What happens at the initial meeting? The initial meeting lasts for up to one and a half hours, but is charged at the same rate as my standard fee for ongoing therapy. This allows us time to discuss your concerns and consider whether psychological therapy might be of help to you. I will be interested to hear what has led you to seek therapy at this time and how your difficulties may be affecting you presently. I will also enquire about your background, and past and present relationships, in order to gain an understanding of you in the context of your past and life experiences.
At this meeting we would consider the different ways we could work together and I will propose a therapeutic plan to you. You can then make a decision at the time to attend for a number of sessions, or you might wish to go away and think about what you wish to do.
Attending for an initial session in no way obligates you to continue to work with me.
How long does therapy take?
The length of therapy varies greatly depending on the client’s presenting difficulties and their personal goals. You may choose to attend therapy for a very specific difficulty and this might enable us to work in a focused and short term way. In other instances, difficulties are longstanding and deeply rooted and might require long term therapy.
During the initial meeting I will usually give you an indication of the proposed duration of therapy on the basis of my understanding of your difficulties. The therapeutic contract between us is always agreed jointly, so you have the final say as to how long you would like to come to therapy for.
Does my Doctor have to be informed?
No. Whilst I would recommend that your GP is informed that you have met with a psychologist, this is ultimately your choice and I would respect that decision. I do, however, ask for your GP’s details in case we need to contact them. Such contact would only be made after discussion with you.