The First Step.
Feel free to make initial contact with me by telephone or email giving me a brief description of why you are seeking help. The next essential step is for us to talk on the phone when we will discuss your needs, expectations and interests from therapy in more detail. I will ask you about your personal circumstances and practical questions about your availability so that we can establish whether therapy is practically possible and whether your needs fit within my therapeutic expertise and experience. If so, we will go onto arrange two initial consultations at my practice for which there is no obligation on either side at this stage. This will consist of two 50-minute meetings a week apart with the first one telling me about your issues and expectations, circumstances and personal history and for me to tell you how I work. People can often feel quite overloaded after our first meeting and so the purpose of the second meeting is to give you the opportunity to think about our potential work together, share how you felt being in the room with me and ask any questions that may have arisen out of the initial encounter.
If we decide to work together, we will agree a mutually convenient time and day of the week which will be your ‘slot’ and I expect this to be consistently upheld throughout the duration of our work. For the sake of therapeutic safety and consistency, I urge people to stick to their allocated time and day where possible. However, I appreciate life happens and if you can tell me of a session you cannot make well in advance I will do my best to find an alternative but this is discretionary and not an automatic given.
I work on the basis of once-weekly minimum in order to maintain momentum and in order to be as psychotherapeutically effective as possible I do not offer fortnightly or monthly sessions.
I hold the values of inclusion, respect of difference and confidentiality at the heart of my psychotherapy practice.
My fees range from £55 to £75 depending on the frequency of attendance in therapy. I will bill you monthly and fees will be payable at the end of each month by cash, cheque or bank transfer. I review my fees annually at the beginning of September with two months’ notice of any changes.
All missed sessions are chargeable. I charge the full fee for cancelled sessions, even if more than 24 hours notice is given. If you need to cancel a session you can do so by calling my answering machine on 0208 509 2849 or ideally in person during one of our sessions. Where possible, I will try to offer you an alternative session during the same week as the missed one in order that we maintain as much continuity of attachment as possible but this may not be feasible depending on availability. Alternatively, we can discuss the possibility of a session on the phone or teleconference.
If you fail to attend a session for any reason, the session will be charged at the full rate and I will be unable to offer you an alternative.
If we work within a time-limited framework, the end date will already be pre-agreed from the start. If we choose to work on a long-term basis and in an open-ended framework, the duration of your therapy will not be stipulated at the beginning of our work. Therefore if you decide that for whatever reason you need to end therapy, we will need to talk about this. It may feel difficult to share your thoughts if you feel angry or unhappy but it is important that we are able to talk openly and honestly about your feelings rather than finishing abruptly which may leave you holding onto unnecessary pain. Where possible, I ask that you give at least one month’s notice at any point during our first year, with an additional month for every year we have been working together, exploring what comes up for you as we do so. Whatever the circumstances, therapy carries on beyond the actual encounters therefore having the best possible ending to your therapeutic journey is important. It is my biggest wish that you internalize the therapy enough so that you are sufficiently well prepared to move onto the next stage of your life with security, confidence and contentment.