The initial meeting is a one-off assessment. This is an opportunity for you to explain your problems, say how you would like things to be different, and for me to ask you questions, with a view to deciding how CBT can best help you to work on your difficulties. By the end of this meeting, we will usually have come up with a preliminary shared understanding about how your patterns of thinking and behaving might be keeping your problems going. We may also have some ideas about how to break these patterns through changing the ways you think and act. You will usually be asked to complete a couple of relevant questionnaires before the next session. The assessment session is also a time to discuss the practicalities of further sessions. If we conclude that CBT is not the best way of helping you with your problems, we will discuss alternative options.
What will happen at subsequent sessions?
Sessions will always start with a discussion about how best to use the time, so that we can prioritise our work together towards your goals for therapy. Near the end of each session we will agree on which tasks you are going to try and carry out before the next session: this ‘homework’ will usually involve experimenting with altering the ways in which you think about events and/or how you act in certain circumstances.
How often will sessions take place?
Weekly or fortnightly. Research has shown that regular sessions at this sort of frequency are the most beneficial in producing lasting change.
How many sessions will be needed?
This varies, depending on the nature of your problems, but typically 8-20 sessions is enough. The decision on when to end therapy is usually a shared one, based on your progress towards your goals.
What if I have to cancel a session?
As long as you give 24 hours notice, there is no charge for cancelled sessions. Otherwise, missed sessions will incur full session fees.