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Do you offer a free initial session?

No and there are several reasons for this. The most common argument in favour of offering an initial free session is so you can get to know your therapist and decide if you want to work with them. In reality, one session will not be enough to be able to make such an important decision as the first session is primarily information gathering and a discussion of your goals and desired outcomes. 

The therapeutic relationship or alliance is considered especially important for achieving your goals and outcomes, more so than the type of therapy you choose. This relationship takes time to build, it may be unrealistic to expect to "click" with your therapist straight away.

Paying from the outset can help ensure that clients are committed to therapy and have decoded for themselves that the time is right for them to begin that process. 

How often are the sessions?

Ideally, sessions should be weekly, particularly at the start of your treatment, however, I understand that this is not always possible due to work or financial reasons. If you are unable to attend at least every two weeks, you will find that your progress may be slower and the therapeutic relationship harder to build.  

How many sessions will I  need?

This varies from person to person and the type of therapy recommended. You can use the following as a basic guide;

6-8 sessions - will help you gain a broad understanding of your current problem and learn some strategies and skills to help you move forward. 

8-12 sessions - will help you gain deeper insight into your problems, learn a range of strategies to help you and have my support whilst you practice the skills in between sessions.

12 or more sessions - may be needed if you have been experiencing problems for a long time, have complex problems which affect many areas of your life, or prefer to have regular sessions with a therapist to support you  in a non judgemental way. 

Some types of therapy, by their nature, are longer term therapies and if these have been recommended, you should expect to commit to therapy for several months. 

What happens at the first session?

The first session is an opportunity for you to tell me about what problems you are experiencing at the moment and the reasons why you have decided to come for outside help. Don't worry if you find it difficult to express yourself, I will ask questions to help me understand where you are and how you are feeling. We may discuss what you would like to achieve from your sessions, how many sessions you may need and which type of therapy I would recommend for your particular issues. 

Do you give advice?

Not in the true sense of the word, no, as we will never tell you what to do. However, the idea that counsellors don't advise at all, has no basis in reality outside of person centred counselling. Some clients find a therapist or counsellor who merely paraphrases what they have said, quite off putting. 

People are motivated to feel better, they come to a professional, not to be "fixed" but to be helped to understand why they feel the way they do and what they can do about it. From this standpoint, it may be more helpful to think of it as providing information and guidance. 

Here are some examples of where we can "advise:"

  1. What type of therapy may be most suited to your needs and goals and how long this may take.

  2. What skills and techniques you can learn and use in different situations for the most effective results. These should be offered with a view to your own personal circumstances and needs. It's not a one-size fits all approach. 

  3. We may suggest different things you could try, different ways to view things. We may suggest reasons why you may be finding therapy difficult. This is to help you explore new ideas or to help understand yourself better. 

  4. As opposed to standard medical or legal advice, what information and guidance is given during therapy, will vary from person to person as your experiences are subjective.

You are not registered with UKCP, BACP or BABCP, the main membership bodies in the UK, are you qualified and safe to work with?

I hold a UKCP accredited diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy and I am a full member of the National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists, who are an organisational member of UKCP. As such, I adhere to a code of ethics and have to undertake regular supervision and continuing professional development. NRHP also provide an independent complaints service, should you be unhappy or dissatisfied with your work with me. I also hold comprehensive insurance. 

Psychotherapy and counselling in the UK are not statutory regulated, which means therapists have no obligation to be members of any professional body, although most do, to provide their clients with added peace of mind, that their training is of a satisfactory level and their clinical work is regularly supervised. 

Where can I read reviews of your services?

You can find my latest reviews on my Harley Therapy page here https://harleytherapy.com/therapists/julie-ellison

Not sure if you need outside help or not? Ask yourself these three questions.

1. Can you recognise and accept that you have a problem?  Or, is that problem coming out

in other ways, such as anger, relationships problems, insomnia, addiction, self harm or issues

around food?

2. Can you solve it yourself without relying on for example, drugs, sex, spending all your free 

time at the gym, over eating etc?

3. Have you buried the problem or keep pushing it away hoping it will solve itself or think that, because it happened so long ago, it not longer effects you? If you replied "yes" to questions one and two, then you may benefit from working through those long standing issues. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions. 

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