• sarah@empowerpsychotherapy.co.uk
  • Harpenden
  • 07557 052729

Faqs

Confidentiality is of the upmost importance in creating a safe setting and appropriate conditions for the work of psychotherapy and counselling to take place.   Confidentiality is only ever broken in very exceptional and specific circumstances if there is a risk of harm to self or other. I comply with the code of ethics of the UKCP (United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists) and the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).  Psychotherapists and Counsellors are required by these organisations to undergo regular review by a senior colleague to ensure professional standards are maintained and commit to a programme of continued professional development.  

‘Psychotherapy’ and ‘Counselling’ are often used interchangeably.  Essentially both terms refer to talking therapy.  You should find that a psychotherapist will have a more advanced and rigorous level of training.  Sometimes it is considered in terms of ‘counselling’ as a means of working on particular, more easily defined or specific issues or areas of your life and ‘psychotherapy’ being a way of considering more over-arching, longer-term and possibly more deep-rooted or complex difficulties.  As a psychotherapist, I am equipped to work with a range of difficulties and problems, both more specific and also more complex. 

 Unfortunately as it stands in the UK, anyone can call themselves a counsellor or a psychotherapist, which is why it is so important to ensure the training credentials and professional memberships of therapists you consider working with.

Once we agree a convenient weekly appointment time for you, that session is reserved for you every week while we are working together.  Therefore missed sessions will be charged, as for logistical reasons I am unable to reallocate the time to another client.  The commitment to weekly attendance is also a part of the therapeutic process.  However, I understand the difficulties in juggling a busy life along with work and/or family commmitments so in this circumstance, where notice is given, I would do my upmost to offer an acceptable alternative appointment that week wherever possible.

As a means of maintaining assurance around the confidentiality and discretion of clients, the consulting room does not have a waiting area.  I will therefore ask that you arrive at your agreed appointment time.

Yes, clients are invited to use the off-road parking space outside the consulting room during the time of their appointment. 

The length of the therapy process can vary depending on the issues and individual circumstances of each client, so it isn’t possible to predict the exact duration of the work.  Ultimately though, you can decide how long you would like to engage in the therapy for.  We can discuss at the outset whether short-term, longer-term or open-ended therapy would be more suitable and which you feel more comfortable with.  There are significant well-being benefits associated with each approach.  It is my practice to always review with you at certain stages how you feel the therapy is going and we can adapt the initial timeframe if we feel that this might be appropriate. 

Short-term work in my practice is typically 12-16 sessions, although we can work with less sessions in specific circumstances, which can be discussed at the initial consultation. 

Long-term work, is usually seen as being an agreed period of time that is greater than short-term work, usually a minimum of 6 months and typically 12-18 months.

Open-ended work is as described, where we work in an open-ended way deciding together through the aforementioned review process when you feel ready to end and when you feel that your therapy process is complete.  This could be anything from 6 months to a number of years.

To reiterate, whichever way of working we embark upon at the outset, we will review how you feel and how the work is progressing at regular intervals and there is the opportunity to adapt our initial thinking regarding timeframe. 

It is always recommended that there is a planned ending of the therapy, rather than ending abruptly, as this is beneficial for your wellbeing in terms of working towards as much of a feeling of resolution for you as possible.  If we are working in a short-term way, the planned ending date will be agreed at the outset.  In long-term and open-ended work a minimum period of a month is recommended here, although ideally 6 weeks, but this is something that we can discuss together.  Ultimately, you are of course able to end the therapy whenever you wish to do so although a two-week official notice period is required.  This is partly for administrative and logistical reasons and also because there are ethical responsibilities in wanting to ensure clients are not leaving the therapy so abruptly that it might be detrimental to their well-being.

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