When we meet…
When I start working with someone new, I’m aware that I may be the latest therapist in a line of therapists they have seen. Or I might be the first. In any case, we have met at a specific point in a client’s life, series of life experiences, and mental health history.
Along with learning about what you need help with now, and relevant parts of your past you feel comfortable sharing, it’s helpful to think about what you’ve had to navigate to access support.
I’m under no illusions that psychotherapy, especially specialist psychotherapy for particular issues, is equally accessible to everyone. Even if you have worked with a psychotherapist or counsellor, they may not have been the right fit for you and/or you might have been offered less appointments than you needed.
For many people accessing psychotherapy is hard work, even before we meet in an appointment. To understand this important context, we might consider the following questions together:
Has it been difficult to find the right support for yourself?
How do you understand your mental health and the problems you’re facing?
How have you coped so far?
What has made you reach out at this specific point?
These help us place you in the context of your wider life, personal experiences, and coping strategies. In this way we start to facilitate empowerment within disempowering life experiences, relationships, and societal systems.
As a psychotherapist I am an active participant in this process, rather than simply listening. Part of my role is to not only hear, but respond to, anything you choose to tell me – becoming allies in your process of change and development.