Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CBT session is like?
Typically CBT sessions are fairly structured: we will usually make a plan of what we are going to cover and we go through any events of the week as well as how your mood has changed. There may be strategies that you have tried out at home that we will review. Finally, we can think together about what you might do at home over the coming week.
What would be expected of me as a CBT client?
Something important to highlight is that there is an emphasis in CBT on you trying out and practising key strategies in between sessions. Research has shown that those who put more effort into this aspect of therapy gain more from the experience and your active participation in the process is key to making changes. An example of a key strategy is to keep a record of thoughts, emotions and behaviours in the form of a diary.
What can I expect my therapist to do in CBT?
CBT is a collaborative effort between the client and the therapist. It should feel as if we are working together on your problems to overcome them. Often the role of a therapist is to ask questions that promote understanding or help you gain insight into certain issues and this may feel different to conversations you may have with friends or acquaintances. At times I will encourage you to question and challenge your established ways of thinking and acting, I will do this from a non-judgmental stance.
How many sessions would I need?
It’s hard to give an exact number of sessions as this varies enormously from person to person.
For milder difficulties, 4-6 sessions may be enough. Most clients will need from 6 to 12 sessions if difficulties are long-standing or fairly severe. In general terms, CBT is a short term therapy lasting for 20 sessions as a maximum.
My preference is to work in blocks of six sessions and then review our progress. It may be worth remembering that we will discuss the main focus and length of treatment in the initial session, and then review periodically.
Would my information remain confidential?
Confidentiality ensures trust and security in therapy. What we discuss in therapy is confidential. The only time I would break that confidentiality would be if I believed you were at risk of harm, were a risk to others or if you told me of any child protection concerns or criminal activity, but I would try to discuss this with you first. It can sometimes be beneficial for a therapist to speak to a third party on your behalf but you would have to give your permission for this to take place.
How much do you charge and how are payments made?
My charges are £80 per 50-minute session. In some circumstances such as an exposure session or working on a traumatic memory, it may be necessary to schedule a longer session of an hour and a half or two hours but this is an exception and would simply be to allow anxiety levels to fall to normal levels throughout the session.
Payments are usually made in advance of each session by cash, online or cheque.
We are also approved by Vitality, AXA PPP, Aviva, Healix and other EAP and health insurance providers. Please ask your company for details about your entitlement.
I have reserved the time for you if we book an appointment, and so if you have to cancel would appreciate that you do so with plenty of notice.
If you cannot attend your appointment for any reason, please let me know as soon as you can, and with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice where possible. I will also try to give you as much warning as possible if I am unable to attend an arranged appointment.
Cancellations between 24 and 48 hours’ notice will incur a charge of 50% of the usual session fee. Cancellations received with less than 24 hours’ notice will incur a charge for the full session. Please note that insurance companies do not usually cover the cost of cancellations
To cancel you can ring the number listed here or email me from the website.
Where to start if I want to go ahead with CBT sessions?
The first step would be to arrange an initial appointment. This appointment usually lasts for about an hour and the aim would be to get a good understanding of what you would like help with and come up with an initial treatment plan. We may also discuss other treatment options and support available. Sometimes it will be possible to identify some fairly clear goals for our therapy in this first meeting. In other cases, goals may need some further exploration over more sessions. It is important that you feel comfortable with me as a therapist, and so there would be no automatic obligation for you to take things any further at this stage if you did not want to.
How do I book an appointment?
To book an appointment or make an initial enquiry, you can contact either email me or contact me over the phone.
How long do I have to wait for an appointment?
I aim to offer you an initial appointment within a week depending on availability. To help with availability appointments can be offered for evenings and on Saturday.