“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
— Viktor Frankl
Perhaps you’re in a relationship or a job that just isn’t working. Maybe you’ve hit a difficult transition in life and feel lost and uncertain about your future. Or there are things that have happened in your past which are holding you back.
These problems show up as anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems, loss of confidence and depression. They may also cause us to develop unhealthy patterns of behaviour such as addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, obsessive behaviour, avoidance and procrastination.
Therapy will raise your self-awareness and help you to see things more clearly. By understanding your story you will be able to identify the root causes of the issues you’re struggling with.
Together we can look at ways to help you manage better and find strategies to cope. You will feel more confident and better equipped to make the changes you need to live the life you want.
For me, therapy is a vocation not a job and I am passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. I hope I can make a difference in yours.
It can feel daunting to start therapy – I know I’ve been there! And it often takes a long time and a good deal of courage to reach out for help. However, getting to the first session is the biggest step in your journey. I will do my best to put you at ease and make you feel comfortable. The relationship between us is crucial to the success of the work and the first session is a good opportunity to see if the connection between us feels right. In the I first session I will need to get an overview of why you’re coming to therapy and what you hope to achieve. Some clients choose to dive right in and share their story and others prefer to move more slowly – there is no ‘right’ thing to do it’s entirely up to you.
Some clients feel a bit unsettled after that first session as it has made them think about things they find difficult and so brought uncomfortable feelings to the surface. This is inevitable and a normal part of the process. Others feel a big sense of relief after the first session as they’ve been carrying around a burden for a long time and have finally shared it with someone. Again, experiences differ but do share how it feels for you with me.
If, after the first session, you decide you want to continue with therapy, we will arrange a regular day and time going forward. Having just a couple of sessions probably isn’t going to achieve your goals. I generally advise clients to book 4-6 sessions and then we can review the work to see how things are going. Some clients will find they have done enough and others will continue for many months. There is no general rule and I work both short and long term with clients.
I do find it beneficial to have an initial series of weekly sessions as it allows us to get to know each other better and really understand the problems you’re experiencing. Some clients later reduce to fortnightly sessions and some long term clients just come along as and when they need a ‘top up’.
There is no pressure to continue therapy if you feel that you have done enough work and achieved what you wanted. Many clients find it helpful to have an ‘ending session’ where they are able to review how they feel and consider what they’ve gained from the sessions. Having established a relationship with clients, I am happy to see them in the future if new issues arise or they feel more therapy would be helpful.
I’m not an expert on everything by any means and some issues do require specialist training. If I feel that the issues you present are outside my competence I will refer you to another therapist with the appropriate knowledge and skills.
The basis of therapy is that it is a confidential process between client and therapist and I do not discuss what is shared in the sessions. However there are a couple of exceptions to this. Firstly, as a therapist I have monthly supervision where I talk about my work with another psychotherapist. This is good practice and required by the BACP. However the discussion is anonymised and my supervisor will not know your identity. There are also a couple of legal situations in which I would have to breach confidentiality the principal one being where I thought you or someone else’s life was at severe risk. Full details of my confidentiality policy can be found in my counselling agreement.
In general, psychotherapy is a more in-depth, longer-term process which helps clients with more entrenched mental health problems. Counselling often deals with events which clients are finding difficult and may be shorter term. However in practice the approaches and theories used in both are the same.
I work from two practices, one in Surbiton and the other in Weybridge. I am also happy to offer online sessions if preferred.
I offer a free initial phone call to talk about what you’re looking for and how I might be able to help. If you are happy to move forward, we can book a session at a mutually convenient time.
Sessions are usually in person but I do offer sessions on Zoom when necessary. I have availability for daytime and evening sessions during the week.