One of things that might hold you back from making your first appointment is not knowing what to expect from your first therapy session. In this blog post I intend to answer the question:-
What I can I expect in my first therapy session?
My approach is non-judgemental so whatever your age, race, religion, sexuality,gender identity or life experience you will be treated with respect and acceptance.
I am assuming here, that we are dealing with an issue that is not going to be put right in a single session.
Depending on the issues the first session could be 1 – 2 hours long. Most of this is spent gathering information in the “Case History”. The case history is made up of around 20 or so questions, but this is often completed in a conversational way, often with much discussion and many clients find this very helpful and insightful. Indeed it is not uncommon for clients to find answers they have been looking for in this session.
Often the case history leads to realisations
Where several sessions are indicated we will discuss a plan. The plan might be very clear and structured, or it might be more of an idea. However, it is essential that there is flexibility in any plan to deal with anything that might occur or change between sessions.
Your Core of Privacy
It is important that you feel comfortable during therapy, and therefore I refer to your core of privacy, by which I mean everything in that part of you that you really feel you cannot tell me. That core of privacy is inviolable and I will not try to access it.
This means that YOU are in control of the quality of your therapy. The more you are able to tell me, the more certain we can be of a successful outcome. The reverse is also true – the less I know the less focused the work will be, the less certain the outcomes. Where there are things you cannot tell me there will undoubtedly need to be some discussion so that I can understand why something must remain private, and this will help me to try to work around your core of privacy, with prying. Some clients – for reasons of security, for example, cannot give details about their work. As long as I know the reasons for “holding back” I can try to work around an issue.
As a therapist I utilise a number of approaches, methodologies and techniques according to the situation. I tend towards “solution focussed” therapy which means I concentrate on helping you move towards your desired solutions and outcomes, but where a more analytical approach is necessary I will tell you.I work primarily with BWRT® BrainWorking Recursive Therapy and Hypnosis.
I work with a variety of issues; – fears, phobias, distressing thoughts and feelings, stress, anxiety, stage fright, exam nerves, interview confidence and so on.
Protecting Your Privacy
Whilst I have had clients from as far away from Hainault as Bristol and Brazil it is likely that most of my client will live a little closer to East London. In the unlikely event that I see you in the supermarket, cinema or restaurant I will not give any indication that I know you. This saves you from having to explain who I am, and in any case I have a terrible memory for faces. Also I will not telephone you without your permission. If you email me, I will assume that is safe to reply, and that your correspondence will not be read by any third party. It might seem odd now, but it is true to say, that if at the end of therapy you forget all about me I will have done a good job. Therefore I do not send Christmas cards or marketing email, or maintain social contact.
Issues that might have a medical cause
Where your presenting issue has or might have a physiological/medical cause that has or has not been diagnosed I will ask you for your GPs details so that I can write a brief letter to them stating simply that I intend to start working with you on a specific date and that they can contact me if they have any concerns about the therapy. This is not for me to discuss your medical history with your GP. Here is my letter template.
For example – if you have self diagnosed bowel-pain as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) my duty of care and Code of Ethics and insurance demand that I notify your GP of my intention to help you. If I did not do this and you discovered that you actually have bowel cancer I will not have served your best interests. So I repeat – the purpose of the letter to your GP is not to discuss you nor to ask for information but to give your GP the opportunity to ensure that I am providing you with the best possible care and to give you the opportunity to obtain a medical diagnosis if you do not already have one.
FREE thirty minute consultation
If you have looked through the website and read through this article you may feel that all that is left is to find out whether you feel comfortable with me.
This is where the FREE 30 min consultation comes in. This is usually by telephone or Skype, but can be face to face. Most people who visits in person for their consultation decide to commence therapy there and then and that’s excellent – but it is your choice. If you want to go home and think about it that’s fine too.
To book your consultation email me firstname.lastname@example.org