FAQs

WHAT IS THERAPY ?

As a psychodynamic and humanistic practitioner, I am interested in listening to you and trying to help you understand how your individual experiences, often from childhood, affect your life today and the way you view yourself. My goal is to create a safe therapeutic environment for you to feel emotional freedom. I also want to hear about your hopes, dreams, and fantasies.

There is not one particular point in life when people turn towards therapy, but it is often when confronted by the sense of feeling stuck or not finding meaning in life. Significant events such as bereavement and loss, relationship difficulties, abuse, questioning who one is, or feeling lost are common reasons for seeking a therapist. Depression and anxiety are often present and very difficult to get over alone.

Many of my clients come to me with an overriding concern, but actually work through not only that issue, but many others in addition. The process itself of therapy is a powerful catalyst for change and can lead clients to delve deeper into aspects of their personalities, relationship patterns, and behaviour that they did not expect to encounter when beginning therapy. For this reason, it is best to begin therapy with an open mind.

Beginning therapy and moving through the process can be frightening as it often brings up difficult or painful emotions and memories. It is my job to support you gently and safely in the processes of self discovery, recovery, healing, and growth. I deeply respect each and every one of my clients and feel honoured to be able to have an important part in each of their lives.

HOW CAN I START ?

After you have taken time to browse my website, you can book an appointment online using the “Book Now” button. This service allows you to choose a time and date and even gives the option of paying online if you wish. If you have any questions please contact me:

Email: info@comfortshieldspractice.com
Phone or Text: 07464 798730

WHAT HAPPENS IN MY FIRST SESSION ?

The first session is about exploring how I may be able to help you in a relaxed, open and confidential way. Feel free to raise any issues or questions concerning you. I will ask you some questions, but the session is not a test and rather will be more of an informal conversation. It is a way for you to get to know me and for me to get a sense of understanding of how we can work together to achieve your goals. If you decide to go forward with therapy together, we can discuss progressing with weekly 50-minute therapy. For personality issues and complex trauma, more intensive therapy of one-two times per week is often beneficial.

Sometimes clients will come to me who have issues that are more within another therapist’s area of expertise. If this is the case, I will offer to refer them to another therapist.

HOW LONG DOES THERAPY LAST?

Therapy is a process. There is no predefined, minimum or maximum amount of time for us to spend working together – some clients may find that it is helpful to continue the process for a number of years, others for several months. I would recommend that clients give therapy a chance for at least 6 months.

For depth therapy with long lasting effect, it is recommended that clients invest in a minimum of weekly therapy–and commonly therapy two to three times per week–for at least one to two years.

However, shorter term therapy can also be effective to relieve many symptoms and to provide coping techniques as well as to provide practical advice and new ways of looking at one’s behaviour and emotions, and we can discuss that, too.

When the time is right, we will work together to agree on an end to therapy. However, patients are welcome to return for additional therapy months or years after they have left to work on new issues after they have left work on new issues or to revisit unresolved issues in greater depth.

Endings in therapy – just as endings in life – are important. It is imperative that we keep an open communication about how therapy is progressing and about your thoughts and needs in regards to stopping therapy. It is always a client’s choice to stop therapy at any time. However, I like to devote at least a couple sessions, and often several more, to concluding our work together and to saying goodbye.

WHAT HAPPENS IN ONGOING SESSIONS ?

You are encouraged to discuss what you would like, from what is bothering you on a certain day, to feelings, thoughts, loss, fantasies, aspirations, memories, and dreams. Sometimes clients like to bring in significant photos, letters, artwork, or other things that they would like to share, but most days we will sit together and talk. I will provide a safe environment in which to explore your issues and work with you towards finding meaning and wellbeing in your life.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Your discussions with your therapist, and any notes they write, are confidential and will not be disclosed to any other person without your consent.

Exceptions to this rule would be if your therapist is required to disclose information by a court of law, or in order to protect you or another person from perceived harm.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, psychotherapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with therapy. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for psychotherapy, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. Normally, the therapy ‘hour’ (50 minutes) is a time and space for you to talk about the issues that are most important to you. Sometimes there will be something pressing from that day or week. Other times, you may want to focus on themes or patterns prevalent in your life or on difficult memories. Usually, we will talk. However, you are welcome to show me photographs, journal entries, art, writing, text messages, or anything else that you feel is important to share and discuss.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success. Sticking to the framework of weekly or twice-weekly sessions is a crucial part of gaining the full benefits from psychotherapy.