What can I expect when I make the first appointment?
The therapist will meet you and discuss with you the issues you want to deal with and whether a limited amount of sessions or longer-term work is appropriate. We recommend a minimum of 12 sessions as, in our view, this is the minimum number of sessions needed to work through a single issue. The first session is also a time when you can ask questions of the therapist and make sure that this is the right therapeutic approach for you and that you feel comfortable with the therapist.
How much does it cost?
The therapy cost varies. More experienced therapist might charge a little more. A fee is reached in the first session which is agreeable to both parties. Your fee is payable directly to your therapist.
How long is a therapy session?
Counselling and psychotherapy sessions last for what is known as a ‘therapy hour’, traditionally, 50 minutes. Some therapists do offer longer sessions, double sessions or multiple sessions per week.
What if I can’t make a session one week?
It’s important that the therapy is regular, but the therapist will discuss their holidays and cancellation policy with you during the first session.
What’s the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
In brief, psychotherapy training is more extensive and requires at least five years spent in training at a post-graduate level, a minimum of four years of personal therapy, and ongoing clinical supervision. Counsellors are skilled helpers, who offer support through listening in an non-judgemental and empathic way. Counselling can be directive or non-directive, depending on the approach used, and the primary aim is to create a safe environment where difficult issues can be talked through. Psychotherapists are trained to work with clients within the whole spectrum of mental health issues, from mild to severe. Psychotherapy is a more in-depth process which deals with changes in personality structure and ingrained patterns of behaviour; therefore the work in usually longer-term. Counselling and Psychotherapy can be long or short-term, depending on how much support is needed and the particular issue of the client.
How much therapy will I need?
This is an impossible question to answer as it is entirely dependent on what has brought you to therapy. At your initial consultation, your issues and goals will be discussed and then your therapist will agree with you how best to proceed together. Psychotherapeutic change is a process that takes place over time. You may be able to stop or change certain behaviours that are not serving you – often a first step – but coming to terms with the need driving those behaviours and so eliminating the compulsion, is a longer process.
What is the therapists approach and how do I find out about it?
All therapists and counsellors have a particular modality or approach but experienced therapists often work with different approaches. For example here our practitioners combine psychodynamic, integrative and relational approaches, as well as employing specific cognitive behavioural techniques and those drawn from body and energy psychotherapy. The first session is when the therapist will explain their approach and answer any questions you might have.
What continuing Professional Development does each therapist undertake?
Each of our therapists undertakes ongoing professional development as stipulated by their professional body. For example, we each do different trainings to update our skills, attend conferences, workshops, seminars and engage in our own personal therapy and self-development. All counsellors and psychotherapists are required to be in ongoing clinical supervision to ensure ethical and professional practice.
Where can I find out about your code of ethics?
Mark Vahrmeyer and Sam Jahara are full members of the UKCP – the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Sam is also a member of the UK Association for Transactional Analysis. Both professional bodies expect their members to adhere to their codes of ethics which are available from their respective websites: www.psychotherapy.org.uk ; www.uktransactionalanalysis.co.uk. All our associates are fully insured and are members of clinically appropriate professional bodies pertaining to their qualifications.