What to Expect in Therapy
First 2 sessions
I normally begin by spending a few sessions, taking a full history from you about not only what you are wanting help with, but also information about your family, relationships, schooling, medical issues, past therapy etc. This helps me to decide what form of therapy will best help you, and also helps you identify particular goals you may have for therapy and specific areas I may help you with. I may also give you some questionnaires to take home and fill in to speed up the assessment process.
Because what happens outside the therapy sessions is more important than what happens inside them, I may give you ‘homeplay’ to reinforce changes we have discussed and help you experiment with new ways of behaving and thinking. Research shows that practicing skills and homework activities improves the outcome of therapy.
As you will be learning new things about yourself as well as new coping skills, I will give you handouts to help you remember what we have talked about, particularly if I am doing CBT. Clients often find it useful to buy a ring folder to store the handouts. These handouts will combine to make a personalised self help book tailored to your own needs, which you can refer to in the future when therapy has come to an end. Other types of therapy we may do could be more focused on counselling and exploring your feelings and processing painful emotions and so would be less structured. These would not require the same level of handouts and skills training. It will ultimately depend on your needs and the goals for therapy that we identify together.
Length of session
Most sessions will be one hour in length. Some EMDR sessions may require 90 minutes to enable you time to process intense emotions and be in a more relaxed state by the end of the session.
How long will therapy take?
While I do have some long term therapy clients, most of my clients would work with me for around 6 -12 sessions of therapy. The length of therapy depends on a range of factors. I will be able to give you a clearer idea about this once the assessment process is complete. Factors which influence how long therapy will take include:
· How longstanding, complex and severe the issues you are requiring help with are
. Your goals for therapy
· How quickly you respond to treatment
· How much work you are willing to do in between sessions
· Your awareness and ability to reflect on what is happening for you
· Whether we can build on any previous treatment or personal development work you have done