All therapy starts with a detailed assessment which seeks to generate a deep understanding of what going on for the client. It takes into account not just the things in their head but also the context of their life and wider circumstances. It involves various questions and may sometimes also involve some questionnaires. The purpose of these is to help me to further understand what is going on, so that I can offer the best support possible.
Assessment usually takes between one and two sessions. The first appointment is 80 minutes. At the end of the assessment session(s), having established your needs and goals, we will draw up a formulation (a bit like a jigsaw) of the challenges and discuss whether therapy will be helpful.
I will then explore options for treatment with you and give you an idea of how long it is likely to last. The plan we create together may include further specialist assessments. I work closely with a team of psychiatrists, specialist nurses and family therapists, and if required will tailor an individual multidisciplinary care plan.
Therapy sessions take place on a regular basis and last for 50 minutes. I will guide the treatment and format of the sessions, asking questions, presenting ideas and psychological knowledge. I will also introduce exploratory exercises, and encourage you to continue these outside of sessions.
Progress towards the goals of therapy is monitored continually and openly shared. The ultimate aim is for you to become the expert at understanding and managing your own difficulties, both now and for the future.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I adhere to a strict Code of Ethics as outlined by the British Psychological Society. I therefore aim to offer as few sessions as necessary in order for you to reach your treatment goals.
The decision of when and how to end therapy, however, will always be taken jointly with you. We will of course take your funding circumstances into account.
A formal ending session will be arranged, during which you will receive a closing folder containing relevant documents and diagrams from your time in therapy.