HOW IT WORKS PART 1 – THE PRACTICALITIES
You are welcome to phone or email us and set up an appointment directly or ask another health professional, such as your GP or individual therapist, to make a written or phone referral. Typically first appointments are booked many weeks ahead. A word of warning, because we are leaders in the field, we frequently have a full case load and you have to wait to get in to see us – so try and contact us sooner, rather than waiting till things are really urgent..
If you are coming with a relationship issue we strongly suggest you both attend the first appointment, to make sure the therapy gets off on an equal footing for all partners.
We usually use the Zoom platform as we have found this to be the most user-friendly, reliable and secure of the major options. If you are not familiar with using Zoom, we will give you full instructions before our first session.
Normally we operate during business hours, Monday to Friday. Our first appointment is normally 9 or 9.30am and our last appointment 4 or 4:30pm.
We have found that an hour is too short for couple work so we allow 90 minutes for couple sessions. Individual sessions are normally an hour.
We charge $240 including GST for an hour-long individual session. Couple sessions are 90 minutes long and so cost $360. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we understand many people are experiencing financial hardship. If this is the case, please talk to us about negotiating a reduction in our fees.
HOW IT WORKS PART 2 – THE PROCESS OF THERAPY
1. Lots of questions.
To start with we are likely to ask you a lot of questions. We need to get to know you and what you are dealing with so we can help. They may include general questions about yourself (age, work, family background, prior relationships etc), specific questions about the difficulties you are having (including details of exactly how they occur, your understanding of how they began, solutions you have tried), and questions about what sort of help you are expecting and exactly how you will know when things are better.
2. Summary and Reflection
When we feel like we have a reasonable handle on who you are and what is going on for you (and that can take more than one session), we are likely to try and sum up the picture as we understand it, to make sure we are seeing things in a way that makes sense to you. This process of summarising and reflecting what you have told us and shown us keeps on going and is itself an important part of the therapy. However, you are paying us for our expertise and so we do a lot more than just listen and summarise.
We will make suggestions about things you could do or try. Just what they will be depends on the kinds of difficulties you are having. We may offer specific skills that would help you (e.g. relaxation exercises, structured ways to think about things). We are likely to give you particular structured exercises to do the will help you develop new skills (e.g. being less reactive when talking with your partner, being more aware of the way you come across to). We may suggest books that you could read or things you could think about. We may suggest reasonably simple changes in behaviour (e.g. make more time to spend with supportive friends, start exercising). We might also make suggestions that challenge the way you look at yourself (e.g. inviting you to notice that you are always putting yourself down, or frequently more defensive than the situation warrants). We may even say things that you would never normally say to someone – but that you need to hear (e.g. “you are really good at getting the discussion off the point” or “you are being a bully”). There is always a reason for the suggestions we make and the things that we do – if it doesn’t make sense to you, you should ask us about it.
4. What you can do to make therapy work better
Doing therapy is not like going to see an accountant or mechanic where you can hand over your problem and expect them to fix it for you. With personal or relationship issues the work will ultimately have to be done by you.
It may sound obvious but if you want therapy to work, you need to actually DO the things we suggest. Even if they don’t work the way they are “supposed to”, you will learn things about yourself. The more you can take what was discussed during your session with us and practice it, apply it, work at it or think about it in between sessions, the more you will get out of coming to see us.
5. Review Progress, Make New Suggestions
If you find what we are offering helpful and keep coming, then the process moves into a more collaborative phase where we make suggestions, you go away and try things and then we process the outcome and make further suggestions on the basis of our conclusions.
6. Ending Therapy
You get to decide when therapy ends – ideally because you have achieved the goals that you set in the early session(s).