Q. I don’t know if I need therapy… what happens then?
A. Therapy is open to everyone, and whilst more and more people are getting therapy and help with their mental health which is helping with the stigma, there can still be some difficulty admitting to needing/wanting someone to talk to about what you’re going through.
Q. I feel embarrassed to have therapy; I don’t feel like I’m that bad. Will you still see me?
A. We’ve come a long way in mental health and the stigma surrounding it, and whilst accessing therapy is becoming a lot more normalised, it can still feel like there’s a barrier there. If you feel like you want/need therapy, then that is valid; and that means you’re at a place where you are ready and willing to start implementing new changes and learning more about yourself. It’s actually more helpful to access therapy when you’re not at rock bottom, so you can begin to develop your own toolkit of coping mechanisms if and when you have a tough time. If we’re a good match, and I have space; then I will see you in whatever form you come to me in.
Q. Will anyone know I’m in therapy?
A. Our work together is confidential, meaning everything we discuss is kept private. The notes I make on our sessions together are anonymised and minimal, and your paperwork is password protected. Within your initial paperwork I’ll ask for an emergency contact who will be the person you feel the most comfortable me contacting should I be concerned for your well-being, so this person will probably know you are attending therapy. I attend supervision once a month and I’ll discuss our work together but you are anonymised here too.
Q. What happens if you need to break confidentiality?
A. Sometimes confidentiality needs to be broken, as I am bound by the BACP ethical guidelines (insert hyperlink here). I break confidentiality if I am concerned that you are at risk of seriously harming yourself or someone else, if you are involved in terrorist acts, if you are involved in drug trafficking, or if there is a current child protection risk. I will always talk to you about this and what happens next, so you are part of the process.
Q. Will you tell me what to do?
A. As much as it might feel easier if I, or someone else, told you what to do in your life; that’s not what therapy is, and nobody knows you as well as you know yourself. You are the expert on your own life, even if that’s not how you feel right now! Treat the process of therapy as a place to soundboard the thoughts and feelings you have, whilst I meet you with unconditional positive regard and support. I might make suggestions of other routes we could explore, and certainly at the start of therapy it’s very normal for me to take the lead as we get to know your goals. We aim, together, to get you to a place where you are.