Advice On How Therapy Works -How To Get The Most Out Your Sessions.

Counselling and psychotherapy are opportunities to work towards finding positive solutions and to find a more satisfying and rewarding way to live. Research shows that therapy is helpful and that most clients finish their psychotherapy sessions feeling confident and empowered. 'The more you know about your objectives before you start and the more you define them, the more likely you are to create lasting change'.

For this reason, I have compiled this information about the therapy I offer and what will be involved in achieving your preferred future. 

1 There are several ways in which I can help you. I regard myself as the provider of a therapy “menu”, so that you can decide, with my support, what you would most like to work on. Some of the issues that you may choose to focus on are:-

  • Talking through an issue in order to make sense of what has happened to gain perspective
  • Making sense of a specific problematic event that sticks in your mind
  • Problem-solving, planning and decision-making
  • Changing your behaviour
  • Negotiating a life transition or developmental crisis
  • Dealing with difficult feelings and emotions
  • Undoing self-criticism and enhancing self-care
  • Learning to deal with difficult or painful relationships
  • Disentangling issues on a step-by-step basis

2 It is worth explaining that Psychotherapy does not “fix" you - because you are not broken. This is one of the areas where therapy and medical treatment differ enormously. With medical treatment, the best outcome is a cure where an illness is eradicated to ensure it does not return. However, in therapy, this is not possible because mental illness, negative beliefs or maladaptive behaviours are not diseases. 

3 My therapeutic approach is Person-Centred and we will focus on finding solutions. Sessions are based on a two-way interactive process. I believe that you are the expert on your life (even if you do not feel like you are).  It is my belief that one of the main roles of a psychotherapist is to help you make the best use of you own experience and understanding.

4 During your initial consultation, I will listen and ask questions. I will provide structure to the session so that you understand what is needed by you. I will provide you with the foundation of how the brain-based, solution-focused approach works.  The science behind making positive change is called “Neuro-plasticity”.  This is your brains’ way of re-wiring itself for optimal function.Your brain is in a constant state of change and adapts and evolves in order to facilitate function. In the past,it was thought that our brains were set in a fixed state and that the only change would be a mass die-off of cells after a certain age.  However, now we know that Neuro-plasticity shows that your brain has an amazing capacity to adapt to change.Today evidence-based science proves that chemical changes in the brain re-formats the growth of new neutrons.  This will be explained inmate depth in the Initial consultation.

5 In your first session, we will identify your goals and explore what needs to be different.

6 From Sessions 2 – 6 I will guide you towards thinking about and exploring solutions to find positive answers.  You will not be required to focus on your past, or your childhood.  You have the autonomy to add what you want to discuss in your sessions.

7 To get the most out of therapy make some time to think about your goals, both before your first session and between sessions. It can be useful to write your goals down and it is important to say when goals change.

8 We will monitor your continuing during the sessions using the Scaling Method. You will gain intellectual control as you develop positive and objective beliefs.

9 Therapy can be demanding, frustrating and emotionally challenging and you may even experience a reluctance to attend or continue. Your motivation may fluctuate throughout therapy. As your issues may have taken time to develop, the more complex and long-standing your issues are, the longer you may need to work on them.  Altering negative behaviours does not happen overnight.  Please persevere. 

10 It is important to make a firm commitment, attend regularly, keep absences to a minimum, as gaps will slow down your progress.  Remember, you are investing time, money and effort towards your long-term well-being. What could be more important than this?

11 The 8 Session format is devised to ensure an adequate time-frame for intellectual control to be gained.  It will reinforce new positive behaviours and replace negative “default” thinking.

12 You may be reluctant to change and find it scary and difficult.  You may want to hold onto your old ways of thinking, even if they are detrimental, or expect change to happen instantly. This is understandable and part of being human. Nevertheless, real and lasting change takes time and cannot be forced. Therapy is a process, not a quick fix.

13 Have patience; be kinder, more compassionate and understanding towards yourself.  This is no bad thing given that many of us are our own worst critics.

14 We will review ending your therapy during your 7th session.  By then you may have achieved the changes you were aiming for and materialised your “preferred future".  8 sessions may not be sufficient to facilitate change, and you may decide to continue.  After this, we will review your progress every three sessions. 

15 My therapy room is full of light, with a beautiful garden outlook; it is warm, comfortable, simply decorated and private.  I do not have a couch; instead I have a comfortable recliner which I use for hypnotherapy and creative visualisation. Counselling sessions are centred around a table with two comfortable chairs.  At the start of each session, you will be offered a beverage of your choice.

Finally, I hope these points have been helpful and will enable you to make the most out of your therapeutic journey. I am looking forward to meeting you and helping you transition towards your “preferred future”. 

Warm wishes,

Elva Carter