My first consultation is free to see if I am the right person to help you.
Free assessment Consultation
Your first session provides an opportunity for us to explore the issues that have brought you to counselling and raise any concerns and expectations you may have. You will learn how CBT would work for you as an individual. The consultation takes place in a professional but comfortable environment where confidentiality, empathy and understanding is employed throughout. The assessment consultation is NOT a commitment to continue with counselling but to help you to decide if this type of therapy is for you.
What to expect if you continue with therapy
If you have individual therapy:
We will usually meet on a weekly, or fortnightly basis, or longer depending on your individual issues. Each session will last about 60 minutes. In the first 2-4 sessions I will ask you questions about your past life and background. Although CBT concentrates on the here and now, at times you may need to talk about the past to understand how it is affecting you now.
You decide what you want to deal with in the short, medium and long term. Together we will decide how to move forward with the therapy.
Together we will break each problem down into its separate parts. To help this process, I may ask you to keep a diary. This will help you to identify your individual patterns of thoughts, emotions, bodily feelings and actions.
Together we will look at your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to work out if they are unrealistic or unhelpful and how they affect each other, and you. I will then help you to work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. It’s easy to talk about doing something, much harder to actually do it. So, after you have identified what you can change, I will recommend “homework” and practice exercises to help you to make changes in your everyday life.
Depending on the situation, you might start to:
Question a self-critical or upsetting thought and replace it with more helpful (and more realistic) one that you have developed in CBT.
Recognise that you are about to do something that will make you feel worse and, instead, do something more helpful.
At each meeting you discuss how you’ve got on since the last session. I will help with suggestions if any of the tasks seem too hard or don’t seem to be helping.
I will not ask you to do things you don’t want to do – you decide the pace of the treatment and what you will and won’t try. The strength of CBT is that you can continue to practise and develop your skills even after the sessions have finished. This makes it less likely that your symptoms or problems will return