Things you might want to know…

 

Is it confidential? Yes. I take confidentiality extremely seriously, and I do not routinely disclose anything that you have told me to any other party, other than in clinical supervision, in which I am – like all therapists – required to consult regularly with another counsellor/psychotherapist to review and enhance my clinical work. However, there are limits to confidentiality: if I were to have concerns that you or another person were at risk of significant harm, I may seek to obtain additional input from other professionals.

Do you have a code of ethics? Yes. My work is subject to a comprehensive code of ethics and complaints procedure, as outlined the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) Code of Ethics.

Who do you work with? I work with people from all walks of life who are 18 years of age or over; my door is open to people of any gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or nationality. While it is impossible to be sure in advance whether any kind of therapy will be helpful to any given individual, my experience suggests that psychodynamic therapy can be a particularly good fit for people who: want to understand themselves better; value an in-depth exploratory approach, and have a desire for change.

For those who prefer to learn more goal-directed strategies and techniques to manage their symptoms, it is possible that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) would be a better fit. CBT is usually a short-term therapy, whereas psychodynamic work is often on a longer-term basis (a year or more).

What does it cost? Weekly sessions are for 50 minutes and my standard fee is £55 per session. Some people can afford to pay more, others slightly less. This is negotiated on an individual basis.

How long does it take? Psychodynamic counselling and therapy can be time-limited, but the emphasis is not on quick-fixes; accordingly, my way of working tends to be longer-term – with the work usually taking months rather than weeks, and often a year or several years. As a guide: work on mild problems of recent onset is likely to be concluded more quickly than more diffuse, severe or longstanding difficulties. Having said this, clients are free to come for as many or as few sessions as they wish, and I am respectful of the fact that it is the client’s prerogative to choose to end therapy at any time.

What happens when I book an appointment? When someone contacts me to request counselling, I will offer an initial appointment at a mutually convenient time. Ahead of this, I will send you a copy of my treatment contract for your information, along with a brief questionnaire, and some forms requesting basic information (name, address, date of birth, GP etc.).

The initial consultation is an opportunity for us to meet and get a sense of whether we would feel comfortable working together. During the appointment we will usually: 1) talk about the problem that brings you into therapy; 2) discuss something of your background and history; 3) review some information about my way of working; 4) address any questions that you might have; 5) establish whether psychodynamic therapy is likely to be appropriate for you. Often this process is spread over the first two or three sessions.

What happens in ongoing sessions? At the beginning of the sessions, I will usually wait for you to begin with whatever is uppermost in your mind. I will be listening and will leave space for you to talk as freely as you can about what is of concern to you at the time of the session, or anything else that comes to mind at that time – and that could include memories, dreams, mental images and associations. You may also have thoughts and feelings about therapy itself – perhaps even about me, and I would encourage you to talk to me about such thoughts; this is because it can help us to assess whether the therapy is meeting your needs, and it may also allow us another way to understand more about your psychology.