Frequently Asked Questions
How do I contact you?
Phone: 07725 523125
Please leave a message and I will contact you as soon as possible
What experience do you have?
I have eighteen years of therapeutic experience in the voluntary, public and private sectors: including school counselling, addictions counselling, family counselling, facilitating groups and residentials with young people and supervising placement counsellors. I'm an experienced trainer and co-facilitater, gaining much of this experience working therapeutically with hard to reach, vulnerable adolescents. I am a member of the introductory training team at re.vision
I have worked with many life issues including: bereavement & grief, loss, sexual abuse, violence, trauma, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Complex PTSD, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression (incl. post-natal), addictions, stress, white fragility and racism, transcultural therapy, spiritual/existential crisis, soulful longing...
What are your qualifications?
* Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy (UKCP) -gained at re.vision UKCP registration number 8159999
* Diploma in Integrative Counselling (BACP Accred) -gained at re.vision BACP membership number -575182
* Diploma in Integrative Supervision - Minster Centre
* BSc (Hons) Psychology & Philosophy - City University
* MSc Psychology -Northumbria University
What is your availability?
Daytime, evening and occasionally at weekends
How much does a session cost?
Usually £70 for a fifty minute session
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy involves listening, talking, and understanding the relationship between the people involved.
Each psychotherapy session provides the opportunity to find space to tell your story, and be listened to. A critical aspect of this lis in establishing a healing relationship with the therapist. Many people describe psychotherapy as a journey of self discovery. Although of course relationship building is a mutual process and so integrative therapy is interactive
Will it work for me?
Many people feel a great deal of benefit from psychotherapy, some even after comparatively few meetings. Like any other treatment or life experience, psychotherapy may not be suitable for everyone. Each individual has to make up their own mind about whether therapy is helpful for them. The initial consultations aim to help people think about this, in collaboration with a therapist. It's the relationship (and the exploration of that) that emerges between client and therapist that promotes wellbeing.
What is "Integrative Psychotherapy"?
Integrative psychotherapy is based on listening and talking yet includes much more! It involves exploring past relationships in relation to your current life situations in order to make change possible. Here you'll find a soulful approach to therapy that uses talking, images, myths, dreams in such a way to explore your depths and encounter your heights. We may at times use art materials and music.
Does it mean that I am 'ill' if I'm in psychotherapy?
No, not necessarily! However, psychotherapy often meets people with long histories of serious emotional difficulties/symptoms/wounding. The wounds are often linked to personal development, and may have arisen over many years, and sometimes right from early childhood.
You may have been diagnosed with 'mental illness' or you may have a sense of being ill at ease in the world, although psychotherapy can be beneficial for anyone. The aim in psychotherapy is to look more deeply into the emotions, needs, conflicts, relationships and distress behind our symptoms.
How long will it take?
The duration of psychotherapy is unique to each individual. A brief course of psychotherapy would last about three months and long term individual therapy can last for a couple of years. The benefits of psychotherapy can continue long after the psychotherapeutic relationship has ended.
How often are the sessions?
Mostly it would be once weekly, although it can be up to three times per week in certain circumstances.
How long does each session last?
Individual psychotherapy sessions last fifty minutes.
What benefit should I feel afterwards?
Research has shown that psychotherapy is effective in reducing symptoms, improving relationships and self esteem. However, as each person is an individual it is difficult to generalise at the beginning as to which benefits a person may feel. The exploration and the journey is often as important as the goal.
Does it usually work?
A great deal of research has been done in the last few years to demonstrate that psychotherapy is effective. However, it only works as a catalyst with the person in therapy. This means that in order to be 'affective', the "work" is not done to you - but by you and with you.
What can go wrong?
It could uncover underlying problems that may not be amenable to psychotherapeutic treatment. These may then mean that decisions have to be made about discontinuing therapy and other treatment that might then be necessary. During the course of therapy it may be tempting to use old familiar coping patterns, such as alcohol and drugs. It's always a good idea to talk this through with your therapist who will not be judgemental around this.
How will I feel during therapy?
A mixed bag! It is possible that you may feel worse before you feel better, and some people find their psychological distress is reflected in physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains. Therapy requires an uncovering of painful feelings and memories. This can be experienced as a relief but it may also stir up uncomfortable feelings. However ultimately you will experience a lightness and sense of being unburdened.
How much will I have to do myself?
Therapy is an active process, like a journey of self exploration. The therapist can offer guidance, but the ultimate responsibility for changing (or becoming more fully who you are) is with you.
How will it affect people close to me?
Your view of yourself and others may alter considerably through therapy. As you change, your relationships will change too - and it can disrupt the equilibrium of current intimate relationships. You need to bear this in mind before you start, and you may want to discuss it with those close to you. As this is a common experience, your therapist will be familiar with it and will be willing to discuss it with you.
Can I stop if I feel it's not working?
It is always possible to leave therapy, though the pressure to remain may seem stressful at times. Some people have to have several "goes" at therapy before they 'succeed''. Talk about your difficulties with your therapist before you decide to stay or leave. Ultimately, if you want to stop, it is up to you.
If it doesn't 'work' what else can I do?
Looking at why it may not be working with your therapist is often an important thing to discuss. However, psychotherapy is only one treatment option and it does not suit everybody. In collaboration with your therapist and GP, psychotherapy services will normally make recommendations about referring you on to a more suitable form of treatment, if this is likely to be helpful.
What about holidays and cancelled sessions?
Continuity in therapy is important and holidays need to be planned in advance with this in mind. Your therapist will endeavour to give you plenty of notice of their holidays and other absences.Occasionally, psychotherapists need to cancel sessions, and they will give as much notice as possible. Any feelings stirred up by breaks in your therapy are an important part of the process, and can be discussed with your therapist.
Will I need to stop medication?
Sometimes there is a need to combine medication and psychotherapy over a period of time, and this decision should be discussed by everyone involved. Psychotherapy services do not prescribe medication.
What do I do in an emergency or crisis?
As psychotherapy is not an emergency service, you will need to use your normal network of support. This could include family and friends in the first instance, but also other agencies - such as your GP or Samaritans - depending on what you need at the time. It may be important to bring the difficulties you experienced to the attention of your therapist at the next session.
What are other professionals involved in my care told about me?
All therapists receive supervision, and the necessary details about the therapy will be discussed in this. Supervision is a process which helps the therapist to think about what is going on, and maintains the safety of the therapeutic relationship.
The general rule all psychotherapists operate is "whom you see and what is said is confidential" and all supervisors and therapists are made fully aware of this.However, your therapist is obliged to act on any information which indicates a risk to your safety or the safety of others. You should have the opportunity to discuss this issue during your initial contact.