Psychotherapy for adults
Why see a psychotherapist?
People can be wary of therapy, feeling that if they have a problem they ought to be able to simply talk it over with their family or friends. Yet often it’s not that simple. Our family and friends are intimately involved with us, and at certain times, or with particular issues, it might be hardest for those closest to us to be able to help. We may feel there is something we want to say but we don’t know how to say it, or that if trying to talk goes wrong this could make matters worse.
With an experienced and qualified psychotherapist such as myself, however, there is no such difficulty. As your therapist I am an outsider who listens to you in confidence and without judging. I want to encourage you to talk freely about whatever is on your mind, to feel more resilient and rediscover your clarity of purpose. I also want to use my skills to help you to share the benefits of the therapy process with the important people in your life, in ways that can improve your personal and professional relationships.
Who can benefit?
Therapy can be an effective treatment for those who:
- feel anxious, stressed and find difficulty coping with the burdens of life
- experience underlying sadness or are struggling with a bereavement/ loss
- feel continuously ‘stuck in a rut’
- lack confidence or feel they are not fulfilling their potential
- experience uncertainty about their identity
- experience difficulty making or sustaining productive relationships
- are experiencing a life-crisis brought on by changing circumstances, eg divorce, work related problems, cultural change
- suffer from shyness or obsessional thoughts
- live with disability, chronic health or somatic difficulties
- have experienced trauma, neglect or abuse
- are seeking personal growth/creative development.
How does therapy operate?
I see clients for weekly or twice-weekly sessions at my West London practice, either long term or time-limited.
Counselling tends to be solution focused and shorter term than psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves a longer time frame that allows opportunity to work through difficulties of a more complex or longstanding nature.
During the meeting we will clarify what you are looking for from therapy and ascertain whether we can work together. There is no further commitment on either part at this stage.
We will discuss logistics: session dates, length, frequency, fees and duration. Afterwards I will usually suggest you go away and consider whether you would like to have sessions, letting me know either way within 48 hours.
I generally suggest we review progress after the initial six to eight sessions, to check that we are ‘on track’. Then, if you are finding the sessions helpful, we will continue to meet. Otherwise we may think together about what else needs addressing, or might be of benefit to you. If you continue with therapy hereafter you are welcome to seek a review with me at any time.
Wherever possible I will try to reschedule an appointment if you are able to give me at least 48 hours notice. The appointment will need to be rescheduled for a time within that seven day period. Otherwise the fee for missed or cancelled appointments remains chargeable.
Sessions are confidential subject to the limits prescribed within the UKCP and BACP’s ethical frameworks to which I subscribe, details of which are available on these bodies’ websites. All my work is supervised by a senior clinical supervisor.
When you feel that you are ready to leave therapy I ask that you schedule at least one final session with me. This is so that we can review our work together, think about how you may move on successfully and have an opportunity to say goodbye. If you have been in therapy for a long time some additional sessions may be helpful when completing your work with me.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a psychotherapist?
A psychiatrist trains initially as a medical doctor and then does additional specialist training in psychiatry. This enables psychiatrists to prescribe medication for psychological problems, something that neither psychologists nor psychotherapists do.
A psychologist has studied psychology to degree level. A Clinical Psychologist has undertaken further training and is able to administer psychological tests to help assess and diagnose psychological disorders. Some psychologists specialise in working as therapists (cognitive therapies, career counsellors etc). Their training does not focus on the theory and practice of psychotherapy.
A psychotherapist in addition to his/her background (which may or may not include a degree in medicine, psychology or social work), will have undergone a specialised training lasting a minimum of five years which focuses exclusively on developing the knowledge and skills required to work as a psychotherapist. During this time s/he is also required to undergo personal therapy with a suitably qualified, registered psychotherapist.
How can I be certain that my therapist is properly qualified?
Your therapist should be registered with one of the UK’s professional regulating bodies (ie. UKCP, BPC, AHPP). You are entitled to ask your therapist which organisations s/he is registered with and you can visit that organisation’s website to ascertain that your therapist is currently a registered member.