What does therapy involve?
At its simplest, therapy is a conversation between the client and the therapist, where the therapist uses their training and skills to assist the client in overcoming the difficulties that have been causing them concern or distress. However, it is not a passive process: you, the client, will be required to play an active part in and between the sessions if you are going to be able to benefit from the help offered. But don’t worry, we will be there to guide and support you where necessary.
What will I be asked about in the sessions?
Clinical psychologists ask clients about their worries, the things that have been upsetting them or causing them to feel down, and to provide some information about their understanding of the background to these difficulties. We then use our knowledge of psychological theories and therapeutic techniques to help people to understand and cope with thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in relation to their difficulties.
How can therapy help?
Therapy can help clients to recognise how what they are doing (or not doing) in reaction to the problem that might be keeping them ‘stuck’ or trapped in a vicious cycle.
Over the course of therapy, you may be asked to do ‘homework’, which usually means thinking about things suggested by your therapist, and making notes.
The benefits of therapy result from a number of factors, including the interaction between the therapist and client.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies according to the type of difficulty that you are experiencing and its severity. Normally, following assessment, we can give you a better idea of how long therapy may take, but a reasonable estimate is between 5 and 15 sessions. We will review this with you as therapy progresses.
Sessions normally last one hour, although the initial assessment (and some EMDR sessions) may take up to one and a half hours. All sessions, whether an hour or longer, are charged at the same rate.
How much do sessions cost?
Most self-funded therapy sessions with me (Dr Clerkin) are charged at £95 per session, payable at the end of each session by cash or debit/credit card. If your therapy is funded by an insurance company or other third part organisation, charges will be higher due to the need for greater administration requirements, supplementary reports, etc. I can discuss this with you at the time of your initial enquiry.
I do offer one lower-cost (£65 per session) appointment slot on an on-going basis to self-funded clients who, for whatever reason, cannot afford my full fee. Availability for this slot is limited, but if you feel that you would need to avail of this rate, please let me know. However, I hope you will appreciate that I may have a waiting list for this slot.
What sort of help can I expect?
Before we give advice about ways we may be able to help, we want to be sure we have understood the problems and shared our understanding with you. Most clients find that having a clear, agreed picture of the problems is, in itself, a major step forward in knowing what to do about them. Towards the end of your assessment, we will discuss the options for further help with you in more detail. This may include approaches such as:
- helping you to cope better with worries, for example by teaching you relaxation techniques you may not already know.
- helping you explore the ways you think about your problems and the effects this thinking has on how well you cope.
- helping you to manage some aspect of stress or medical treatment better.
- helping parents cope with having a child with ongoing problems.
Are Sessions Confidential?
All information you provide during therapy sessions, including your name, address and GP, and everything you discuss during therapy is totally confidential unless at any time you tell me something that indicates that you are in personal danger from others or are in danger of harming yourself or somebody else. If so, I have a professional duty to inform your GP.
Sometimes, particularly if your therapy is funded by an insurance company, we may be asked to provide a report on the progress of therapy. This will focus on the work we have done together and how you have responded to this; it will NOT go into personal details that are not relevant to what the insurance company needs to know so they can approve on-going treatment.
What should I do now?
If you have concerns that you feel need discussing with a psychologist, email or call us on 01244 677010 for a free telephone consultation where we can discuss the situation further.
If after this, you wish to proceed, we will make an appointment to meet with you to take things further. One session may be enough, but if more are needed, we can schedule these to meet your needs. If you have health insurance (e.g. AXA PPP Healthcare, PruHealth, AVIVA), it may be useful to check to see if your insurer covers psychological therapy.
We look forward to helping.