What To Expect
And Frequently Asked Questions
I appreciate how difficult it can be to seek help for emotional and mental health problems. Some people may also be anxious about starting therapy or have reservations about whether therapy will be helpful. I hope some of the information below may be of help but I am happy to discuss any concerns you may have prior to committing to therapy.
What to expect at the first session?
The first session will be an assessment session. This gives the therapist and client an opportunity to develop a shared understanding of the problem(s) and what might be the most helpful interventions to reduce distress and to improve quality of life. In order for therapy to be effective it is important the therapist and client develop a trusting working relationship, agree goals and are both active in the therapy process. The first session gives an opportunity to discuss and agree this.
What will happen at subsequent sessions?
It is really important to make the best use of the therapy time and sessions. At the start of each session the client and therapist will review, agree what the session will focus on, main interventions and work to complete between sessions. This will be the basic structure for each session but it is important that this is flexible if required.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions will depend on the individual and their needs. The average number of sessions is usually 6-10 but some problems may require more sessions. This will be discussed following the assessment and agreed with you. It is important to review therapy on a regular basis to ensure it is helping, and if not, what is getting in the way of this.
Is CBT for me?
It may be useful to think about whether CBT will be of help for you and the following are a few things to consider.
- CBT (or any therapy) is not an easy option and is hard work. Therapy is a huge commitment so it is important to think about whether this is the right time to make a commitment and that you have the time to engage with therapy fully. Sometimes it is not the right time for therapy because of other life events that are happening in your life. You may decide therapy is not right for you at the moment but it is important to remember it may be helpful in the future.
- Therapy involves making changes, and while the therapist is there to help, guide and support you, it is you who has to make those changes. It is important to think about your expectations of therapy.
- Therapy, especially in the early stages, involves discussing the difficulties you are experiencing and this may lead to an increase in symptoms or emotional distress for a short period of time before you begin to see change or feel better, this is normal.
- I am happy to discuss whether CBT is what you are looking for and if you think it is going to be of help before committing to starting therapy.