How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
I aim to offer you an initial appointment within two weeks.
Can I see you outside of office hours?
I offer Friday and Saturday appointments. My office hours are from 7am-4pm.
What can I expect during the first appointment or assessment?
The first session is a chance for you and me to see if we could work together. I know that meeting for the first time can be anxiety provoking and I am experienced with helping people manage these feelings. During this session I seek to gain a deeper understanding of your current difficulties and your hopes for therapy sessions. It is also an opportunity for you to get a feel for how I work and to see if you feel comfortable talking to me. At the end of our first session, I will make some recommendations and we will think about a way forward. Please note that attending an initial assessment does not commit you to ongoing therapy sessions.
What happens if we agree to work together?
We discuss your goals for therapy and how we will work together to help you achieve them. We will set a regular time and day each week for sessions. I strongly believe that coming less frequently (particularly during the first few weeks of therapy) can slow down progress, and may extend the time that you need to attend before you achieve your therapy goals. However, I am also happy to work in a flexible way to accommodate your requirements if appropriate.
Does therapy work?
There is extensive research evidence about the effectiveness of therapy for a wide variety of difficulties. I deliver evidence based psychological treatments when making recommendations for the approach we will use and the possible length of treatment.
Are sessions confidential?
Yes. I do not inform your doctor about our therapy sessions, but for ethical and professional reasons I ask for your doctor’s details as part of the practice registration process. The only instances where I would extend the limits of confidentiality are if I became seriously concerned about harm coming to you or others around you, if you were involved in serious crime, or if your records were requested by a court. In these cases I would endeavour to first discuss this with you.
What if there is a serious emergency between sessions?
We will make a plan together about what to do to keep yourself safe. I do not operate a crisis service, and therefore cannot guarantee my availability outside your session times. Thus, if you are in need of urgent support you can visit your doctor, local ER, or call 911.
What if something bothers me during therapy?
It is not uncommon for people to sometimes struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings in therapy. I encourage clients to give me regular feedback about anything that concerns them or that they are unsure about.
Are you able to provide me with reports?
Reports for your Doctor, Psychiatrist or other Healthcare Providers will incur additional fees. I will discuss the fees with you prior to the report being written and these will be determined by the amount of time it will take to prepare the reports. Please note that there are some types of reports I am not able to provide as part of our therapy sessions (e.g. capacity assessments).
Is it possible to overcome the impact of trauma, and if so, how can therapy be of help?
In the last thirty years psychotherapy research has focused intensely on how best to help people who have experienced trauma. As a result of these efforts a great deal has been learned regarding how to effectively resolve the psychological impact of trauma. Numerous research studies have shown that for many people psychotherapy can help restore a sense of peace, drastically reduce anxiety, enhance trust and a feeling of well being. Different forms of therapy are often used to achieve these results when working with trauma symptoms, but most often (no matter the specific form of therapy utilized) it will involve reviewing the event(s) that led to trauma, and helping the individual recover a sense of calm and self-mastery when confronted with such painful memories. When one can do this successfully, the trauma loses much of its disruptive power. Moreover, many people find that if they can uncover a meaningful life lesson within the traumatic experience, some way in which they have grown stronger or wiser, which promotes healing.
Some individuals would rather not discuss the trauma. When this is the case it requires an alternate approach be taken. Recent research shows much promise when such clients learn to focus on the present, ‘live in moment’ some would say, and keep focused on what is currently going well in life. At times people will say that very little is going well, so there is not much in that regard to focus upon. When this is the case a brief discussion often uncovers that there are at least a few more positive aspects of their current life than they had first identified. Moreover, by focusing even on a few, sometimes apparently insignificant, strengths and pleasures one finds that very quickly this part of life expands.