How does therapy begin?
An initial consultation will allow us to get to know each other and give you chance to discuss what’s troubling you. During the meeting I will ask you questions to help us derive a formulation or a map if you like- of the important processes involved in your particular current difficulties. Its this shared understanding of whats going on that is a principle part of a person centred CBT approach. With our road map in hand we can decide together what approaches and techniques will be most effective to help you break free from unhelpful and destructive patterns. We can also have a realistic discussion about what therapy will look like, what will be required from both of us, in terms of our ' therapy agreement' in order for us to pursue a route forward.
What happens next
That’s up to you. There’s no obligation to go forward with further work but if you would like to, you’ll find that all my CBT sessions will be sandwiched between ‘homework’ or between session tasks. Tasks will always be given at the end of a face to face meeting and each session will always start with a discussion about how the previous session’s tasks have gone.
This might seem excessive and a lot more work than you expected, but if you think about some of the problems which have brought you into therapy: these will be happening for you during those periods when you are not in session, so what better time to try and explore exactly what’s happening or experiment with trying something different to see if it improves things? Having sessions alongside doing specific tasks means we’re constantly checking out whether the skills you are developing are fit for purpose and help you in the real world. Its why we call the service practical therapy because essentially what we are interested in is helping you develop what’s required to cope with the difficulties you face and achieve the goals you want. At each session we’ll draw up an agenda in order to make sure there is time for important priorities. In essence, the therapy is quite structured but within it there is space to explore and develop understandings as well as practice new skills and techniques. Its hard work at times and does require a commitment on your part, but investments tend to be worthwhile as you’ll learn ways to manage and cope with challenges that you can apply to other problems and difficulties.
'your limitations may be just in your mind'