One of the most common misconceptions of therapy is that if you commit to speaking with a psychologist *poof* that’s it your stress is gone; your problem has vanished. This is not the case. I do not ever want to discourage anyone from seeking help or trying this new way of helping their issue, but I also do not want those that sign up to go in blind and expect unrealistic outcomes.
Therefore, I have outlined some expectations when going to see me as a practitioner for the first time. Please note all of my procedures are based on and supported by the BPS Code of Ethics:
1. When you reach out, I will ask for a brief reason of why you contacted me.
2. We will then arrange an initial phone call or video call to help both of us assess whether this is something you think is worth trying and whether our approach suits one another.
3. If it is, I will forward you my Terms and Conditions. These advise each session will be 50-60 minutes long, it will be conducted in a location convenient to you or via video call, and information will remain confidential unless I deem you at risk to yourself or others.
4. I will also send you a client-practitioner agreement form for you to sign, agreeing to the T&Cs provided.
5. The first session will include what is called Discovery, where I gather as much specific information about the area or topic we are addressing. For example, what triggers or causes it to occur, what has or hasn’t worked in the past, how have you been processing the situation up until this point.
6. The most vital point to be aware of though is if you want change to occur, only you can influence this. I will educate you and support your newly developing perception but if you want true change, you have to be responsible for this to happen.
I know ownership of a problem is never easy and I acknowledge it is a difficult process to start but commend yourself for even reading this far. That in itself is evidence you want to make that change.