Some people feel that 6 – 10 weekly sessions of therapy is enough to get them on the right track. Others decide with their therapist, to continue for longer than this. We would recommend that you commit to a minimum of 6 sessions and then review progress. Deeper work such as trauma or recovery from a long-term depression may make take much longer. However, the goal of therapy is always to get you feeling better as quickly as possible, not only in the therapy room but independently in your daily life.
Getting the right therapist is an essential predictor of a positive outcome in therapy. We think it is a really good idea to test out a few therapists either on the phone or in person. This is why we offer a 30-minute initial consultation. It gives you and your therapist a chance to test out your chemistry and see if you could be a good fit for each other. Remember that as part of our training as therapists we have been in the client chair for many years, so we know it can be daunting. When you check out your therapist ask lots of questions and trust your instinct!
CBT is the style of therapy that most people have heard of because it is frequently used in the NHS. CBT encourages clients to change destructive patterns of behavior and negative ways of thinking and acting. It is a short-term approach and in fact there are some TA tools and CBT tools that work in a similar way. TA is a versatile model very well suited to both short and long-term work. TA therapy works to affect change at a thinking, feeling and behavioural level and many of the concepts are creatively presented which make them interesting and easy to talk about with clients.
We like to think of therapy as an art and not a science, and with this in mind, we try to be flexible in our approach tailoring therapy to clients rather than the other way around. Have a look at the TA page on this website and see if there is something there that sparks your interest. For more information on therapy styles, visit the UKCP website ‘types of therapy’ page.
For counsellors and psychotherapists, ethics is a huge part of our training, accreditation process and ongoing professional development. At The Wellness Project we understand that this is more than just a box ticking exercise. Confidentiality is key to successful therapy. How can you open up about your issues if you don’t feel safe? At your first session we encourage you to ask as many questions as you like about ethics and confidentiality and if we decide to continue with therapy, you will sign a confidentiality agreement alongside your therapist. You can discuss our code of ethics more specifically with your therapist but to give you an idea, here are some of the ways we will protect your confidentiality:
- Session notes will not have your name on them
- Session notes and files containing your personal details will be kept separately
- Every attempt is made to ensure that you will not bump into other clients either on arrival or departure
- If your therapist takes an issue arising from your therapy to supervision, you will not be identified
- If someone you know is also attending therapy at The Wellness Project, neither party will be discussed with the other
For more information on our ethical code visit https://www.uktransactionalanalysis.co.uk/about-ukata/our-ethics
You can talk about this at your first session and work out a plan which best suits you, however as a broad principle, your therapist will not usually acknowledge you (aside from perhaps a nod or a smile). This is not because they are being unfriendly, it is because they are protecting your confidentiality. You might not have told friends or family members you are attending therapy and you are likely to feel uncomfortable discussing therapy issues in a public space where other people can overhear you. So, if you do bump into your therapist, know that they are trained to deal with that situation and will ensure your right to privacy is protected.
Your first session is a 30-minute consultation to find out whether we can help you. We will talk a little bit about what brings you to therapy and you can ask as many questions as you like. You might want to know more about your therapist or how the process usually works if you are new to counselling. If you decide to move forward, you will agree a time that works on a weekly basis with your therapist and at your first regular 50-minute session both you and your therapist will sign a contract. The purpose of this is not to tie you in or restrict you in any way, it is to set out some of the processes and ensure you are safe and protected. A key part of your contract outlines the confidentiality agreement between you and your therapist which is why you both need to sign it. Once the contract is completed, you can move forward with therapy. The paperwork part of your first session takes about 10 minutes but this only needs to be done once.