Frequently Asked Questions
What is it like to start counselling/psychotherapy?
The first session usually involves a process of getting to know you and understand what is bothering you or going on in your life. In the first 1 or 2 sessions, your therapist might take notes, just because there is usually a lot of information. Also you might be asked questions to make sure your therapist gets a full picture of different aspects of your life. However, you should always feel free and comfortable with what you are sharing. It is very important therefore that you feel comfortable with your therapist, this is something you can usually tell quite quickly. The first 1 or 2 sessions should help you to decide whether the therapist will be a good fit for you.
People only go to a Psychologist if they have something really wrong with them, don't they?
In a word, no. Psychologists work with a wide range of issues and concerns. Counselling/psychotherapy, or "going to a shrink" as often referred to in the media, is something that anyone can benefit from. We all experience difficult points in our life or events that can leave us with unwanted feelings that we can't get rid of. Sometimes we get these types of feelings and we're not sure exactly what is causing them and feel stuck. This does not mean there is something "wrong", it means we are human. As a Psychologist, I aim to help people understand these issues, so that they are able to become unstuck by gaining a much greater awareness of themselves, their past expereinces and their feelings.
How long will I need to come?
This can vary and will be something that can be discussed in the first session. Some people find a few sessions very helpful to address specific issues, while others find that longer term work can really help to make lasting differences and changes in their lives. Often ways of relating to others and the resulting impact upon behaviour and perceptions of others have their origins in childhood and can take several years to modify.
What should I do in the sessions?
You should talk freely about anything that comes to mind or that has been causing you concern and have strong feelings about. This can involve discussing real events or dreams/day dreams. It can also be helpful to discuss how you experience the therapy process iteself.
How much does it cost?
I charge £100 for an assessment (which usually lasts 60-90 minutes). Ongoing charges can be negotiated at the assessment. Most clients I see pay between £85-£100 a session. I would like therapy to be available to everyone, so please feel free to discuss your needs.
My usual policy is to set up your weekly appointments at the same day and time each week. I do not charge for cancelled sessions, provided I receive adequate notice, ideally 1-2 weeks. If less than 24 hours notice is given, the full session fee is payable.
your data (personal details and records) and this is called the General Data
Protection Regulation or GDPR. The following summary highlights how GDPR is being
implemented, by explaining why confidential information is held and how this is
It is assumed that by engaging with the service you are consenting to records being kept.
understanding how best to help and forms the basis of any reports needed.
- Confidentiality is maintained at all times (i.e. your information is not shared)
unless there are exceptional circumstances such as risk to yourself or others,
when other services such as your GP or police may be contacted without your
consent as this is a professional obligation.
- Consultation notes and questionnaires will be held for varying lengths of time
depending on the content (and then carefully disposed of)
E.g. some records may be held indefinitely if there were any issues of concern
that could lead to police investigation in the future.
E.g. mental health records are subject to special legislation e.g. children͛s
records are kept until age 26 and adult records for 8 years after the last
contact with the service www.gov.uk/government/publications/records-
- All information recorded on paper will be securely stored in a locked filing
- Confidential digital information will be stored in a secure cloud service
offering high levels of security
- Confidential information sent by the psychologist via the internet will be
encrypted and password protected, with this sent separately by text
- Letters sent to professionals such as GPs, by surface mail, will be clearly
- All electronic devices (e.g. computer, laptop and phone) and used to access
stored information will themselves be password protected
- Right of access; a subject access request or SAR can be made for copies of
records but there may be an admin charge and these will be provided within
1 calendar month of the request being made.
- In the event of death or incapacity of the therapist, arrangements have been
made for records to be held by a named professional colleague who will
continue with the above obligations.