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SESSION DETAILS

Coming to psychology sessions can be a daunting experience, especially if it's your first time seeking mental health treatment. It's completely normal to feel anxious or uncertain about what to expect. However, seeking help from a mental health professional can be incredibly beneficial, and many people find relief and improvement in their symptoms after just a few sessions.

 

Before your first session, you will be asked to fill out some paperwork, including a consent form and a questionnaire about your medical and mental health history. This information will help me get a better understanding of your needs and how to tailor the treatment to you.  You will also receive information about me, my qualifications, my GDPR agreement, and my contract about confidentiality etc

 

During the first session, I will introduce myself and explain the therapy process to you.  Our first appointment will take the form of an initial appointment which can take place over a session of up to 1.5 hours. Sessions of approximately 50 minutes usually take place after the initial appointment which can be extended for certain types of therapy.  The assessment process can take several sessions to ensure it feels right and that we reach a shared understanding of your difficulties. During these sessions we can identify why you have come to therapy, and we can decide if we can form an agreement to work together. If you decide that you don't wish to continue there is no further obligation. 

If we both agree that we would like to start therapy, then further appointments will be arranged at mutually convenient times, usually weekly (but these can be negotiated at different timescales) but are often pre-booked to guarantee your preferred time and day.  

 

Please note there are occasions that I may be unable to offer treatment, or I feel that your needs might best be met by a clinician who has more specialised skills in the presenting issue that you bring.  We both have the right to decide not to continue with the therapeutic process after assessment.

One of the unique skills that clinical psychologists offer is a formulation of your difficulties.  This means that together we can map out how past events might have impacted the way that you think, feel and behave, and examine what might be maintaining some of the difficulties that you are experiencing or making it hard to manage.

 

In subsequent sessions, we will work together to identify and address the issues that are causing you distress or the goals you would like to achieve. This may involve discussing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, as well as learning new coping skills and techniques to manage your symptoms. I may also ask you to complete certain exercises or tasks outside of sessions to practice the skills you are learning.  Some sessions might be more structured and be skills focussed, whilst some sessions might feel more explorative and discussion based.

 

In our final session we get to say goodbye in a therapeutic way so that we can reflect on the process and consolidate the work we have done.  Ending sessions also give us an opportunity to identify any potential referrals onwards.

There are several things that can help or hinder the process of coming to psychology sessions.

  • Being open and honest: It's important to be open and honest about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. I know this might feel difficult, but this will allow us to get a better understanding of your issues and how to help you.  Remember what you tell me will be confidential (with risk limitations) and I will always hear what you say in an open and non-judgemental way.

 

  • Being an active participant: Therapy is a collaborative process, so it's important to be an active participant in your treatment. This means showing up to sessions on time, following through with any assignments or tasks given to you, and actively working on the issues you are facing.   

 

  • Setting goals: Setting specific, achievable goals can help you stay motivated and track your progress in therapy. It's important for us to discuss these goals and review them regularly.

 

  • Being consistent: Attending therapy consistently is important for making progress. It may be helpful to schedule regular sessions at the same time each week to establish a routine.  Some people prefer fortnightly sessions to allow time for reflection, but regular sessions are important.  If you are unable to commit to regular sessions, then it might be that we discuss if now is the right time for you to engage in psychological based work.

 

  • Being patient: It's important to remember that therapy is a process, and it may take time to see progress. It's important to be patient and to trust the process.  I often describe therapy as doing a jigsaw puzzle, where you need all the pieces before you truly get the full picture.

 

It is important to note that psychology can’t ‘fix’ your environment or ‘magically make things better for you’. It's also worth noting that therapy is not always easy, and it may bring up difficult emotions or memories and part of my role is to challenge some of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours if they aren’t helpful to you. However, I am trained to help you work through these challenges and I will be there to support you through the process.  I would say when it feels hardest to come to therapy is often when it might be of most benefit.

 

Psychology can help you make sense of past events, your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and find more helpful and effective ways to manage.  Psychology can help you develop problem solving techniques including those for you to improve your own environment and relationships, it can help you learn skills to communicate more effectively, manage your emotions, tolerate your distress and to change the way you feel about things.

 

I have access to comfortable, discreet and professional therapy rooms in the Mansfield area for face-to-face work.  These are limited as the majority of my work is online simply due to demand.  Please ask about availability.

 

I have sought additional training in the use of both telephone and online therapy to ensure that I can offer you the best service and I have been delivering effective therapy this way for a number of years.  My preferred online platforms are Microsoft Teams, VSee, Skype or Zoom but I am happy to consider others if you have a preference.  I understand that this can be a new experience for some people, but I can provide additional information on what this might mean for you and some of the things that you might experience working therapeutically this way.  I am more than happy to talk you through this.  I have prepared a page on the website - working online - to try and answer some common questions about working this way.

Throughout the entire process I will encourage you to ask questions, to tell me how you feel and to give me feedback (it is how I learn).  Please talk to me about any concerns you might have.

I very much look forward to working with you on your therapeutic journey

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