With the abundance of people currently offering counselling and therapy for mental health difficulties it is understandably difficult to know who is best suited to meet your needs. I offer a free 10-15 minute initial telephone conversation to talk about the issues for which you are seeking help and you can ask me questions about my approach. It might be that I am not the right person for you and if that is the case, I will do my best to suggest other avenues you might like to explore to get the help you need.
As a responsible clinician, regulated by a professional body (HCPC), it is my duty of care to practise within my limits of competence, as well as to recognise and prevent harm from happening to my clients. If I think you would benefit from another service, then I would not hesitate to talk to you about this and discuss possible options.
Our first session would last about 90 minutes and is for assessment and initial formulation, during which we would discuss:
• Your current difficulties;
• How your difficulties started;
• Your background and life experiences in general;
• What might have happened recently to cause you to seek help;
• What is keeping the difficulties going;
• What coping resources and support network you have at present.
At the end of this appointment, we would decide together what might be the best next steps. This might include therapy together, or we might agree further assessment is necessary, or might decide an alternative course of action.
Therapy sessions last 50-60 minutes and it is generally a good idea to start with weekly sessions. Dependent on your individual formulation and goals, you might expect to have between 8-20 sessions in total. We would review your progress regularly and adapt the therapy according to your needs and decide together how many sessions are appropriate.
Sometimes people are concerned that information will be shared with their GP, employer or family members and that this might have implications. The benefit of an independent service such as this is that information does not need to be shared until you are ready to share (if at all). The exclusion to this is when I am concerned about risk to you or to somebody else and then I have a professional and moral duty to break confidentiality and to share the information. However, I would always discuss these concerns with you first and we would try to work out the best way forward together.
I am registered with several private health insurance companies, but please be sure to check your own policy and excess before committing to sessions. I require a membership number and authorisation code prior to the initial assessment appointment and, if you are required to pay any excess, I reserve the right to suspend sessions until such payment is received.
It is free to cancel your appointment if you give more than 48 hours’ notice. Please note, however, that missed and cancelled sessions pose some issues for both of us. First, the work of therapy is sometimes challenging and when we hit a difficult place together, it can feel easier to avoid coming to sessions. I would prefer we speak about this, rather than you cancel the session. Also, I hold your scheduled appointment time specifically for you and I see a limited number of patients so that I can give you the focus and attention you deserve. It is extremely difficult for me to fill a session cancelled at short notice.
If an appointment is cancelled within 48 hours, then I will endeavour to find an alternative time for us to meet that same week, however if this is not possible then I will refund 50% of the fee. If you cancel within 24 hours of the appointment, then, unfortunately, I will not be able to refund you the fee. In such circumstances, if you are paying with private health insurance, then I will still submit an invoice and you might be required to pay if cancellations are not covered by your policy.
I do not provide an urgent or crisis service and am unable to deal with concerns that require immediate action. In such circumstances, please seek advice from your GP or NHS Direct (111). In a life-threatening emergency then please do not hesitate to call 999.