Frequently asked questions
Do I have to know what I want to talk about if I come and see you?
Frequently we know there is something in our life that is seriously wrong but the rest of our life is good enough to get by. A good therapist will be able have a conversation about how to go forward. Or if you want to stay as you are then may be that is the best solution.
Change tends to happen gradually. Steps are rarely all forward. It is often difficult but doing it in the company of someone else helps.
You can expect a friendly and welcoming conversation with me. We can explore ways to feel hopeful and we can build strategies to make life better. My job is to provide you with ways to help you to cope and thrive. I can offer you a range of evidence based ways to do that.
What would I/we get from seeing a couple therapist?
I can offer an opportunity to talk about what is happening and help you as a couple to find new ways to relate to each other. The purpose would be to reduce distress, improve communication and increase trust.
Psychotherapy may involve thinking about habits and beliefs and then negotiating to take responsibility for making changes. This is useful to do in a calm and structured way.
It is my responsibility to listen to each person and I will suggest some individual as well as joint meetings. The aim is to bring issues out into the open and to help to find new ways of getting on better.
I will provide
- a safe relationship for each of you to talk
- a collaborative process that will acknowledge each of your individual needs
- the opportunity to communicate in a different way with each other.
What will be expected of us?
I work with couples who find that one or both of them feel ‘stuck’ in the relationship, are perhaps sad or have things that they cannot resolve on their own. I can help people to face these challenges and to work on destructive patterns.
Finding new ways of communicating will involve some practice. Recognising the efforts that each person is making will take time and effort. You will find out how to learn more about each other.
In safe creative conversations people develop new skills and give one another time and opportunity to grow.
What model of therapy is used?
I would encourage you to reflect on who you are in the relationships in your life and the contexts that you live in, using systemic psychotherapy. Systemic therapy focuses on attachments, emotionality, behaviour and strengths. I would expect to negotiate with you what you want from the therapy and help you to focus on these areas: the behaviours you are using, the contexts that these occur in and the feelings that come up. Sometimes, it is useful to think about how other family relationships are affecting your current ways of being.
Often in therapy someone is coming with a problem, this may be a difficulty which has become aggravated, or may be an issue in a relationship which is difficult to change. You may have been treated badly or suffered a terrible loss.
People need a chance to decide what they want to talk about. Then some exploration of the issues and affirmation for their wish to consider changing. I will use a range of different suggestions/techniques based on evidence to offer help at a negotiated pace.
Sometimes it is not always clear what the difficult issues are, especially if both of you have a different version of how things are. Couple therapy offers the opportunity to understand what are the key issues you may be struggling with in order to be different with each other.
What is your approach to working with same sex couples and families?
Sexuality and the social consequences of our sexualities can have an important bearing on how we relate to each other. I will ask about this to see how much we want to bring it into the therapy.
Individuals and couples who live in marginalised identities develop ways of living in oppressive circumstances. New ways of how to survive develop and new stories of resilience are shared. I will want to build on these and find new ways to be happy.
With all people who I talk with I will see if I am the right therapist for them.
How do you work with black and ethnic minority families when you are white?
Our ‘race’ and our ethnicities help make us who we are. The privileges and constraints on fulfilling our potential are not equally distributed. I start from a position that I have a knowledge of my own varied white European ethnic background. My approach to life is to take into account and value the multiple social significant differences that need to be negotiated. Therapy can be one way of exploring how to get through the multiple challenges of living together, economic growth and psychological survival.
What value do you put on diversity and equal opportunities in your work?
I put a high value on issues of diversity in my individual, couple and family psychotherapy. A starting point for me as a psychotherapist is that there are many realities and that multiple realities are part of outer social, national and international contexts and may be part of our inner consciousness as well. I have had multiple training and developmental experiences which have assisted my abilities to address issues of different opportunities. I provide for people to be able to work in equal and also different ways.
How often would appointments be offered?
Usually weekly or fortnightly and also at other frequencies by negotiation.
Can individual appointments be offered in couple and family therapy?
I offer individual appointments as well and will often recommend them as part of the therapeutic journey.
Do I/we have to know what we want before we make an appointment?
You can come to the first appointment with some questions which we can discuss and plan from there. Some people come with a clear view of what they want which can then lead to weekly and/or fortnightly appointments.
What if I/we decide we want to see someone else?
Please say if this is what you want, I would encourage all my clients to be thinking if the therapy was working for them. It is useful to review the resources that are available to you. I can suggest other U.K.C.P. registered psychotherapists and counsellors who you could contact.
How will I know that I am seeing a good psychotherapist?
It is important to find a registered psychotherapist as this will ensure they have a recognized training and that they are keeping up with their professional development. The register plays a monitoring role and helps to safeguard clients from malpractice.
It is important to follow your own responses when you work with a psychotherapist, if the relationship doesn’t feel right for you then I suggest you find someone else.
How much will it cost?
Please see below for fees – I can offer some clients lower fees if negotiated. Please ask me.
Sessions will cost £60:00 a session (55 minutes) for day time appointments between 9.00 am and 8.00 pm. We can work in a confidential room at my home Ditchling Road in Brighton.
For family therapy the first appointment will be for one and half hours . The cost will be one and a half times the session rate above.
After a booking is made at least 48 hours notice is needed if cancellation is necessary. Otherwise the full cost of the session will need to be paid. For appointments at Brighton Consulting Rooms four full working days notice will be needed if an appointment is to be cancelled. Otherwise the booking fee of £10 is payable.
How can I/we pay?
By bankers order, with cash or by cheque.
How can a Family Therapist help?
Solutions to problems often lie in every day behaviour and ways of talking with each other. The aim of a family therapist is to bring issues out into the open at a negotiated pace and to help find ways to get on better.
I will provide a collaborative and cooperative process which respects expectations. I am interested in family ways of doing things and I look for the strengths in people.
Initially, I might meet with one or two people but it is up to you who you bring. I will be interested in others and will want to consider whether their views can be heard.
How many sessions?
Typically family therapy is relatively short, usually no more than six sessions. Family therapists believe that expanding on the ways we communicate with each other can overcome family problems and can lead to significant and long term benefits. This can often be achieved in a small number of sessions.