What To Expect

View of Aberystwyth sea-front from my therapy room in The Cambria

  

My therapy rooms, on Aberystwyth sea-front (see my view, left), and in Machynlleth town centre, are very comfortable, light and private. 

Complete confidentiality is always observed.

I like to create a warm and comfortable environment, both informal and informative; coaching all my clients in cognitive and behavioural mindfulness; and self-hypnosis.

I'll work with presenting symptoms and issues wherever possible. My overall approach is holistic and integrative, and may encompass:

  • suggestion hypnotherapy
  • person-centred free-association 
  • hypnoanalysis 
  • humanisitic and transpersonal counselling 
  • psychotherapy and NLP techniques
  • mindfulness and breathing exercises
  • creative visualisation

I usually begin therapy during the initial consultation...

What to expect at the initial consultation

Questions

I will usually have asked you a few questions about what it is that you want to work with, and what you want to achieve, via phone or email, upon your booking the first session. But I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I'll be asking a few more questions during the 90 minute initial consultation.

Some will be purely for insurance purposes. For instance, as well as your own contact details, I'll need the name of your GP, and details of any medication you may have been prescribed. I'll also need to know about any psychiatric treatment or counselling you may have had in the past.

Obviously, the main bulk of questions will concern the issue/s or goal/s for which you have come to see me; and exactly what you would like to have happen. I'll also ask a few questions that are specially designed to give me an insight into what is likely to be the most appropriate therapeutic approach at this stage. 

I will usually ask you for a few details about your family and significant others, and a little about your past. Often, there's no need to explore any further than a basic outline, but sometimes it becomes clear that there are underlying issues which need to be addressed (see below) in order for us to reach your goals. 


  

An element of Counselling

Some clients need to talk more than others, and, as well as being useful in terms of information gathering, this can also be very therapeutic, when guided appropriately. I like to establish a warm, non-authoritarian and non-judgmental environment. Although I won't allow talking to take up session-time unnecessarily, there's usually an element of counselling during the initial consultation, and the first part of each session. 

Broadly 'humanistic' in my approach, I aim to provide the opportunity for self-awareness, self- -realisation and personal growth; always respecting your personal goals. Where appropriate, I'm also very comfortable working transpersonally (see below).


Hypnosis

We will usually do some work in hypnosis during the initial consultation. Before I take you into hypnosis, I'll make sure you're comfortable and give you a chance to ask any questions you might have. 

We'll arrange a second session to suit you; usually sometime over the following week. By this time, I'll have an idea of the best way to proceed and how much we can expect to achieve straightaway.



Subsequent Sessions

I tailor the subsequent sessions to individual needs. We'll start with a discussion about what has happened for you since the previous session. 

The way I will proceed can vary greatly, depending on the presenting symptoms and their cause; any underlying issues (see below); the personality-type and outlook of the client; and what changes there have been since the previous session. 


How many?

By the third or fourth session, many clients find that their presenting issues have ceased to be a problem, and most people will have noticed some improvement. At this stage, we can usually assess how many further sessions, if any, would be useful.

As therapy progresses, the interval between sessions can vary quite widely depending on what we are working with.


Underlying Issues

I'll work with presenting symptoms and issues where possible. Sometimes we find that there are underlying issues that need to be addressed in order to proceed. This will usually become clear in the initial consultation, or early stages of therapy, and the client can make an informed decision about what they want to do.

Certain issues are more likely to need exploratory work than others, such as:

  • issues that involve compulsive or self-destructive behaviours
  • issues that include physiological symptoms
  • certain of the more generalised phobias and anxieties
  • issues involving depressive tendencies

Many clients are pleasantly surprised to discover that any underlying issues are not as big an obstacle to achieving their goals as they had thought, and can often be dealt with very easily and simply.


A Transpersonal Approach

Again, with straightforward issues, a client's personal beliefs are unlikely to be something that needs to be explored in therapy. Where appropriate, I'm very comfortable working transpersonally. And, generally, I will incorporate a client's own philosophy and/or spiritual beliefs into the way we work together.

When we use the term 'transpersonal' in the field of Mental Health and Counselling, we usually mean 'the spiritual dimension' - which, of course, can mean many different things to different people. I don't adhere to any particular religion or philosophy myself, though I do consider myself to be a 'spiritual' person. 

I am a reiki master and have trained in other vibrational and energy healing modalities. I have helped many people who wished to incorporate hypnosis, and skills such as auto-suggestion and affirmations into their own spiritual practice or personal development program.