Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have a lot of questions.  I’ve answered some below but feel free to contact me if you have any more. There are also some excerpts from articles written by various psychotherapists which may help you understand the therapy process.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost?


My fee per session is €50. Cancellations require 24hr notice. Late cancellations or missed appointments are charged in full. I offer concessions for unwaged and self-funding students.




How long will my therapy session last?


Each session is 60 minutes.




How often should I come?


Depending on the issue(s) you want to address I will help you decide how many sessions are appropriate. This something we can look at in the first session and review regularly.




How do I schedule an appointment?


For our first session you can call me, text me or email me (although I do find that it is easier to schedule appointments through a phone conversation). We can schedule subsequent sessions during the first session.




What can I expect in my first session?


It is natural to feel nervous or emotional at the first session but I will do my best to put you at ease. In the first session I will tell you a bit about me and about how therapy works. I will ask you to share what has brought you and what you would like to get out of our work together. The relationship between you and your therapist is crucial so the first session will give you the opportunity to see if you feel comfortable with me.




What is the Cancellation Policy?


A minimum of 24hrs notice is required. Late cancellations or missed appointments are charged in full.




The Therapy Relationship: What Makes a Good Fit?


Whatever, the reason you go to counselling for; whatever issues you have, the most vital aspect of counselling is a sound relationship with your counsellor. Trust is vital. This means developing a good rapport, gaining a sense of confidence and feeling that your counsellor is really able to listen and understand your needs. From the very first session, you need to be able to trust your instincts and pay attention to your gut reaction. One note of caution however - remember you are vulnerable and that nervousness or anxiety can sometimes cloud your judgement or make you feel defensive. Try to be fully open and aware of the possibilities and give yourself a chance to reflect before you make any final decisions about whether you can form a good relationship with your counsellor.




What should I look for as I progress?


The counsellor listens to you attentively and responds openly to your questions. Despite your vulnerability you have a sense the counsellor notices this and responds. Despite your concerns, you have an underlying sense of well-being and safety. The counsellor identifies your needs and brings a sense of clarity to the process. The counsellor helps you to understand things and feel part of the process. You have a sense of the counsellor’s empathy and understanding. The counsellor is reliable, trustworthy and boundaried. You have a sense the counsellor ‘gets you’.




How do I make therapy work for me?


Therapy is a team effort. If you don’t take an active part in the session, you won’t find the counselling experience valuable. Here are some things you can do to make your first session as successful as possible. Be open. Therapists are trained to ask the right questions, but they’re not mind readers. The therapist can do his job more effectively if you engage openly and honestly. Be prepared. Before you get to the session, know how to describe “what’s wrong,” and to describe your feelings about your problem. One way to prepare is to write down the reasons you’re seeking help. Make a list and then read it out loud. Hearing yourself say it a few times will help you describe things more clearly to the therapist. Ask questions. The more you understand the counselling experience or how counselling works, the more comfortable you’ll be. Ask questions about the therapy process, and ask the therapist to repeat anything you don’t understand. Be open and honest about your feelings. A lot will be going through your head in this first session. Listen to your own reactions and feelings, and share them with the therapist. You’ll both learn from these insights. Be sure to go to your first session with realistic expectations. Therapy is not a quick fix for your problem, rather it is a process. With some effort on your part and a strong relationship with your therapist, it can be a successful tool toward resolving problems.




How do I maximise my time in therapy?


Take an active role in making it work for you by using the following 10 tools in your sessions: 1. Get real: Take off the mask and show your many faces. 2. Channel the flow of feeling: Have your feelings without your feelings having you. 3. Enough about them: Look deeply within for the sources of change. 4. Don’t hold back: Forge an authentic connection with your therapist. 5. Be curious, not judgmental: Observe yourself honestly without attacking yourself. 6. Carry your fair share, and only your fair share: Differentiate when to take responsibility and when not to. 7. What’s your story? Identify the recurring themes and fundamental beliefs that guide your life. 8. It ain’t necessarily so: Build a better narrative and choose your beliefs consciously. 9. Do something! Continue your psychological work outside of sessions. 10. Into the fire: Use the challenges of your life as opportunities for growth.




What approach do I need to take during counselling?


A sense of openness and freedom to explore your issues, despite nervousness. The ability to tell your story, but not have to reveal everything in the first session. Try not to have unrealistic expectations of yourself and what you can achieve. A sense that the counsellor has your best interests at heart. To be free (yourself) of defensiveness, as far as is possible.




How perfect a solution is therapy?


Good Therapy is Imperfect. However; The phrase "good therapy" encourages a misconception: the idea that there is such a thing as pure, good therapy, a process exempt of any problems or issues. In the same way that a good marriage or relationship is not one without problems, but rather one that works through problems, good therapy will not always be free of difficulties. No therapist is perfect, and no therapy can be provided perfectly, no matter how ideal a therapy may be in theory. Even those therapists who do the best they can to be conscious of their inner world and attuned to the therapeutic process have aspects of themselves that they are unaware of, pieces of themselves that are unhealed, and mistakes they make.





Greg Savva (Masters Degree, UKCP, Counselling in Twickenham & Whitton); http://www.goodtherapy.org/what-is-good-therapy.html

What to Expect in Your First Counseling Session - Steve Bressert, Ph.D.  http://psychcentral.com/

Dr. Gary Trosclair http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/gary-trosclair-lcsw

Myths about therapy:   http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-myths-and-facts.html

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