Unless a therapist can enable his patient to feel some measure of
security, therapy cannot even begin.
How does therapy differ from talking to a friend?
Therapy is a working relationship with very clear boundaries; it does not have the role of a friendship even though good friends will also support and challenge us in ways which are profoundly healing. The reliable boundaries of time and place help to mark the formality of the relationship and make it a safe place
where intense experiences can be shared. Because the relationship is asymmetrical, (where a friendship is mutual), there is room for the client to bring whatever they need - for example anger or despair. With a friend we
might feel a need to ‘protect’ them from parts of ourselves - perhaps to appear more cheerful or accepting than we are.
What happens in a therapy session?
Sessions last for fifty minutes; they are held once or more each week at regular times. The client leads by talking and reflecting on whatever is most pressing in their experience. They may talk about recent events, about memories of long ago, of their dreams, or of feelings which they are experiencing there in the room.
The therapist listens and responds in a way which supports the client in this creative reverie. They may validate the client’s feelings, support them as they challenge themselves, 'prod' them when they don't challenge themselves and suggest links between different parts of their experience. Over time, if the client experiences the therapist as reliable and non-judgemental, a trust develops in which it is safe for the client to be, and thus to know, his or herself.
How will I handle your data?
I will not keep data longer than it is needed for its original purpose and I keep electronic data to a bare minimum. Information is held in confidence and with secure protocols. In the rare cases that I keep information in a Word Document I use encryption. Notes are held in hard copy in a locked cabinet. When I start work with clients I provide them with my Privacy Statement and seek their permission to hold their data.
Continued on FAQs page 2