Below are some of the questions most commonly asked about the services but please feel free to contact me if you have any other queries or need further information.
What should I expect when I contact you?
You can get in touch with me via telephone or email. When you get in touch I will aim to get back to you within 48 hours (working days Monday - Friday). If I take longer than this it is because I am away from work for some reason and in those cases I will try and get back to you as soon as possible on my return.
Once we have established contact, I offer an initial telephone consultation of up to 20minutes for us to have a chat about your enquiry and what you are looking for. This is a chance for us to check we are a good 'fit' and feel that we could work together, which is important in any psychological work. It also gives you the chance to ask any questions about my approach etc.
How long does therapy take?
There are so many factors involved in therapy that we can't give a one off time frame. The variables which affect therapy will include the nature of the issues being dealt with and the goals of therapy. Are you looking for deeper, transformative change? Are the issues you are tackling something which stem back a long way? Or are you looking more at learning strategies to manage certain symptoms? All of these can be discussed in the initial telephone consultation which I offer and we can take into account what you are looking for and what I would recommend for this, taking into account other practical factors such as budget, time restraints or insurance company restrictions.
Do you work online or face to face?
I work both online and face to face. The online platform I use is Zoom. My office is based in Hinckley, Leicestershire with good transport links (bus and train), being based in the town centre. There is a car park opposite (pay and display)
What's the difference between therapy and coaching sessions?
The medical model would frame therapy as a 'treatment' for psychological issues arising from mental health problems, and psychological therapy does help people in their recovery from a whole range of mental health difficulties, relationship problems and the many ways in which these manifest in our behaviour and actions.
However, therapy can also be useful for self-development through exploration of patterns that we automatically operate in, which can create blocks for us and so helps us to understand ourselves better and start to connect with what we really want. This can overlap with coaching, but will have an emphasis on healing and resolving blocks from the past in order to move forward. To be a clinical psychologist and carry out therapy, you have to go through rigorous training; a minimum of around 10 years, and then maintain registration to practice.
Coaching is similar to the ethos of self-development but can be specific to certain areas. For example there are relationship coaches, business coaches and life coaches. Coaching is more present and future orientated and is often linked to achieving goals, but also takes into account certain blocks which might be having a limiting effect on your growth in a certain area.
A simplistic way of looking at it could be thinking of a scale -5 to +5 and that therapy might be taking you anywhere from -5 to 0 where coaching is orientated from 0 to 5. Sometimes we need to do the background work (therapy) to enable us to make the most of the coaching work.
Do you provide support in-between sessions?
I am unable to offer support in between sessions or crisis support. I am also unable to book appointments on an urgent basis to deal with crises. If you are feeling unwell or need to speak to someone urgently then please reach out to one of the contact lines that are always available for you:
The Samaritans can be called on: 116 123
Mental health text support is available from Shout on: 85258 (text only)
In an emergency go to your local A&E
Is everything kept confidential?
Anything discussed in psychological therapy remains confidential between the client and therapist. I often take notes in therapy and these are kept locked away as per required by the Information Commissioners Office, which I am registered with as a data controller.
But in what circumstances would I have to breach confidentiality? There are 4 main areas where this would be required:
1) If there was the possibility of a child being at risk/unsafe. This applies to ANY child, not only children known to the client. This is a legal requirement.
2) If the client was at risk from someone else. This is not always clear cut and would of course be discussed before any confidentiality was broken with services such as safeguarding services or the police.
3) If the client was at risk to themselves, or to someone else. Again , this is something which would be discussed beforehand unless in exceptional circumstances.
4) If the therapist is made aware of any kind of terrorist activities, then it is a legal requirement to report this to the appropriate department.
Do you write reports for the courts?
I do not write court reports or reports for social services. If you require a specialist psychological assessment then this would include a report, but this would be written for you and not in the format required by the courts.
What happens if I can't come to a session?
Life happens and sometimes we have to cancel our appointments. My terms and conditions state that I request 24 hours notice whenever possible for cancellation, or full fee is payable. Sometimes it is possible to rearrange the session for another time but if we have no availability to do that then your next appointment would be in your usual time slot as per your pattern of therapy (often weekly or fortnightly).
I do understand that sometimes things happen at very short notice and can't be helped. I will be as flexible as possible but also respect that the policy is part of my own boundaries for keeping the business up and running and would ask you to ensure you read the T&C's before signing and discuss any concerns or questions with me.
Do you accept insurance companies or offer a discounted rate?
Yes I am registered with the following insurance companies: AXA, Aviva, Cigna and WPA. I do have a limited number of sessions per week where I offer a discretion on fees for therapy. This is dependent on circumstances and whether I have any availability to offer these slots.