After a few sessions, the level of pain that you initially felt starts to subside. Clients begin to feel better and report symptom relief. You may start sleeping better or feel less anxious. Whatever brought you in has lost some of its edge and intensity. And, that’s great news! Symptom relief indicates that we are making progress. You’re feeling better, which prepares you to focus on and fully engage in the process of healing and change. This is where therapy begins.

Phase Four: The Beginning or the End

Unfortunately for some, this is where therapy prematurely ends - before it really starts. Once patients are feeling better, there’s less urgency. The pain that motivated them to seek treatment, has been reduced and things are settling back into “normal”. But, what have you accepted as “normal” in your relationships, career, self-confidence, or happiness? Symptom relief is a first step, but its purpose is to stabilise and prepare you for more important work that extends beyond the surface of symptoms. Symptom relief doesn’t mean that the issues that brought you to therapy are resolved.

Phase Five: Show up

We aren’t wired for happiness. We’re wired for survival. Our evolutionary gene pool doesn’t care if we’re happy. It only cares that we survive long enough to procreate and keep the species going. So, the hard truth is… if you want happiness, you have to work at it. The benefits of therapy don’t happen in a vacuum without effort.

Phase Six: I’ve got your back

The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone. I’ve been through the therapy process as a client. I believe that you have everything you need to make the changes you truly desire. My job is to help you identify and remove the obstacles that are blocking your way. The biggest roadblock to experiencing the full benefit of therapy is that…

 

Clients underestimate the commitment that therapy requires

Therapy is not a casual undertaking. It will require a sincere commitment on your part to prioritize yourself, your self-care, and personal growth above other activities and distractions. The people who really benefit from therapy, show up every week and are committed to making a change. There are 10,080 minutes in a week. They make their weekly session the most important hour in their week. The psychotherapy standard for weekly sessions isn’t random. Studies confirm that clients, who show up every week, benefit from the power of momentum that builds week after week. It’s a little like working out. That six-pack will require commitment and consistent effort that goes beyond just joining a gym.

The decision to engage in therapy can be a pivotal, life-changing moment. I hope that knowing what to expect will support your commitment and prepare you for the process of psychotherapy. I want your time in therapy to be the best investment you will ever make in yourself.

3. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CONTACT YOU?

We will arrange a free of charge, 30-minute introductory call to assess your needs and see how I can best help you. Then we can arrange regular weekly sessions at a time that works for both of us. During our first session, we will go through my contract, GDPR, insurance, the ethical framework I am bound by and our confidentiality agreement.  I will also be able to answer any other questions you may have.  

4. DO YOU OFFER ONLINE SESSIONS AS WELL AS FACE-TO-FACE?

Yes, I completely understand that attending regularly in person is not always convenient so I can always offer you the option of working online. I also make some home visits, but these are subject to limited availability with price on request. Walking nature-therapy sessions are possible within the Cotswolds - again, these are subject to limited availability. 

 

5. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COACHING?

Traditional psychotherapy is depth-oriented with an emphasis on how the past affects the present. Coaching is present-oriented and goal directed but, they do overlap. Life coaching may incorporate elements of present-oriented therapies.

 

6. HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT TO BE IN THERAPY?

Again, that is up to you based on what you want to achieve. Some people have clear, short-term goals that are readily achieved with consistent focus and effort. For many Clients though, the timeline may be longer depending on the specific issues we are working through.

7. WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

 

I reserve time on my calendar for you each week. No shows or appointments cancelled less than 48hrs prior to the session, will be billed at the full price of a session. There is no charge for rescheduling a session with more than 48hrs notice.

 

8. WHY ARE SESSIONS 50 MINUTES AND NOT AN HOUR?

 

Sigmund Freud started the weekly 50-minute therapy session over a hundred years ago, for pretty good reasons. Clients may sometimes need a few minutes to ground themselves after our sessions, but it also allows us time to deal with payment, scheduling and your progress notes.

Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5
Q6
Q7
Q8
CONTACT

CONTACT ME

Feel free to drop me a line via email or alternatively you can complete the contact form and I'll aim to get back to you within 24 hours.

 

Online Sessions available UK wide and face-to-face sessions are from my offices in Cheltenham and Stow-on-the Wold. 

E-MAIL

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page