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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about psychotherapy and counselling. If you have any more, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Psychotherapy and Counselling is:

  • A way of working whereby we can meet for 50 minutes once a week in a private, confidential space. Appointments are on the same day and time each week.
  • If you choose to work with me, we will agree how many appointments are suitable for you based on what you would like to work on.
  • Helpful in helping you manage a wide range of difficulties such as: stress, relationship problems, personal development, anxiety, traumatic experiences, and low moods.
  • An opportunity to collaboratively help you make changes in the areas of your life that you are struggling with and help you feel supported as you do so. Together we can look at things from your past to help you understand how you react and think about things in your current life.
  • Often a challenging process as you will be talking about things you find difficult from your past and present experiences. However, this will be kept this in mind during our work to ensure that you are able to manage things inside and outside of your appointments as much as possible.
  • A space to help you better understand your past experiences, what is going on for you now, and the link between the two. Therefore, it can help you gain a new perspective about you and your experiences which may be useful in thinking about how you'd like to make them different moving forward.
  • Sometimes a challenging process which means you may feel worse before you feel better – this is completely normal. If you start to feel things are becoming particularly unmanageable you can bring this to therapy, where any concerns can be addressed collaboratively.

Everyone has their mental health alongside their physical health. Psychotherapy and counselling assists in promoting good mental health by improving our understanding of ourselves, and finding ways to manage the things we find difficult.

Psychotherapy and counselling offers a private and confidential space in which to speak to someone outside of your current situation about something you want to be different or is worrying you. It can help you gain new perspectives and insights about things that happen in your life. It can also help you gain new skills so that you can better manage the things that you find difficult.

Psychotherapy and counselling can be challenging at times which means you may feel worse before you feel better. This is completely normal as we go through difficult thoughts and feelings, and the main aim is to ensure you can manage this if it happens. If you start to feel things are becoming particularly unmanageable this is something we can discuss, in order to make sure you are fully supported.

My services include offering psychotherapy, and counselling on a weekly basis.

As such I offer appointments online, and face-to-face. If you are interested in working online you must be based in the UK. I will provide you with information about working online before your first appointment so that you feel assured of what to expect, including what you need to do to get set up.

Face-to-face appointments take place in a private, confidential environment in Chapeltown/Chapel Allerton in Leeds (LS7). If you want to work face-to-face you must also be able to work online, in the instance that face-to-face is not an option for any reason. This ensures continuity of our work, and means I can best support you without any disruptions.

You’re welcome to contact me to request an appointment, ask questions about my services, and/or let me know a little about what’s going on for you to consider seeking therapeutic help.

When you contact me by e-mail, text, or telephone I will let you know if there are any appointments available. If so, we will arrange a 20-minute phone call to discuss what support you’re looking for. This comes at no cost to you. I can also let you know more about how I work, what you can expect from appointments, as well as being able to answer any questions you might have.

From the point of this phone call, I will reserve a suitable appointment slot for you. This is held by me until and if you let me know you do not want to take things any further, so is reserved solely for you.

If you’d like to book a consultation we can arrange this via phone when we speak. Otherwise, you can take some time to think about whether you’d like to do this. A consultation is your first appointment, allowing you to see how I work and what I offer. It also enables me to get to know you and the kind of support you need. Between us we can decide whether what I offer matches up with what you need. You can take up to a week to decide whether you want to commit to weekly psychotherapy appointments with me, following your consultation.

There is no obligation for you to commit to working with me at any point. Most of all, you need to feel comfortable with me, as well as feeling assured that what I offer is right for you.

Please be aware that appointments are offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis due to high demand. Therefore, if you’d like to work with me, please bear this in mind to avoid disappointment.

Sadly, I am also unable to keep a waiting list for the same reason. When you contact a therapist to ask for support, I appreciate that you’re ready to start that process so keeping you waiting indefinitely isn’t appropriate, ethical, nor respectful.

If you contact me and I’m unable to offer appointment, I will instead offer to make some recommendations for other Counsellors/Psychotherapists you may want to approach. This includes therapists with similar working experience to me.​

Psychodynamic psychotherapy and counselling is centred on the notion that what has happened to us in the past influences who we become later on in life. It also focuses on how we experience ourselves, and process things in our minds, as both of these affect how we understand and manage everyday life. These areas are explored to gain clarity and create better relationships with yourself, others and the important things in your life.

Integrative psychotherapy and counselling is an approach whereby several theories are integrated to create a unique approach to working with you and addressing any areas of concern. I aim to work in a way that suits you as much as possible, as each person is different in what they need and how they work best.

Whatever words you use (if you have any) to refer to what's happened is up to you. I appreciate part of the process of recovery is making sense of what happened, so we can build on wherever you happen to find yourself in this process.

Psychotherapy and counselling can be helpful in recovering from the impact of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual violence. Many people refer to the impact of this as 'traumatic', but whatever words you have (if you have any) are absolutely fine.

My starting point is to always believe someone when they choose to tell me about past experiences of this nature. I also understand that the words used to refer to what happened are important in making sense of it. Sometimes, 'sexual violence' can be a misnomer as many of these experiences are not stereotypically violent - but they are always violating to the person experiencing them.

The impact of such experiences are felt at a psychological and/or physical level, and we can attend to both of these as required. What recovery from such experiences looks like differs from person to person, so we will agree on what to focus on at the outset of our work.

