Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is cognitive-behavioural therapy?
Cognitive-behavioural therapy focuses on the thoughts that are going through our minds but also on our behaviours. The way we perceive the world, ourselves and others determines how we are going to feel emotionally. Those emotions will then affect the way we respond in life situations.
Our thoughts depend on the specs we use to filter the world. Those specs are influenced by our experiences (in our childhood but also our adult life), our beliefs and our cultural, family and social values.
The aim of Cognitive-behavioural therapy is, as a first step, to help you recognise the thoughts and behaviours that lead to uncomfortable feelings and, afterwards, to assist you in breaking the unhelpful cycles you have identified in order to achieve a more balanced and helpful way of thinking and responding to situations around you. The ultimate purpose of this therapeutic approach is to make you your own therapist so that you can continue applying the techniques and strategies in order to manage future difficult feelings and challenging situations.
What types of symptoms /problems can I discuss in therapy?
Every person comes to therapy having different goals and expectations. Therapy tends to be more focused and effective when people have certain goals when they come to therapy (e.g. bring some change in how they relate to others or how they live life, improve their self-esteem, reduce feelings of guilt/ sadness /anger etc). In the first session with your therapist, your goals and expectations will be discussed and a plan will be developed as in how we can start working towards them.
Cognitive Behavioural therapy is particularly effective in treating symptoms of:
- Generalised anxiety and worry
- Depression (including: post-natal depression)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Health anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Sleep difficulties
- Panic and agoraphobia
- Low self-esteem
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Specific phobias
Other areas that therapy can help with are:
- Long-term conditions
- Chronic pain
- Loneliness and isolation
- Life changes and transitions
In case your goals are not suitable for therapy, this will be discussed with your therapist in the first session. Other solutions will be suggested by your therapist, who will signpost you to relevant services.
How much would the sessions cost?
Individual sessions are £70 and they last 50 minutes.
The fee for training sessions and workshops depends on their length and materials needed. Please e-mail us for further information.
Could I have a face-to-face session?
Face-to-face sessions are offered as an exception ONLY in the area of Sutton, Surrey. Please e-mail us your request.
How can I book an initial appointment?
Please e-mail us your requests, including the days and times that would be convenient for you to attend a session, and we will come back to you to arrange an initial appointment.
Make sure you provide us with your e-mail address as important information about accessing your sessions will be sent by e-mail. We will also use your e-mail to send you therapy materials in between sessions.
What would be covered in my initial appointment?
We would always set an agenda for the sessions together. However, what we tend to cover in the first session is:
- Your goals and expectations
- A contract of working together
- An assessment of your symptoms or the areas we will be focusing on in the next few sessions
You will be given the option of completing some questionnaires, which will help us monitor your progress. This is not compulsory.
Is it normal to feel nervous or have second thoughts about therapy?
It is absolutely normal to feel slightly anxious before your first session. Most of the people I have seen for therapy experience those feelings before our appointment but they tend to be resolved after the first 10 minutes.
People tend to feel anxious because they might worry about how they are going to be perceived. A lot of people worry about being judged or not been taken seriously. This is not a risk that you run in your sessions as the therapeutic environment is always non-judgemental and the focus of the sessions is you and your experiences.
Feel free to discuss those feelings of anxiety or worry with your therapist in case we can adapt the first session to suit your specific needs (e.g. some people prefer to have the initial part of their session with the camera switched off).
How many sessions will I need?
The amount of sessions that people need depend on a range of factors, such as:
- The nature and the length of their symptoms or difficulties
- The pace they are ready to work at
- Their readiness to change
- The goals that the person sets in the beginning of therapy
The aim of therapy is to help people become their own therapists, rather than develop a dependency on their sessions. Therefore, whenever somebody feels ready to complete their therapeutic work, they should discuss this with their therapist and agree on a plan.
Frequent reviews (every 6 sessions) are an important part of therapy. Those reviews give the opportunity to you and your therapist to re-assess your therapy goals, monitor your progress and also share your thoughts about ending therapy.
How often do I need to attend therapy?
This will be discussed and agreed with your therapist. However, we tend to arrange sessions on a weekly basis in order to guarantee the continuity that will enhance the therapy outcomes.
Does my therapist know what is best for me? Are they going to offer me a solution to my problems?
Your therapist would not offer you a solution to your problem. You are going to be the one working out the best solutions to your difficulties based on your personality and your preferences in life. Your therapist is going to offer you guidance and be there to support you in this journey by encouraging you to explore different options and overcome possible barriers.
In any case, there is not one ideal solution to every problem. By taking responsibility to solve your own problems and manage your difficult feelings, you would develop the independence and self-confidence that therapy aims for.