FAQs About Therapy
What does therapy involve?
CBT aims to find solutions that work for you by applying new skills and techniques to patterns of thinking and behaving that have caused you difficulties. The first sessions involve assessing the problems that you want to address and developing some goals which you would like to achieve, these are flexible and constantly under review. The therapist will then work with you to develop a treatment plan. You are encouraged to take an active part in therapy, and will usually be asked to complete some “therapy tasks” between sessions. Therapy can be weekly but will always be tailored to your needs in collaboration with your therapist; sessions are typically 50 minutes.
There are a number of steps to EMDR treatment, some of the key stages are to think of a troubling memory, then identify an image of the worst moment of that memory. Identify a negative belief about that worst moment, the therapist may ask “what is the worst thing that moment says about you?”. Identify emotions and bodily feelings linked to that moment.Think about the image & belief while at the same time making left-to-right eye movements, or while paying attention to tapping sensations or sounds that are alternately given from left-to-right. To allow your mind to ‘go with’ whatever comes up and just notice what happens. This process will be repeated until the memory causes less distress, this may happen in one session, or may take more than one session. The side-to-side motion is called bilateral stimulation. It has been found to enhance memory processing. The important thing is to be able to find a form of bilateral stimulation that you are comfortable with. This short YouTube video explains the process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKrfH43srg8
Psychosexual therapy involves gradually changing behaviours that are maintaining your sexual difficulties. The main focus of the therapy sessions involves setting and discussing new ideas to try out at home, this may include how your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations have influenced the difficulties that you're experiencing. If you are in an intimate relationship, it is usually preferable that you attend with your partner, as its often helpful to understand how both of you may be contributing to the difficulties. However this is not always necessary, depending on the problem and your individual circumstances. This will be discussed during the initial assessment session. Therapy tasks are always completed at home, never during therapy.
Relationship therapy involves discussing the issues in your relationship which are causing difficulties, to help you understand and explore how problems may have started, and provide skills in addressing these problems together. This does not involve the therapist "taking sides" or telling you what to do. Whilst sessions are usually carried out with both partners present, the therapist will often suggest that you have at least one session each on your own, to allow you to discuss issues which may initially be difficult to discuss in front of your partner.
For women, and men who have experienced the birth of their child as traumatic, I would initially offer the opportunity to talk through the experience and identify the areas and themes have have been particularly difficult or upsetting for you, known as "hotspots". If indicated I would assess you for PTSD, postnatal depression and other anxiety problems. Following assessment, I may offer treatment using CBT, trauma focused CBT (TFCBT), EMDR, or a combination of these. Having worked as a midwife for many years I have a great deal of experience in understanding the needs of women during labour and delivery, both in hospital and at home. This experience has been invaluable whilst working in the area of PTSD following childbirth, as I have knowledge and understanding of problems that happen during this process, insight into why some women's labours require medical interventions, and many of the other factors that contribute to the subsequent development of PTSD following childbirth.
How many sessions will I need?
This can vary and depends on the type of difficulty you are having and its severity. Usually following assessment I can give you a better indication of how long therapy may take, typically it can be between 5 and 20 sessions, this can be reviewed as therapy progresses.
Is what I talk about confidential?
Information you provide during a therapy session is confidential, if however you tell me something that indicates you may be in danger or at risk, or that other people may be at risk of harm, then I would have a professional duty to inform another professional, usually your GP. Also all therapists and counsellors are required to have professional supervision, which involves the therapist or counsellor discussing cases with their supervisor, if your case was discussed during this process, your identity would remain confidential.
What do sessions cost?
Please see the payment page for further details.
Please read and sign the Therapy Contract before your first therapy session.