How long will it take?
Each session is fifty minutes, and we would usually meet weekly. Some clients find a short piece of work, between six and twelve sessions, for example, enables them to feel clearer about how to tackle their current situation, and to have some understanding of how their past experience has contributed. Others begin with an idea of the issues they want to explore, or come to therapy because although outwardly their lives appear ok, they feel something is missing. Often clients come because something in their life has suddenly or gradually come to feel unbearable or unendurable, and they want help to deal with their feelings, and a strategy to move forwards. How long this takes will vary from client to client, and it’s difficult to tell at the start.
What will happen at the first session?
The first session is a full fifty minutes, and costs the same as other sessions. The main aim is to find out whether working together would be helpful to you, so I will try to give you a real sense of what working with me would be like. I will probably ask a few more questions than I normally would, to help me get a better picture of your life, and the difficulties you are facing. You might have some questions of your own. By the end of the session, you will probably have a feel for whether you would like to continue with me, but it’s also ok if you don’t: you can take some time to think about it, and contact me later.
What happens next?
If we are clear we’d like to begin working together, then we might set a date for our next meeting at the end of the session. I like to see clients at the same time and day each week, and I will set aside that session for the duration of our work together. If you have particular requirements, such as shift work, which would make this difficult, then we can discuss alternatives. If you are not sure, or would like to take some time to check out another therapist, that’s also fine: I won’t initiate further contact with you, so there will be no pressure to decide. Sometimes, clients might decide therapy is not what they want at this time, but would still like a further session to clarify or complete their thinking, and I am happy to offer a single follow-up session in this way.
What if I don’t like you?
Then it’s probably not a good idea for us to work together. Research seems to show that one of the most important factors in therapy is the quality of the relationship between the client and the therapist which supports the therapeutic work. I can suggest other counsellors or therapists who might suit you better: this is your therapy and how you feel is important.
What if I start crying and I can’t stop?
This is a really common fear, but it would be highly unusual. Seeking help takes courage, and beginning to speak about your experiences with a therapist can feel full of hopes and fears, so it’s understandable that strong feelings might be present. Central to my approach as a therapist is helping you to identify and manage your own emotions, and to help you set a pace which feels right for you. If you do cry, there are tissues in the room, and a bin to put them in. You can even take one with you when you leave if you need to.
What if I don’t want to cry?
Then that’s also fine. Crying is not a goal of therapy, but developing an easier or clearer relationship with your own emotions might be. Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all process, and I work with each client to find the way which best helps you.
Will you just sit there in silence?
No. I will probably speak less than you, and I won’t be talking about my own life or experiences, to keep the therapy space yours. This might feel strange or unusual at first. In the first few sessions, I may ask more questions, so I can get as full a picture as possible. My integrative approach means putting you at the centre of your therapy, rather than trying to fit you into a theoretical box. My aim is to understand your experience as fully as possible, and then to develop a way of working with you which balances support and challenge in a way which suits you. This can take a few sessions, and I will be interested in how it feels to you.
Do you give advice?
No. My role is to support you in finding your own way, and I will do that by listening carefully, and giving you a space to think in outside your everyday life where the focus is on you alone. I might bring in my experience of you in the sessions, or help you to notice what is important to you, or patterns which repeat in your relationships or life. I may be able to suggest a way of looking at your experience which helps you understand yourself and your reactions better.
What will it cost?
My current session fee is £45, payable in cash or cheque during the session.
My question isn’t listed here, and it’s too embarrassing to ask…
It might feel embarrassing, but there’s a high chance I will have heard something similar before. You can email me at
Ok, I think I want to start therapy with you, what do I do?
Contact me, and we can arrange an initial appointment. I’m usually able to offer an initial appointment within a few days, and currently have daytime and early evening appointments available.
I’m still not sure….
You’re welcome to browse my pages for as long as you want. It’s worth checking out other therapists or counsellors to see if you can identify what feels most important to you. Or you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any further questions you might have.