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How will counselling and psychotherapy work for you?

When we meet I will be interested in hearing what you are looking for. We will then work out together how it feels right for you to proceed. This could be an arrangement of anything from just a few sessions to an open-ended time frame. Whatever we agree is always open to review and you are free to change your mind as things move on for you.

I do not have the answer to a problem you may want to solve, but what I can do is offer a different perspective and undivided attention. I will not pressure you, shame you or judge you. I will enter into a genuine relationship with you but I will not be involved in your everyday life. In this supportive setting, unique to therapy, I believe it is possible for you to find what you are looking for yourself.

I will not give you instructions on how to live your life. I will help you to express yourself and you will be given feedback which is intended to help you to decide your way forward.

Sessions last for 50 minutes and our work together will be absolutely confidential.

What is an assessment session?

The first time we meet will be an assessment session. It’s a time for you to speak openly about what brings you through my door. Together we will explore any aims you might have for therapy and I will offer you my initial assessment about how we might work together. I will outline for you my style of practice and they’ll be an opportunity for any questions you might have.

If you decide not to work with me or if I think that what you are looking for is out of my area of expertise then I can advise you on what might be the next move for you. Perhaps I could recommend a different therapist or point you towards an organisation that might be helpful.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Some practitioners make a distinction between counselling and psychotherapy - often using the term counselling to refer to short term work and psychotherapy to refer to longer term work - I do not find it helpful to make this distinction. I practice in an integrative way which means that I will be working, with your best interests in mind, using all my knowledge and experience whether we are meeting for short or long-term work. Throughout my website I use the term therapy to refer to both counselling and psychotherapy.

What is integrative psychotherapy?

There are many schools of counselling and psychotherapy. You may have come across them, for example, psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, humanistic, person-centred, transpersonal, gestalt, attachment, psychosynthesis and CBT. Integrative therapy means that my training included a combination of ideas to do with the theory and practice of psychotherapy and counselling. I have formulated my own approach to my practice coming from a sound grounding in many theoretical models. This means that one integrative therapist is likely to have a different approach to another because we would all integrate our theories differently. I consider my approach to be continually evolving as my practice and experience continues.

A final thought about starting therapy

I understand that sometimes the idea of contacting a therapist can be daunting. If you have got this far through my website I imagine that you are probably quite serious about wanting something from therapy. I know it's a bit of a cliché but it might help to concentrate on taking things one step at a time – you don't have to know where a journey will end in order to take one good step. You are not making any commitment by getting in touch and you are under no obligation to me. In my experience a therapeutic room is an extraordinary space. I am able to offer you an accepting environment with undivided attention. Experiencing these qualities can be profound. We can find new ways to meet ourselves and the world, new ways of living.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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