Therapy, when broken down to its basic parts, is about having a space to be able to think through your feelings and experiences with someone who is trained and practiced in listening, accepting and not judging. It is a supportive space just for you, where your thoughts and needs are the priority and where you can safely think about all aspects of yourself.
An important aim of therapy is to help you understand yourself better and feel more at home with yourself. It is a place where you can think about how you respond and react to the world around you.
Therapy can support you with a range of issues, such as depression or anxiety. It can also help you through a crisis like grief, work related stress or relationship breakdowns.
Thinking of therapy as something everyone can benefit from and not just those in a mental health crisis can help reframe it, to see it as a great form of self-care. There are no rules about what warrants therapy; it is about what each person feels. Therapy can be used to help think through issues at work or friendship dynamics. It can be for when you feel a bit stuck, are struggling to cope or when you are finding it hard to resolve a challenge on your own.
There are some complex mental health issues that cannot be solely support by therapy. In these instances, the therapist would work alongside and in collaboration with a range of other professionals. There are also occasions when the client may choose to be supported by a therapist with specific training; for example, PTSD and eating disorders can often benefit from a particular approach. These therapists will have undertaken additional and specific training to work with in their chosen field, providing them with a slightly different tool kit. However, all therapists are trained robustly to support whatever difficulties the client brings, and often the most important part of therapy working is the relationship between the client and the therapist.
There is often confusion around the difference between counselling and psychotherapy. Other than the title, there is little difference in practice. Counselling is considered to be shorter term, lasting between 6 & 12 sessions. Psychotherapy is seen as open ended and could go on for many years should the client wish. However, both forms of therapy will work in the same way to help you process your world and, where needed, resolve any challenges that are preventing you living life as you would like. Both strive to support you to find greater clarity, empowerment and self-awareness, with the hope that this in turn will create more happiness.
There are several of different types of talking therapies. They all have different approaches to working with clients (or patients). There are 3 main schools of therapy: CBT, Analysts and Humanistic therapists. When looking for a therapist, it is worth spending a bit of time researching how each method approaches therapy in order to find one in which you feel comfortable and confident.
Different therapeutic approaches will have different answers to this question. CBT tends to be shorter, often starting at 6 sessions. Psychodynamic therapists may feel that therapy will take at least a few years. As a Humanistic therapist, my view is that you will need as many sessions as you feel you need. Practice in an open-ended way means no deadlines, or pressure to ‘feel better’ before you really do. It is good practice to think about how things are going every so often. I don’t prescribe a time scale but often Check Ins come naturally as an issue has been worked through to a comfortable point. At this point we would discuss together whether therapy is still working for you.
I have a flexible approach to our sessions: it might be that you feel you need support to think through a recent life event, perhaps trying to work out a career choice. For this, I would recommend a minimum of 6 sessions to ensure we can give things a really good thinking over. Maybe you feel you need emotional support while you go through a transition, such as a relationship ending. Maybe you need a space to work through the change and the loss – this might only take us 6-12 months to ride out together. For some of us, life has been more challenging and complex; you may be looking for on-going support to help work out who you are amongst all the experiences you have had. If this is what you need then this is the way we will work: in an open ended and ongoing way.
It is important to note we are not working to a schedule and therapy will last as long as you feel you need it.
If you are here reading this then you may well be already wondering if therapy is right for you. If things are feeling not quite right, it can be a really good time to try therapy. The first step to knowing if you need therapy is knowing if you want it; you may have doubts and you may be scared but you are going to give it your best shot.
Thinking about asking for help can feel like admitting defeat but acknowledging you need support is one of the hardest and bravest things someone can do. The majority of people have felt overwhelmed at some point in their lives. Life is often much faster and much harder than we are prepared for. It can seem, through the lens of social media or casual chats with colleagues, that everyone else has it all together. It can be lonely and overwhelming to feel as though you are the only one who isn’t coping.
These challenging, overwhelming feelings are different for all of us. For some it might be the more obvious symptoms like depression or anxiety; other feelings can be unexpected or perhaps you just don’t feel like You. It can feel like, even though you are doing your very best, things just aren’t going the way they should.
There can be a loss of confidence when life becomes too hard; with this can come self-doubt and struggling to take care of ourselves. When we are finding things hard, it is easy to slip into negative habits and behaviours. It can feel impossible to break these frustrating patterns when you are carrying so much already. Therapy can help you identify the things that aren’t going right and think through ways to make changes.
