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What to expect

Discovery call

When you first get in touch with me I will often invite you to book a free call (usually online).  This typically takes 20 mins.  It gives an opportunity for initial introductions and allows you to ask any questions you may have.  It's not essential though and some people prefer simply to make initial contact by email and then proceed to the first appointment.

Next Steps

I will let you know during the discovery call or at initial contact stage what my approximate waiting time is.  If you are happy with this and we decide to proceed I will forward you some administrative forms to complete. 

Confidentiality and Privacy

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and in line with GDPR legislation I will forward you my Privacy Statement which provides information around confidentiality and data processing.

First Appointment

 

During your first session I will invite you to share how things are now as well as your relevant background and history.  If you are comfortable speaking we will likely discuss who helps and supports you, including any involvement you have with other services. We will probably also talk about your day to day well-being, such as your mood, sleeping, eating patterns and any risk or self harm.  Very importantly, we will explore your hopes for the therapy and the changes you would like to see. 

We’ll go at a comfortable pace and the format is conversational – this will help us see how we get along and let you experience how it feels to begin to open up about yourself.  The relational aspect is more important than getting through all the information and throughout the conversation you choose how much you say. There will be no pressure to share anything you don’t want to or to go into a lot of detail. 

If you are not comfortable speaking at all that's ok too as the most valuable aspect of the first meeting is to see how it is for us to be in the same space - virtually or in person - together.  Even online, there are many options for relationship which do not involve speech.

After your first appointment

First appointments often resurface some issues you may not have thought about for a while and it can be helpful to plan to have some time out afterwards before you rush into the rest of your day.

Please take your time after our appointment to consider what it was like for you and how you’d like to proceed. You will have a sense from our time together whether you feel I am someone you could work with and I will also be honest with you if I believe there is another therapist or service which would be more appropriate for you at this time. 

 

Remember timing is important – sometimes an initial appointment helps people decide they need to engage in therapy but they realise it’s not the right time. Engaging in a therapeutic process is more than attendance at individual appointments as you need to build in time between sessions for self care and reflection. Therapy "works" both via the sessions and during the time in between. 

Ongoing sessions

The majority of people I see attend at the same time weekly.  If your work or schedule makes it impossible for you to attend at the same time every week we will discuss this as I can sometimes book appointments in advance to offer more flexibility. 

Sessions differ depending on modality.  Psychotherapy sessions at times can incorporate elements of IFS or provide an introduction to Jungian sandplay, and if appropriate we can discuss you transferring to a different modality during the course of your work.  

Another note here about speaking, as this can be a particular concern for those of us who often or sometimes experience challenges around processing / "situational" non speaking.  There are always options for engaging therapeutically whether you speak or not and I do not see this as a barrier / obstacle.  You and any non speaking "parts" you have will always be met with welcome, acceptance and understanding. 

Length of sessions

Session lengths can vary depending on modality and your needs, however this does need to be planned in advance in order to protect the time and confidentiality of others.

 

There is a precedent within international IFS and Jungian Sandplay to offer extended sessions due to the depth of the work.  We can of course discuss this as appropriate. 

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