Deciding to engage in psychological therapy is a big decision. It requires time and a commitment to self development. It is important that you feel ready to engage in this process at a time that is right for you.
If you decide to engage in psychological therapy, your therapist will meet you regularly (usually weekly or fortnightly) in a safe and therapeutic space at the Consulting Rooms. The length of therapy is usually agreed within the first few sessions and depends on your goals, the severity of your difficulties and the therapy approach adopted. If therapy is likely to be longer term, your therapist will usually suggest reviewing how things are going every 6 sessions.
If you are referred for therapy, an initial assessment and treatment plan report is usually provided to referrers where relevant, and with your consent. A discharge letter to summarise the therapy may also be provided.
If you wish to have individual therapy, the session will be for 50 minutes. If you wish to have couples or group therapy the sessions may be slightly longer.
During the initial appointment, your therapist will likely discuss practical issues relating to therapy such as who to contact in an emergency, contact details and payment arrangements. You will also discuss the goals you wish to achieve in order for your therapist to determine what type of therapy may be most appropriate to your needs.
In the first few sessions, your therapist will likely ask you about your current and past experiences, how you view your difficulties, what has been helpful and unhelpful in the past, current supportive networks and what you hope to be different. This is to help you and your therapist develop a psychological formulation or understanding of your difficulties.
Remember that the first appointment is also for you to get a sense of your therapist. It is essential that you feel comfortable working with the clinician as the development of a trusting therapeutic alliance is essential for effective therapy. There is no obligation to meet beyond the first meeting.
Everything that is discussed within therapy remains confidential. However, there are exceptional circumstances whereby if you or someone else were at risk, then we are legally obliged to contact your GP or the Police. Therapists at Five Valleys Psychology always endeavor to be open and transparent about risk with their clients where possible.