Knowing if it is time to get therapy can be confused by feelings that things aren’t ‘that bad’ and you could wait just a bit longer. Therapy isn’t just for people in crisis, it is brilliant at preventing small issues snowballing into a crisis. There are very few situations during which having a set time and space to really be heard and accepted would not help calm the chaos of everyday life.
If this sounds like something you might relate to, then therapy could well be right for you.
I have worked with clients in person for over 10 years and have loved every moment of it. I have enjoyed being in the same space as my clients and having a space into which to invite them. I see in-person and online therapy as equally valuable and important.
In my work, over time, I have noticed that often clients would struggle at certain points in the therapy to attend sessions. During a painful or challenging point in their therapy, it could feel impossible to take the small but overwhelming steps to come to therapy.
My hope is that by providing therapy online there will be fewer challenges for my clients to access support when they need it most. That while it may feel impossible to get up, dressed and out of the house, it may not feel as hard to turn on a computer or phone. For me, working online means that if my clients want to be there, they can be.
I have also found that when working with clients within my specialisms, being online is invaluable as it means I am not constricted by geography and can work with clients all over the world who are looking for a therapist who understands their specific needs.
Being online creates more flexibility and allows people to access therapy with minimum disruption. It can now be done in your lunch break with no travel time. It is also something that is more accessible to those who have medical reasons which make leaving the house challenging, meaning I can work in a more inclusive way.
In my experience, clients can prefer working online because not having to go to an office or see a therapist in their own neighbourhood can give an extra sense of anonymity. This can lead to feeling more secure, making opening up easier. Being in their own home with their own things may give individuals a greater sense of security. These things can all mean that clients are able to start processing their lives faster and more profoundly.
I ask that you pay for your session via bank transfer 24 hours before we meet. I find that by doing this it prevents any of awkward feelings around payment which may detract from the therapy. By paying in advance, it means we are able focus solely on what is going on with you in that moment.
It is also possible for clients to pay for blocks of sessions should this be helpful, and this is something that can be discussed in our initial session.
Predominantly my sessions are done via Zoom. At present, it is one of the most secure platforms for video calling and is easy for clients to access from both computers and phones. Zoom is End-to-end encrypted, which means that only the people on the call can hear and see what’s happening. Each client is provided with their own Zoom ‘meeting’, which is only accessible to the client at the time and dates specified. Once that session has ended the ‘room’ is closed permanently. Each week I send out a new invite for each session in advance, all you need to do is click on the link at your session time.
If you would rather use a different medium, I am happy to discuss this with you and find alternatives.
My working hours are 8.30am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday. My availability varies as clients start and finish therapy, but I always try my best to accommodate each client’s needs.
In addition to this I offer 2 evening (8pm) sessions a week. Let me know if this is your preference, but please be mindful that these sessions are often full, and I may need to offer you a space on the waiting list.
All therapists will have their own policies for cancelled sessions, and it is useful to know what they are when you are choosing a therapist. While individual therapists each have their own approach, most will have a policy where the fee is paid should a session be cancelled within a certain window of time. Doing this prevents the therapist being impacted by a loss of earnings, but more importantly it also encourages the client and therapist to value the space and time that has been set aside for them.
In my practice I ask clients give me 48 hours’ notice before a session when cancelling, if they do this there is no charge. For cancellations within fewer than 48 hours’ notice, I will offer an alternate session that week if I have availability. If this isn’t an option, then I will charge for the missed session.
If you are trying to contact me to cancel a session and you are unable to get through directly, please leave a message and I will take this as the time of cancellation. Often the best form of contact is email as I can easily check-in between sessions. As soon as I can, I will get back to you to take the next steps.
Therapists offer a confidential space where thoughts and feelings are safely kept. It is one of the foundations upon which the therapeutic relationship is built, and part of what makes therapy different to talking to a friend or colleague. Therapy is a unique space where you can unpack everything while being completely sure it will be treated with care and kept secure.
Confidentiality is fundamental in my practice; I respect what you tell me and your privacy. I understand the importance of being able to share our full selves without fear of exposure. For our therapeutic relationship to thrive there must be a deep level of trust, and one of the first steps towards this is ensuring that you know all you say is held in confidence.
There are two occasions where I am ethically bound to break confidentiality: when you or someone else is at risk of harm or if I am required to give evidence in a court of law. If this happens, I will speak to you to explain the next steps.
Should you ever need to be referred on to another professional for additional support then we will discuss together what information you wish me to share with them, as well as what information I feel may be useful for future help.
Finally, it is important to know that all practicing therapists have regular clinical supervision, where they reflect on their work to ensure they are working ethically. In my supervision I ensure to anonymise all my clients to protect confidentiality.