We often suggest that you start with a longer appointment of one and a half to two hours. This enables you to describe your difficulties and the background to your difficulties without feeling rushed and to begin the process of building rapport with us. This also enables us to share some initial impressions with you, which can help you consider new perspectives on your difficulties and build motivation for the therapeutic journey ahead. In the first appointment, we will ask you to talk about the problem or problems that you are hoping to resolve, and will ask you to talk in as much detail as you can about times when the problem has been difficult. We are likely to invite you to explore life experiences and relationships which may have influenced the development of the problem.

At the beginning of therapy, we will ask you to fill in a questionnaire that covers many of the commonest symptoms of psychological distress. We will review this form with you, usually at the beginning of the second session. The aim is to clarify more about the nature of your distress. This first form will also provide a comparison point for repeated use of a short symptom questionnaire which can help us track your progress in therapy.

At the end of the session, we will invite you to review your experience of the session, covering issues such as the extent to which you felt understood in the session and whether you agreed with the approach taken by us in the session. This is to help us tailor the treatment specifically to you, and can also act as a very helpful indication if for any reason you are not feeling comfortable in the session.

Future sessions can be either one hour or one and a half hours long. They are usually scheduled either weekly or bi-weekly (though sometimes monthly for family therapy). The beginning of each session will be devoted to a review of your progress in therapy. The end of the session will involve a review of the session, as described above. The work in the main part of the session will vary in its focus depending on what is required and what you bring to the session to work on.

Length Of Therapy

This varies according to the wishes and needs of each individual. In general the range is between twenty sessions to fifty sessions though family and couple therapy tend to be shorter, generally between four and twelve sessions. As progress is reviewed at each session, we do not encourage you to stay in therapy for longer than is beneficial or necessary for you, and the duration of treatment is something that can be openly discussed (and reviewed) at any point in the therapy.