What should I expect from the initial session?
Your first appointment is an assessment, as well as an opportunity for you to discuss any questions or concerns you might have. It is a chance for me to learn more about your difficulties, and more broadly, you as a person (your strengths and your life journey to where you are now), with a main focus on the problems now, and your goals looking ahead. Of course, it is also your first apportunity to speak to me and learn more about how I work and decide whether you feel we can work together. By the end of the first session, I am to have agreed with you our main aims for the therapy, how we might go about achieving those goals, and even a start at an understanding of how we view the problems you are describing and how CBT can help.
What about subsequent sessions?
After the assessment, treatment usually starts with a shared formulation of your difficulties – a “roadmap” of sorts, which unpacks all the different facets of your difficulties (for example the thoughts, feelings, behavioural changes and physical changes which surrounds a difficulty) and a description of how these different facets interact or maintain each other. Once we agree on this, the next steps are to slowly start unpicking these points one at a time, creating deeper understanding as we go, and linking it with practical strategies and tasks in between session to help strengthen your learning and enable change. CBTis an active therapy which relies heavily on your participation and your completion of the tasks we agree on in between sessions.
How many sessions will I need?
NICE guidelines have specific suggestions for most presentations. CBT is in it’s true form a time-limited therapy, and on average we expect between 10 and 20 sessions. Some people will need less than that, and other prefer longer term or open ended therapy. It depends on what you want, what you can afford, and how your particular goals and problems respond to therapy… we can discuss this all in the first session.
Everything you discuss in therapy remains confidential, and I will not discuss the content of our sessions without your consent (for example if it seems useful to discuss certain things with your referrer). However, I have a legal obligation to alert other services if you are at risk of harming yourself or someone else. Whenever possible, I will discuss this with your first.
Private Medical Insurance
I am an approved provider with most medical providers, including AXA PPP, Cigna, PRU Health, and BUPA. Please note that clients with medical insurance are responsible for ensuring that their fees are paid in full. In some instances insurance companies will only pay for part of session fees, or for a limited number of sessions, depending on the policy. Where the medical insurance company fails to pay for any or all of the session fees for any reason, clients will be liable for payment of the outstanding fee.
Sessions cancelled with more than 48 hours notice will not be charged for. I regret that where less than 48 hours’ cancellation notice is provided, the session will always be charged at the full rate, irrespective of the reason, if I am unable to offer the appointment to a different client.