Once you make contact with a view to arranging a first meeting, I will aim to get back to you within 24 hours with some suggested dates. Or you can tell me when you are free and I will try to fit in with your available times. If you can be as flexible as possible in terms of time and day that would be helpful, although I appreciate you may want to see me outside of your own working hours.
We will have an initial assessment of about an hour to talk about your reasons for coming and what type of therapy would be appropriate.
We will probably not know at this stage whether you wish to work long term - a real exploration into your life - or short term, for example, to gain relief from anxiety and distress so you can cope better in the immediate future, which can often be achieved in the first six to twelve sessions. You don't have to make a decision straightaway; you will know when you are ready to finish.
All sessions take place in a comfortable, private, quiet room where I hope you will feel free to talk about anything you like. Research has shown that the quality of the relationship with the therapist is the most influencing factor in therapeutic outcomes so this first session will be to see whether you feel comfortable working with me and whether I might be able to help you. There is no obligation to continue if you decide otherwise.
Following the assessment, if we decide to work together we will agree a time and day on which to meet again, always allowing for some flexibility when unforeseen events intervene. Should you have holidays planned in advance, please let me know so that we can fit these into the schedule. There will be no charge for pre-planned holidays or cancellations, providing you give sufficient notice. At the second meeting, I will give you a short agreement to confirm details around confidentiality, record keeping and fees. This has no legal basis and is mainly to confirm our commitment to each other and the confidential nature of our commitment and the confidential nature of our work together.
What follows can take any course you choose. I will be interested in how you interact with others and hope that my professional insights will be stimulating as well as supportive, encouraging you to think about and experience your circumstances in different ways.