The initial session is usually up to an hour long and is an opportunity for you to tell me about the issues that are troubling you and to get a sense of whether you feel comfortable enough to engage in counselling or psychotherapy. It is not uncommon to feel nervous or anxious if this is the first time you have met with a therapist, and it is okay to take some time to talk about your unease before getting into the reasons you have sought help.
You can expect me to listen carefully to what you have to say and to occasionally check out with you my understanding of your problems. I may also ask you some questions about your family, work and medical history.
This session is also an opportunity for you to ask me any questions, including what you can expect from therapy and how I may work with you.
Should we agree to work together then an appointment can be made and the boundaries of the work discussed with you.
Counselling or psychotherapy is a skilled helping relationship in which the therapist listens carefully to the client and seeks to understand their feelings, thoughts and experiences. Through this kind of empathic relationship, the therapist can act as a mirror and facilitator to the client, enabling him/her to become aware of and change repeated negative patterns of feeling, thinking and behaviour.
Once a trusting relationship has been built, the client tends to repeat with the therapist these past patterns of relating (known as transference) and this offers the client the opportunity of resolving the past hurts, emotional injuries and distorted ways of thinking and perceiving, that are affecting their current life. The exploration and understanding of dreams often supports the process of awareness and integration.
It is only very recently that exciting neuroscientific research has supported what the ‘talking professions’ have known for a long time. This research suggests that psychological damage caused by early trauma and neglect can be helped through an empathic therapeutic relationship.
"Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul"
(Carl Gustav Jung)
A significant amount of research indicates that the single most important aspect of successful therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. In the trusting relationship that develops people sometimes feel, to a lesser or greater extent, some sense of reliance on the therapist. It may be important to remember, however, that the ultimate aim of therapy is to facilitate the client in being able to cope with their own life.
My formal training is as a Transactional Analyst; however, I integrate TA’s humanistic philosophy with its deeper roots in psychodynamic theory. I offer a contemporary relational approach to therapy, drawing upon relational psychoanalysis, self psychology, object relations and existential thought.