It is possible to work on the impact of sexual abuse/violence/assault without actually talking about what happened. Therefore there is a way to get the support that you need without going over the details, which for some can be distressing and (at worst) re-traumatising.

I am also available to offer pre-trial therapy, in line with the guidelines set by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). This applies to anyone who has an active report with the Police, investigation by Police/CPS, or trial taking place. For more information, please see the section on this page called ‘I am a victim/survivor of a crime. Can you help?'

I do not offer an emergency or crisis service for people who have just experienced sexual abuse/violence/assault. If this applies to you, please click here for information on who can help.

Pre-trial therapy is a term set by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) within the UK’s criminal justice system. These are guidelines that therapists are ethically required to follow when supporting victims/survivors of any kind of crime who have an active report with the Police, investigation by Police/CPS, or trial taking place. The guidelines are available to view here: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/pre-trial-therapy
You are able to speak freely about what happened (if you wish), how it has affected you, and your experiences of navigating the criminal justice process. It may be the case that your clinical notes from our appointments are requested to be used as evidence in your case. I will provide you with information on what to expect from my services, choices available to you, and how we will manage this together if you are having psychotherapy pre-trial.
Thinking about, and making the decision to report a crime you have experienced is an extremely personal decision. If you want to think about reporting during our work this is something we can discuss (you won’t be subject to the CPS guidelines until and if you report).
It is not true that the only correct way to respond to sexual and domestic violence is to report to the police. This is the case for many reasons, including: reporting can sometimes increase risk to victims/survivors of crimes, and the criminal justice process isn’t a safe or viable option for all.
Given the above, I will primarily be led by you on considerations to report whilst we work together.
If you are seeking psychotherapy alongside the legal process as a victim/survivor of any crime, then please get in touch.

The Re-Wind technique for trauma was created by Dr. David Muss, who leads the International Association for Rewind Trauma Therapy.

When we experience something traumatic, memories of such events are not fully processed. This is because the usual neurobiological mechanisms we have to process experiences into memory don't work as usual when we are under extreme stress.

The result can be memories, flashbacks, and nightmares. These are highly distressing, out of our control, and interrupt our present lives as the past is re-experienced. Clinically, this is called 'traumatic recall'.

The technique enables memories, flashbacks, and nightmares to be fully processed by the brain. The result, if successful, is that recalling these events are no longer traumatic. This means they can be recalled in a way that is within your control, and is no longer distressing or disruptive when you do recall them.

The technique itself only takes a few minutes to apply, but will be placed in the context of an appointment or series of appointments. This ensures that you feel fully informed, prepared, and in control of the process.

We can work together whatever your gender, sexuality, and relationship style (monogamy, polyamory, consensual non-monogamy). We can explore your thoughts, feelings, internal experiences, and expressions of your identity in psychotherapy if this would be helpful to you. My role includes acting as an ally, using a non-judgemental and non-pathologising viewpoint.

 

I can help with:

  • Exploring, naming, and affirming your personal identity as a LGBTQ+ person. This is based on your lived experience, culture, race, and any other factors that enable you to verbalise and positively action your identity.
  • I have a working awareness of social transitioning and gender-affirming medical treatment, which helps me to understanding your emotional experience of these.
  • Exploring how to have fulfilling relationships that suit you, based on your own terms. This can include discussing ways to communicate more effectively with partner(s), identifying and setting boundaries, and addressing traumatic experiences within relationships.
  • I can support you emotionally to manage the coming out/inviting in process from an intersectional perspective (if this step is important to you).
  • You may not want to focus on your LGBTQ+ identity in psychotherapy, but need the assurance of someone who is affirming and understanding of non-normative identities and lifestyles to work with.
  • Sexual relationships and feelings are a topic that can be discussed, as they have a meaning and impact on how we experience ourselves and others. This may apply to those who identify as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, etc.
  • Discomfort with elements of your sexuality and/or gender identity. Our work would not involve actively changing your sexuality and/or gender. We can however explore what might underly your experiences of discomfort/conflict, so we can try to understand and manage these feelings.

 

I cannot help with:

  • Advice or information on sex such as how to practically manage sexual difficulties or safe sex advice. This is because I am not a sexologist, relationship/couples’ therapist, nor a sex therapist.
  • Assessment, reports, nor applications for gender-affirming medical treatment such as hormones or surgery.
  • Changing your gender and/or sexual orientation. Attempts to do so are termed ‘conversion practices’, and are unethical and harmful.

Working from an embodied perspective means being aware of what happens in your body, as well as your mind, during the process of talking therapy. I am not a body therapist, but have completed training on embodied perspectives within talking therapies.

This is part of working from a trauma-informed perspective, but is not limited to working with the impact of trauma. For example, the impact of anxiety and depression are experienced physically as well as psychologically.

We can start by noticing what you experience in your body within your concerns about your mental health and general wellbeing. We will then find ways to understand, manage, and alleviate any body-based symptoms that you struggle with. It does not involve any physical contact, such as touching.

 

UKCP is the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. UKCP is an organisation based in where trainee and qualified practitioners can be registered to practice, and as such are bound by the organisation's ethical and professional guidelines.

For more information please visit:

www.psychotherapy.org.uk (UKCP)

 

As I am linked to UKCP as a practitioner, I abide by this organisations' ethical and professional framework. The best first step to take if you have a complaint or concern is to discuss it with me so that it can be addressed collaboratively. Should you also wish to liaise with an external organisation, you can contact:

UKCP

Telephone: 0207 0149493
E-mail: complaints@ukcp.org.uk