During the first session we begin to get to know each other, gain a shared understanding of the key areas of concern, and identify goals for therapy. In addition to discussing thoughts and feelings, we will also discuss relevant personal factors such as relationships with family and friends, experiences at school or work, medical history, internet use, etc. Often the first few appointments will also involve the use of questionnaires to help with diagnosis and treatment planning. Results of such assessments are usually discussed at the next session.
The first session may take up to 90 minutes. Please arrive 10 minutes early for your first appointment to complete administrative paperwork.
Subsequent sessions typically last 50 minutes. Each session begins with a check on wellbeing and an opportunity to flag issues arising since the last appointment. Based on these, we agree on a loose agenda to address key topics.
This agenda will usually include time to review strategies used since the previous session and any data that may have been recorded. This is a valuable way of checking what has worked and revising strategies for the days ahead. These may involve being mindful of thoughts and emotions, questioning unhelpful thoughts, practising relaxation and acceptance techniques or identifying specific skills to strengthen. The focus is always on developing strategies for change and checking if these strategies are effective.
Every appointment ends with an opportunity for you to provide feedback on the session. Your feedback is used to modify subsequent sessions to ensure that therapy is effective and helpful.