I would like to tell you a little about what a first session might look like and how I work.
For our first session, there will be several pieces of necessary paperwork to consider e.g. a confidentiality agreement and
therapeutic contract. I may also ask you to fill in a time line, which is a note of important events in your life, both positive and
negative, and what the meaning of them is for you.
When we meet, we will spend the first session discussing any questions you may have about therapy, how I work, what
brought you to see me, and what you think is going to be helpful to you.
You are the expert on yourself an only you can decide what might work for you. We will form a plan together, perhaps over
the course of two to three sessions, of how we can proceed, and what we collaboratively believe is going on for you.
You will find my practice is based on a humanistic, integrative, pluralistic blending of possibilities from several frameworks,
including CBT, Gestalt, Compassion Focused Therapy, ideas from psychodynamic practice, with a person-centred, humanistic core.
I practice primarily as a CBT therapist with the NHS part of the week but CBT can be practiced integratively in more ways
than might be assumed.
For example, it is a misconception that CBT therapists pay no attention to childhood and current context. Childhood experiences
are often how we got to where we are now and most people's issues are an understandable response to their current context.
CBT does not, when practiced in a humanistic framework, place blame on the individual for how they are feeling. We do look at
what goes on in the room between the therapist and client, but it is not the basis of the therapy as it might be in psychodynamic
practice. CBT also looks at the connections not just between thoughts and behaviour, but also the relationships between these,
emotions, and what is felt in the body.
Pluralism suggests, within ethical boundaries, there is no right or wrong way of being with someone in therapy. Respecting clients’
diversity and idiosyncrasy means considering alternative ways of looking at things and working collaboratively, not prescriptively;
and there can be great value in theories and interventions from other approaches, while retaining a critical stance on those and
my own theories and practice.
The question for me becomes “What does this client want?” rather than me telling the client what they need.
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