The first session will last 50 minutes, as would all subsequent sessions if we decide to work together. In the first session you will be able to express your reasons for coming to therapy and what you hope to gain from it. There is no obligation after the first session, but it will provide the opportunity for you to ask any questions about the process of therapy or my way of working, and decide if I am the right therapist for you.
For therapy to be most effective, it is best to attend on a weekly basis.
Therapy can be offered on a short or long term basis. The number of sessions depends on what your individual needs are and what you are hoping to gain from therapy. This is something we will discuss and work out together based on our initial consultation, and it will be continually assessed throughout the therapeutic process.
You can choose to stop therapy at any time you decide. However it is usually recommended to give two weeks notice, so that the therapeutic process can end effectively.
Confidentiality is a fundamental aspect in the practice of psychotherapy, meaning what is spoken about in sessions is not discussed externally. However there are some exceptions to this confidentiality:
- As a psychotherapist, part of my professional code of conduct and practice involves discussing my work with a qualified supervisor, to ensure a good standard of clinical work. The personal details of clients remain confidential.
- As a psychotherapist I am legally obliged to report any knowledge of the current abuse of children, threats of deliberate harm to life and threats to commit acts of terrorism.
A counsellor would have undertaken a counsellor training programme and be registered with a counselling organisation e.g. BACP. They will be able to listen to and support clients as they talk through difficult issues.
A psychotherapist usually holds a higher level of training specialising in psychotherapy and, if registered with an ethical body (e.g. UKCP), requires a minimum of 4 years training to masters level. During this time trainees will experience working in a variety of settings with different client groups. Often psychotherapists work with clients for a longer time and look at more in depth issues.
A psychologist holds a psychology degree and is registered with the BPS. To be a chartered counselling psychologist requires an extensive training leading to doctoral qualification. A psychologist is not a medical doctor, but has an in depth understanding of psychological development and functioning.
A psychiatrist holds a medical degree and has completed additional training in psychiatric medicine. They can prescribe medication, hospitalisation and other mood altering treatments. They are not necessarily qualified in psychotherapy.