FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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How long does it take?

On our first meeting we would discuss therapy and how it may be of benefit to you.  We would also discuss whether open ended or time limited therapy would work best for you.  Open ended therapy means attending regular sessions (usually weekly) until you reach a stage whereby you feel confident and comfortable to work towards a suitable date for ending.  Time limited therapy is geared towards a specific number of sessions, ranging anything from 6 to 12 and these would be agreed at our initial meeting.  A session lasts for 50 minutes.  Many issues can be resolved in short-term work, whilst others may require longer term work.

How many sessions will I need?

Think of therapy as part of a journey, whereby you will know when you reach the end of the journey, or feel that you want to stop.  For some clients a few sessions may be sufficient, whilst others may prefer to continue on a longer term basis.

Will I become upset during a session?

Many clients may have unknowingly suppressed various emotions such as anger, pain and sadness.  The session is a time to experiment with such suppressed emotions.  Tears are a natural means of releasing various emotions.  You will not be judged for whatever takes place during the session.  My aim is to provide clients with a safe and secure environment where they are able to express and release such emotions.

I am concerned as to what may come up and wonder how I will deal with it?

We will examine and explore your feelings together in a safe and secure environment at your own pace.  Sometimes simply addressing hidden feelings can be enough in providing clients with a sense of release.  However, deeper exploration is a delicate and intricate process and clients are aware of their limitations, which will be respected at all times.

How will I know if therapy is working?

It is common to feel an immediate relief from therapy as clients begin to deal with issues possibly for the first time.  Therapy can bring about an immediate improvement for some as a result of clarifying painful situations, identifying goals and sharing how they feel or what is happening to them. Sometimes the change is more gradual, taking place over time, whilst others may realise the benefits once the therapy has come to an end.  One way of recording your own progress is to keep a journal or diary on which you can look back. 

Exploring painful events and memories can make you feel worse before feeling better.  This is something which will be discussed in our sessions so that we can consider strategies for coping with difficult feelings.  There may not be any sudden revelations or answers which turn things around.  Much of the improvement also depends on the client’s commitment to the process and their willingness to reflect and develop awareness between each session.

Are there any risks?

Some clients have concerns about what might happen if they start exploring their own psychological make up.  Some are concerned that a therapist might cause emotional harm or read their thoughts.  It is natural to be apprehensive about something new.  It is important to discuss any concerns and ask questions before making a decision.  Therapists are trained and experienced in supporting clients who are feeling apprehensive, lost, scared, sad or vulnerable.

Is it possible to get too dependent on a therapist?

When psychotherapy or counselling lasts for over several months strong feelings towards the therapist can develop. These feelings include admiration or even love on the one hand, or anger and hostility on the other. The technical term is 'transference'. Transference is part of the therapeutic relationship and should be thoroughly explored in therapy.

This is different from and should not be confused with the therapist encouraging actual dependence, which would be unethical, non-supportive, and disempowering to the client.

How does therapy come to an end?

My role is to help you explore and understand what endings signify. The therapy may mirror other endings, losses and goodbyes in your life. Sometimes endings are less than ideal. This may be because the client decides to end abruptly, and consequently misses exploring their feelings about their particular relationship coming to an end. It may be the therapist who ends the relationship, possibly as the result of changing jobs. Whenever possible an ending should be planned. The longer the therapy, the longer is needed to work through the accompanying feelings.

 

 

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