Initial consultation

It can be a big step asking for help, and choosing the right therapist for you is an important decision. You can contact me in confidence, either by telephone or email. I hope this website will have answered some of your queries about psychotherapy, but you are welcome to ask any further questions you may have. If you wish, we can arrange to meet.

The initial consultation lasts an hour and a half. This provides an opportunity for you to meet me, and explore your difficulties with an experienced psychotherapist. There will be time for you to talk in detail about what is troubling you. As well as wanting to hear what is happening in your life at present, I will ask about when your difficulties began, and how you think they have come about.

I will be interested to observe what themes emerge as we talk, and will consider what underlying dynamics might be giving rise to your symptoms or problems. This consultation will give you an experience of what psychoanalytic psychotherapy feels like: I will share some of my thinking with you, to give you a taste of the process that takes place in therapy. You can see how you feel about talking with me, and you will discover for yourself if it is helpful, and whether you want to continue beyond the initial consultation. We can discuss what your hopes and expectations are.

An initial consultation for couple work follows similar lines, although the focus is more on the relationship between you and your partner.

Sometimes it becomes clear in the first session that psychotherapy is what you want, and that it will help you. However, we may decide to meet for a second or third time to explore your situation further. Embarking on psychotherapy is a big step, involving a significant commitment on both sides, so we need to consider this decision carefully. Psychotherapy is a collaborative process, so it is important that we feel comfortable working together, and you feel that I am the right therapist for you. If it remains unclear as to what is best, we can extend the assessment period, or have a trial period of therapy to see whether you find it helpful.

The initial consultation does not commit you to further meetings or regular therapy. One consultation may be all you want for now: it may be enough to point you in the right direction, and help you decide what you need to do. You can always come back to see me again at a later date, should you wish to.

If we decide to proceed with psychotherapy, we will work out a regular, mutually convenient time to meet (see availability), and discuss fees.

If psychotherapy is not for you

If we decide that a psychoanalytic approach is not the right treatment for you, we can discuss what might be a more helpful way forward. If you wish, I can recommend someone who may be able to help you in a different way.