Participating in therapy provides a unique learning experience. Through having the courage to share and explore your struggles, you have the opportunity to gain clarity, make change and widen your understanding of yourself. Recent neuroscience research provides evidence that therapeutic work can be a powerful tool in facilitating adaptive and flexible brain functioning which leads to real and lasting change.
Therapy can bring a number of benefits, including an improved sense of well-being, better relationships and resolution of specific concerns that led you to seek help. At times, change will be quick and relatively easy while, at other times, change may be slower and, perhaps, more challenging.
To gain the maximum benefits of therapeutic work, it's important to play an active role by working with your therapist to understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It is also helpful to explore your past.
Through the process of careful listening and thinking together, we often find that fears, anxieties and distress have a basis in childhood or earlier experiences of trauma, stress or loss. Sometimes the ways we unconsciously try to help ourselves feel better are, in fact, not helpful at all and understanding these links between past and present can help us move forward more comfortably.
Beginning therapeutic work
At the end of the path that winds through our small but pretty front garden is the door to 705 Mair Street. Please come in and take a seat in the waiting room and your therapist will come and meet you there at the arranged time.
Your therapist will ask you some questions in the first few sessions, in an attempt to try to get a sense as to how they can be of most help. These will focus on your history, what brought you to therapy, and what you are hoping to gain from therapy. Later sessions will be more directed by you.
Sessions are typically 50 minutes in length.
The first few sessions can also be used to decide if your therapist is the right person for you. A positive and productive experience relies on finding the right ‘fit’ between therapist and client.
During the course of therapy, various approaches can be used to address issues of concern, based on assessment of what may best benefit you. Giving your feedback about what is and is not working for you is encouraged. But, of course, there is no guarantee that therapy will yield positive results. Sometimes it takes people a few goes as the timing, the fit between client and therapist or the therapeutic approach of a particular therapist is not right the first time. That’s OK.
When we see children, parents (and sometimes the whole family) will be involved in some capacity in early sessions. Following this assessment period, recommendations will be given regarding the type of therapeutic work that is believed will be most helpful. This might be working with the child individually or it might be working with parents or family as well as (or instead of) individual work with the child.
In general, information that you disclose in the course of your therapy is confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without your consent. There are a few exceptions to this.
If you are seen under a Mental Health Care Plan, intermittent written communications are required with your GP. Occasionally disclosure is required by law, for example in the case of a subpoena by a court or in the event of concern around safety. The limits to confidentiality will be discussed with you in your first session. If disclosure of information is required, this will be discussed with you first.