• Why Come to Psychotherapy?

    People come to psychotherapy for a variety of reasons – some because of feelings of hopelessness and despair, some have a specific issue they wish to address, some are struggling with conflicting decisions and some wish to enhance their enjoyment of life.

  • What is Psychotherapy About?

    Psychotherapy provides a safe place in which to explore aspects of yourself which you feel you cannot talk about with others. It provides an opportunity to explore the beliefs you have about yourself, the ways you interact in the world, to discover what you enjoy about yourself and to discover what you would like to change.

    The role of the psychotherapist is to listen, to reflect, to share his or her observations, and to provide a framework in which you can achieve what you need to do for yourself.

    Psychotherapy is a different process for each individual and thus difficult to describe. There are no guarantees. We don’t know what the outcome will be but most people’s experience of psychotherapy is a life enhancing one.

  • What do you need to do in order for Psychotherapy to work?

    Although it is helpful to know why you are coming, you do not need to come with a set agenda.  What is necessary, is a willingness to explore your own feelings and experiences.  You also need to make a commitment to attend regularly.

    Coming only when you think you need to, does not generally work well.

    Unless you are being funded for a specific reason, your session is a time to talk about whatever you want.  This may be different each week.  You can come when you are feeling really miserable; your psychotherapist does not need to be protected from this.  You can come when you are feeling really happy.  It may be a good opportunity to celebrate your good feeling, or to “get hold” of the “ingredients” that contribute to this.

    Sometimes you may find yourself reluctant to attend sessions or to continue therapy.  These can be times when there is potential for real growth, and talking about them with your psychotherapist is important.  Sometimes you may wonder if your psychotherapist is disapproving of you or your life style.  When this is the case, it’s helpful to check this out.  The things that are hard to say, or the feelings that you want to skirt around, are often the most important.

  • What can You Expect from Your Psychotherapist?

    You can expect your psychotherapist to keep a regular time (usually weekly or fortnightly) for you.  His/her commitment to you is a priority which will not be cancelled except in exceptional circumstances.

    You can expect him or her to start and finish the session on time.

    You can expect him or her to listen thoughtfully to you.

    You can expect the utmost confidentiality. If you are funded by an external agency, reports may also be required but you will be consulted about the content of these.  The only exceptions to confidentiality would be when there are concerns for your safety, or that of others.  When this is the case, your psychotherapist may need to make contact with someone in order to ensure safety.  Usually your therapist would discuss this with you first.

    You can expect your psychotherapist to keep within therapeutic boundaries, eg, a sexual relationship between the two of you will never develop, your psychotherapist will not meet you for coffee or visit you for lunch.  You may wish to discuss with your psychotherapist how it would be should you meet by chance in some public place.

    You can expect psychotherapists to be sensitive to cultural values, religious beliefs, gender issues, and disabilities.

  • What Your Psychotherapist Expects of You

    Once you begin therapy on a regular basis your therapist will have a commitment to you at this time.  If you do not attend the session we are unable to use the time in any other way.  We therefore require payment for any sessions cancelled outside of the time agreed and anticipate that you will cancel only in exceptional circumstances.

    Prompt payment for sessions as agreed with your therapist.

    For you to raise any questions, doubts or concerns you have about the process of therapy.

  • Why Not Talk to a Friend?

    Talking to a friend can indeed be very therapeutic.  Psychotherapy, however, is a different kind of relationship in that the “talking” time is all yours.  Your Psychotherapist is there solely to respond to you, and reflect on what is happening for you.  The regularity and continuity of psychotherapy allows both of you to build up a whole overview of your life, and enable you to understand things in a way that may not be possible in ordinary conversation.

  • Will it Hurt?

    Psychotherapy is frequently about dealing with emotional pain.  Most of us find coping with pain difficult, and frequently we find ways of distracting ourselves from it.  Often however, this doesn’t work and it is necessary to confront it.  Sometimes when attending psychotherapy, people feel worse before they feel better.  However, being able to confront the painful feelings, generally means that more space is created for other feelings.

  • How Long Will I Need to Come?

    When you are working through major issues psychotherapy can take a long time and it is often hard not to become impatient with the process or disappointed that things cannot change instantaneously.

  • Finishing

    The way you finish psychotherapy is a very important part of the process.  This needs to be planned and discussion about it needs to happen well before the final session.

    Sometimes, when people have been attending therapy for a long time, they have fears that if they get better, they will have to stop coming.  It is reasonable to continue psychotherapy for as long as you want to, even when you are feeling fine.  You may need time to reassure yourself that the good feelings can last, and that you can manage on your own.

    Sometimes people return to psychotherapy at a later date.  Doing so is not a failure.  There are always changes in life and new challenges to confront, and facing these is an ongoing process within or without therapy.