This page is a brief explanation of how I work with new clients, answering some of the most common questions. Please note that each therapist has their own way of working, this is the way that I work with clients.
If I approached you for some help what could I expect?
This is a really good question if you have not been to a therapist before, it can be daunting, not knowing what to expect.
When you contact me, we will arrange a brief telephone conversation about what you want help with and what you would like to get from working with me.
If it seems like we might work well together, because the therapy I do is a collaboration, I will send you a confidential client questionnaire for you to complete and return to me.
This form gives you a chance to outline the problem situation that you want to solve and what you would want to achieve by seeing me.
This information is completely confidential (If it turns out that we don’t work together it will be destroyed).
Why do I need to complete the confidential questionnaire?
If you look at the form you will see that it is quite comprehensive and asks you to share some personal information. You might wonder why I need so much information and what will happen with this information.
I need this information to:
- be able to contact you if necessary for changes in appointments, letters etc
- be able to contact your GP if that is necessary. Under normal circumstances this is not necessary and I would make contact with your GP after a discussion with you and with your consent.
- understand your family circumstances, which could be part of your difficulties or part of the support that you need.
- know what medical conditions you may have and what medications you are prescribed which may affect your therapy.
- know if you have had any previous emotional difficulties that would help me give you the best care possible.
- to better understand your difficulties and your hopes for the session.
- to know about your previous efforts to get over these challenges.
This information helps me be better prepared for our first session together.
It also starts the therapeutic process, many clients report that filling in the questionnaire helped them clarify their thinking about what was going on for them and what they wanted to change.
When I have received this form then we can arrange your first session, if the form is not completed or returned to me no sessions will be offered.
What happens in the first session?
In our first session we discuss where you are now (your current difficulties), where you want to be (your outcomes) and what’s getting in the way of achieving those outcomes.
The most important part of this session is to find out what brings you to therapy and what changes you might want to make in your life.
I would be asking these kinds of questions about your situation:
- What brings you to therapy?
- Why now?
- What difficulties are you experiencing?
- What do you want to have instead of those difficulties?
- What would making those changes do for you?
I am especially interested in finding out what your goals and outcomes are.
Most people are very clear about what they don’t want – the problems that bring them to a therapist in the first place. Not many people have worked out what they would want instead of the problems they have.
Working out where you want to go is an important part of this session. This kind of therapy is designed to get you where you want to go and not as an extensive analysis of the past to explain how you got to where you are now.
For each of the problems and outcomes we would explore:
- The challenges to achieving this outcome?
- The result of overcoming these challenges?
As we go along, I will be constantly checking and reviewing to make sure that I understand what you have been telling me. I need to understand your situation and outcomes to your satisfaction so that we can agree a plan of action that works for both of us.
When we are both in agreement about what is important we can decide if we can work together to get the results you want.
It may be that I am not the right therapist for you. In that case I will do my best to refer you to someone who is better able to help you and I will not charge you for that session.
If we are both happy to work with each other, I would explain how I run the therapy sessions, what you can expect of me as a therapist and what I expect of you as a client.
Then we will start work on the outcome that is most important to you.
What happens in the other sessions?
Each session is usually one hour-long (longer sessions are available by arrangement) where we work on what is most important to you. We frequently review our progress to be sure you are getting the changes you want.
I use two main techniques to get the results that clients want. NLP and EFT, they are approaches that are simple and effective.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) – everything you do, you have a way of doing it, a way of thinking, feeling and acting that gives you that result. If you like the result you think of it as a skill, if you don’t you tend to think of it as a problem. NLP is a way of finding out what you do and how you do it then changing it to get the result you want. People usually find it straightforward and rapid.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) – can be thought of as acupuncture for the emotions without using needles. By tapping on certain acupressure points on your face and body with your own fingertips, you can significantly reduce the negative charge on memories, feelings and beliefs. It is surprisingly easy to learn and I use and teach it to most of my clients.
I guide you through these processes and show you how to use some of them for yourself. In my opinion it is important for you to have the ability to deal with difficulties that may arise in the future. Self reliance is simpler and certainly less expensive than therapy when dealing with difficult issues.
After we have completed each outcome we evaluate the other outcomes and work on the next most important of them. It is quite possible that your later outcomes will change based on the work we have already done, we will make adjustments as we go along.
How long does therapy take?
This is a very common question, and it’s understandable, not many people want to commit to a lifetime of therapy sessions.
It is impossible to answer accurately in advance: some difficulties are very straightforward and can be resolved in just a few sessions, other problems are more complex and take longer to unravel.
To make the time-scales manageable I work in blocks of six (1 hour) sessions. If our work is done in fewer than six sessions that’s great, I won’t drag the sessions out unnecessarily. At the sixth session we will review our progress and you decide what is left to be done and whether you want to commit to a further six sessions, at the end of each six sessions we review progress and decide what to do next.
What about confidentiality?
The fact that you have approached me is confidential, anything you say to me will be confidential and won’t be divulged to a third party without your express written consent.
However, I will need to breach confidentiality if:
- I think you will hurt yourself or someone else.
- the welfare of children is at risk.
- an officer of the law requests information (with a warrant).
I may also discuss your case anonymously with my clinical supervisor.
What would be expected of me as a client?
There are some things I need your agreement to, so that you can get the best results from the work we do together.
- You need to participate fully in the therapy process. The techniques I use are generally very effective, but you do need to participate fully in them to get results.
- You need to be willing to practice what you have learned in the session to help consolidate your progress. You need to embed the changes in your day to day life. A change that only lasts as long as the session will not be of much use to you.
- You need to commit to attend each block of six sessions, you don’t have to pay for them in advance, you just need to agree to attend to give the process and yourself a fair chance. Of course, if you get the results you want in less than six sessions you only pay for the sessions you have attended.
- If you are not able to attend a session you must give 24 or more hours notice or I will have to charge you for the missed session.
- Sometimes progress is remarkably straightforward and simple, each session bringing you closer to that goal. Sometimes it takes more time and requires more effort and you need to understand that it might take quite a bit of effort to reach the goals that you want.
What are your professional associations?
I’m a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), and also an AAMET Advanced Practitioner and Accredited Master Trainer of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). I’ve been practising NLP since 2001 and EFT since 2004.
I’m a member of the Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (NLPtCA) my professional body and follow their code of conduct. I’m also a member of the Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques (AAMET)
Where do you see clients?
Face to face appointments are available at:
- The Jesmond Therapy Centre, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne
- The Azure Therapy Centre, Whitley Bay
- The Bodywork Centre, Hexham
I am also available for sessions on Skype.
How much does it cost?
I charge £40 for each 1 hour session (£25 for unwaged clients)
NOTE: On March 1st 2015 my fees will increase to £60 per 1 hour session (£30 for unwaged clients). Clients who start working with me before March 1st will be charged at the old rate
How do I take the first step?
For more information or to arrange a preliminary conversation use the contact form below or call 0754 700 9116