General Information about your therapy

The following provides some information about the practical aspects of your therapy. I hope this will be helpful and that it will support us in working safely together. You may have questions about some of the things that are raised here, and I am happy to discuss these with you.

Time and place of our therapy:
We will agree the frequency and time of the therapy in our initial introductory meeting, and whether face to face or online will be the principal modality. My Practice is based in Balham (SW12), South London. We will confirm the time of the therapy in our initial assessment session. I do not have a waiting room so ask that you arrive at the agreed time. Unless otherwise agreed, sessions are 50 minutes. Apart from in exceptional circumstances any changes will happen with notice and at a pace that allows for exploration of your feelings about them.

I invoice at the end of every month for the preceding months sessions and prefer to be paid by bank transfer. I review my fees annually and no changes will be made without a discussion.

I charge for all cancellations other than agreed holiday. This is because the time that we agree for your therapy is held solely for you for the duration of our work together. If you need to cancel a session at short notice, please leave a message on my answering machine. Please note that I do not always pick up emails between sessions so request that cancellations are not made by email. I will try to offer an alternative time to maintain continuity, but this may not always be possible.

Please do not present at my consulting room if you are in any way unwell, or if anyone with whom you have had close contact has viral symptoms. I am happy to maintain continuity of our work online until you are well again. Whilst I appreciate this can be a complex judgement call, I ask that you err on the side of caution and assist me in maintaining the wellbeing of all those who attend my practice and share my home. Similarly, if I will alert you to the need to move to online work if It does not feel appropriate for me to meet face to face.

Usually, I take holidays that coincide with the half term breaks, Christmas, Easter and a long break in the summer. I will give as much notice as possible of any time away, and there will be space to talk about the practicalities of managing the break in our sessions and what this means for you in regard to your mental wellbeing. Please tell me of your intention to take a holiday well in advance so that we can incorporate the absence in our thinking together, (and so that I do not charge you).

Records held about you:
When we first meet, I will request your contact details. I may keep basic factual notes of our ongoing sessions. If we have email or other written contact these communications form part of the documentation of your therapy. All records that relate to you and your therapy will be held securely and destroyed at a prescribed date after our relationship has ended.

As part of my work as a psychotherapist and supervisor I teach and write about my clinical practice. I request that my clients and supervisees think about giving me permission to use material in publication. In keeping with the ethics and code of conduct of my training organisation (The Bowlby Centre) and registering bodies (UKCP, BACP) client confidentiality is paramount, and the way in which the material is presented will preserve this; through the alteration of key details, heavily anonymising and disguising information to protect all concerned.

Your being in therapy with me and the contents of our sessions are confidential. However, to take best care of our relationship and in keeping with my professional guidelines I am in regular supervision with senior practitioners and share anonymised clinical material with them. They are subject to the same code of ethics and conduct as I am. In the rare event of an emergency where I am not able to be in touch a third party covered by the same rules of confidentiality may contact you on my behalf. My therapeutic will states that in the event of my death all confidential client records are to be destroyed.

If you are working with me as a couple, we will need to talk about the way in which your confidentiality is shared with your partner.

If you are in distress and we identify that you are at serious risk of harming yourself, I may talk to you about extending the confidentiality of our sessions to include someone else. For example, you may need my support in contacting another professional involved in your care such as a doctor. In these circumstances any communication with a third party will only be with your consent and I will share anything I write with you.

Psychosexual Therapy:
The nature of this work may require the use of sexual language, and/or written and visual material to support your therapeutic process. We can explore together what feels appropriate for you. It is important that you tell me in advance if there are things that you feel uncomfortable with, or which do not correspond with any personal, spiritual or cultural beliefs that you hold.

Requirement to breach confidentiality:
My priority is always to preserve the sanctity of our relationship; however, you should be aware that under the law psychotherapists are required to consider breaching client confidentiality and inform the relevant authorities in some circumstances (See below). If for any reason this becomes an issue within our therapy where appropriate this would be something that we would talk through in detail.

Circumstances in which a therapist may be required to share information:

  • You disclose that you are at risk of carrying out serious harm to yourself or others.
  • You make me aware of an identifiable minor being harmed and that there are issues that invoke the law as it relates to child protection.
  • You make me aware of matters relating to an act of terrorism.
  • You make me aware of activities covered by the drug trafficking act (1994)
  • A request is made by the authorities in the context of legal proceedings.

Nature and Duration of Therapy:

The duration of your therapy may be open ended or be time limited according to our initial assessment and contract.

I work in a variety of ways:

  • Individual long-term attachment based relational psychotherapy.
  • Short or Long-term Couples Psychotherapy.
  • Focused psychosexual therapy with individuals and couples.

I work on a long-term basis and in an open-ended framework. This means that the duration of your therapy will not be stipulated at the beginning of our work. If you decide that for whatever reason you wish to end our work together, we will need to talk about this. It may feel difficult to share your thoughts if you feel angry or unhappy, but it is important that we are able to talk openly and honestly about your feelings rather than finishing abruptly which may leave you holding onto unnecessary pain. Where possible I prefer to set a date for the therapy to finish and for us to work towards this, exploring what comes up for us as we do so. Whatever the circumstances, having the best possible ending to our relationship will hopefully enable you to be well-prepared to move on.