Writing by the Water

Frequently Asked Questions

(If you have a question that isn't answered here, please feel free to contact me and ask)

Are sessions face to face or online?

At present I am offering sessions either over the telephone or online using Zoom (teletherapy). 

Is Teletherapy as effective as face to face therapy?

Yes, recent studies have shown no difference in therapy outcomes in individuals who have had teletherapy vs more traditional face to face therapy. In fact there are many additional benefits to this way of working including:

  • Its more convenient. Teletherapy allows you to access therapy from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a phone, computer or tablet (just make sure you have a private space where you wont be disturbed). 

  • Its flexible. You can fit therapy around your day.

  • Its time effective. No worrying about having to commute or getting caught up in traffic.

  • Its cost effective. No fuel or parking costs.

  • It can be more private and discrete than face to face appointments.

Is everything we discuss confidential?

I treat all information disclosed to me as confidential.  As part of my own professional development, and to ensure best practice i receive regular clinical supervision (this is an important aspect of all therapists practice). I never disclose names or any other identifying information and my supervisor is bound by the same ethical guidelines as I am.

 

There are some exceptions where I may need to disclose information to third parties without your consent, these being if I felt you were at imminent risk of serious harm, if I had reason to be concerned for the safety of someone else, or you disclosed money laundering. If at all possible I would always try to discuss this with you beforehand.  It is important to note that many people do experience thoughts of self harm or suicide and this in itself would not automatically result in breaking confidentiality.

How many sessions will I need?

A course of CBT generally takes less sessions than other forms of therapy due to its active, goal-focused approach, however, how many will depend on a number of variables. Increased worry due to a recent episode of work stress would generally take less sessions than long term low-self esteem triggered by beliefs developed during childhood. 

 

It can also depend on whether you want to make small changes or have more significant goals. Some people decide that once they start making changes they can then continue independently quite soon, whereas others may want to have support for a longer period of time. This is entirely up to you and you don't have to decide straight away. You may find that your goals change as you develop new insights.

 

One thing is certainly true, you get out of CBT what you put in, and the harder you work between sessions the more you will get out of therapy. 

How often are sessions?

Generally I would recommend weekly sessions, at least at the beginning. Some people wish to reduce to fortnightly sessions later on and follow up appointments can also be beneficial to maintain progress e.g. at 3 or 6 monthly intervals.  Not everyone requires this however, and again this comes down to personal choice. 

What does a typical CBT session look like?

Initial sessions may differ slightly as we are developing understanding of your problems, what are maintaining these and identifying what you wish to gain from therapy.

 

Following these initial sessions, we will generally start with a brief recap of the week before and spend some time discussing how you got on with any home tasks that we set together.  We will then progress to the main part of the session, focusing on exploration of  specific symptoms, techniques and skills that can help manage these and finally we will decide together how you will practice these skills between now and the next session.

 

In CBT we make use of clinical measures, generally short (some a bit longer) questionnaires which help to monitor symptoms and progress.  

How much does a session cost?

Each session costs £45 for 50m-1hr.

I also provide   discounts   for block bookings:

6 session block booking costs £240 (equivalent to £40 per session/11% discount)

Is there anything I should do to prepare?

One of the most important things to remember, particularly with teletherapy,  is to make the same preparations as if you were attending for a face to face session. 

 

It can be tempting to multi-task, especially if receiving phone therapy, however if you are loading the washing machine or answering the door during a session you are not going to be focused on the session.  Similarly, make sure you have somewhere private to go where you wont be disturbed. Perhaps it would help to get a babysitter or take an hour off work.

 

Therapy is a serious commitment and you want to get the most out of it. More than anything, you deserve to take the time for yourself to do this.

 

As CBT is an active therapy it can be useful to have a pen and paper handy as we may be drawing things out together or you may want to take notes. It is also important to have with you any home tasks you have completed between sessions.