I am a Cognitive Therapist and Advanced Accredited Schema Therapist with a private practice in East Finchley, North London. Here are some answers to the most common questions my clients ask me – if you would like to arrange a session call me on 07766 704210, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form to get in touch.
AM I A MEMBER OF ANY PROFESSIONAL BODIES?
If you are considering therapy, you should always check that the therapist is a member of one of the professional bodies that regulate counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. I have achieved Advanced Accreditation with the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST), am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a Member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).
HOW MUCH DO SESSIONS COST?
The assessment session costs £100; longer-term schema therapy sessions cost £90. As I keep the space open for you during your therapy, missed sessions are charged, as is standard practice for long-term therapy. I don’t charge for my breaks, of course – I usually take a one-week break at Christmas and Easter and a two-week break over the summer period.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
That depends on the issue you're working on and a range of other factors. For schema therapy, I always tell people that it will take at least a year – sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the person and their particular set of problems.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A SESSION?
Before we meet, I will email you an intake form; this will help me understand what problems you are having, as well as providing important information about things like your health, family background, work and personal life. I will ask you to return this via Dropbox or bring this with you to the first session, so we can go through it together when we meet. The first session is an assessment, which helps me understand in greater detail what your problems are and whether I can help.
If your problems are very wide-ranging or long-term, schema therapy will be more appropriate for you than standard CBT, which I no longer offer - if you want CBT I will be happy to refer you on. And in some cases after the assessment, I may decide that another therapist or type of therapy would be more suitable; if so, I will explain why and refer you to another therapist.
If we do decide to work together, the assessment also helps clarify what you want from your therapy. We can then focus on the issue that feels most pressing for you right now (becoming less anxious, for example, or tackling low mood).
In each subsequent session, which also lasts for an hour, we will continue working on this issue. It's often helpful to focus on a particular moment when you felt stressed, say, or anxious, and look at everything you experienced in that moment. What were you thinking and feeling? What symptoms were you experiencing in your body? How did you behave? We can then explore which of these were unhelpful, and how to adopt more helpful thoughts and behaviour in the future.
I will then give you an assignment to do in the week before we next meet. If you're stressed, this might be breathing exercises or ways of being more assertive with your boss, say, or a difficult colleague. Or if you are suffering from low mood, it might be trying some small, manageable ways of becoming more active throughout the week, or solving one of the problems you face. What makes schema therapy so effective is that you will learn exactly what you need to do to make significant changes – and I will support and encourage you to stick to your plan.
WHICH PROBLEMS CAN I HELP WITH?
People seek therapy for many different reasons, but most people I see are suffering from stress-related illness, depression or anxiety, because these are by far the most common psychological difficulties we all face. As a Cognitive and Schema Therapist, I can also help with problems including phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), mood swings and bipolar disorder, substance misuse and addiction, health anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia, anger management, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), relationship difficulties, eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and personality problems.
DO I WORK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE?
When I began working as a schema therapist, I focused on schema therapy for adults only. If you want to find help for your child or adolescent, visit www.babcp.com to find a CBT therapist specialising in this area.
DO I OFFER SESSIONS VIA SKYPE?
Yes, I offer Skype sessions for people living in other parts of London and the UK, Europe and throughout the world. Therapy works very well via Skype, so the format of therapy is very similar to face-to-face work. There are some logistical differences, of course, but these are easily overcome with modern technology like scanners and email. Payment can be made after the session – I will send you a PayPal invoice which can be paid using a PayPal or bank account, or with a credit/debit card.
Please note: to make the most of therapy via Skype, you need to have a good broadband connection. If not, the quality of sessions will be affected and therapy might not be possible.
WHERE DO I WORK?
All of my sessions take place in my office at 4 Bedford Mews, East Finchley, London N2 9DF.
WHEN ARE SESSIONS AVAILABLE?
You can book a session with me from 10am-7.15pm, Monday to Thursday; and 10am-3.30pm on Friday.
IS IT CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes, everything we discuss will remain completely confidential. I abide by the BACP's Ethical Framework, which includes a commitment to confidentiality.
Our happiness depends on ourselves.