The first session together is treated as a consultation and you may wish to meet several practitioners at this stage, to find someone you feel comfortable speaking with. Equally, I reserve the right to be open if I don't feel able to work with you for any reason. During this session I will usually ask what is bringing you to psychotherapy and try to gain a picture of your circumstances and history. Often it takes a few sessions to clarify aims and needs around the work.
I work online, via Zoom and use WhatsApp or telephone calls as a back up. You need to ensure you have access to good wifi connection and a private space where you feel comfortable talking for our sessions.
FREQUENCY AND DURATION
Sessions are for 50 minutes and I usually see clients weekly at the same time each week. Work is open-ended, meaning it continues for as long as you want or need it. This may be as few as six sessions to help you clarify you thinking around a specific challenge, but most people stay for between six months and three years. Some people remain in therapy for longer, and many return to therapy having taken a break after an initial period of work together.
WORKING HOURS, FEES AND EXPECTATIONS AROUND ATTENDANCE
My usual working hours are 8.30am - 4.30pm on weekdays and session times are by appointment.
The initial consultation session fee is £65.
Thereafter, my standard session fee is £85.
While in the early stages, commitment to working together may feel tentative, my normal expectation is that you attend weekly, or as agreed, and that the regularity of the commitment is maintained for the duration of our work together, over approximately 42 weeks of the year.
My fee is set with this expectation in mind and I charge for missed sessions, but if you give me reasonable notice I will try to offer an alternative time in the same week or a second session the week prior or following, to maintain the continuity of our work.
I take breaks at regular intervals including a winter break and longer summer holiday, which are not chargeable.
PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSIS AND MEDICATION
I am not medically qualified and I do not prescribe medication or diagnose psychological conditions. However, I do work with clients who have received psychiatric diagnoses and/or use medication and in many cases psychotherapy is compatible with psychiatric treatment.
Psychotherapy with an independent practitioner online is not appropriate on its own where someone is actively psychotic or suicidal, when addiction is severe or where the client is using violence, but can be undertaken in some cases as additional support alongside engagement with specialist services. There may need to be variations to my usual confidentiality agreement in these circumstances.
PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING AND STRUCTURED TREATMENT MODALITIES
As a relationally-oriented practitioner, I do not use tests, questionnaires or structured approaches to treatment, either as prompts for dialogue or to track progress within sessions. Rather, I aim to support autonomous self-reflection and personally meaningful development, tolerating the degree of uncertainty that is present in an undirected process. By allowing space for whatever arises, whether spontaneously or at the client's choosing, areas of importance soon become evident to both me and client.
If you feel you would prefer a more directed, outcome-oriented, or structured approach to managing your symptoms, a CBT (Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy) practitioner may be more appropriate for you.
DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND OTHER SUBSTANCES
Many people self-medicate or manage their emotions using drugs, alcohol, food or other activities or substances. I encourage open and honest discussion around these areas so that the role substances play in clients' lives can be properly explored and understood within the wider context.
I do not condone or condemn use, but weekly relationally-oriented psychotherapy may not be effective where substance use is heavy or disruptive, and specialised treatments for addiction or eating disorders may need to be in place first.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND ETHICS
All sessions are strictly confidential. I will only break confidentiality if I believe there is a specific and imminent danger to you or someone else, or if required to do so by court order. Even in these circumstances I would talk to you beforehand so that nothing discussed in sessions is disclosed to others without your knowledge.
I abide by the Code of Ethics of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
My full Terms of Service will be made available to you upon confirmation of an appointment.