I am invested in ensuring my clients get the maximum benefit from investing time and energy in the process of coaching / mentoring / treatment with me. What this means is that I maintain a high professional standard in my professional skills and knowledge, as well as in the way we conduct our business.
Clients appreciate my straight-forward communication style and genuine compassion for the challenges they are currently facing. I view my role as a mix of coaching, mentoring and “therapising” and I actively engage you in the process to maximise your outcomes. This includes:
me not assuming a position of being the expert on things which are unique to you
making sure I check in with you regularly to monitor your satisfaction with progress and the process
being open to receiving feedback and discussing concerns you might have along the way
having a transparent approach to explaining strategies, frameworks and processes in terms of how these relate to your specific therapy goals.
To get maximum benefit from your time with me I suggest the following:
Approach therapy as a partnership.
Your outcomes are more likely to be achieved when you participate actively and share in decision-making. I encourage clients to work with me to identify the major issues and how to tackle them. Together, we set goals and measure progress over time.
Be open and honest.
Let’s face it, outside of online dating / relationship platforms, it can feel weird to be sharing secrets and deeply personal thoughts with a person you have only recently met.
It makes sense that it will take time to develop trust in my approach and in the process. But what we do know from research into therapy outcomes, is that progress towards your goals is best achieved by being willing to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences, and to consider new insights, ideas and ways of doing things.
If it helps – I am not in the room to judge or shame you. My sole purpose is to provide the scaffolding and space you need to explore your concerns and develop new ways of managing these.
Stick to your treatment plan.
Change is tough and there are myriad books attesting to just how hard it is to become our best selves. (To be fair, there are also just as many books advertising the five steps to perfection, but these are less likely to be backed by scientific evidence I would suggest!).
My clients are motivated, high functioning, experienced problem-solvers. It can be daunting to confront yourself, your history and recognising patterns which are holding you back. Becoming emotionally aware is often challenging for people, particularly if you have been raised with certain assumptions and expectations about what vulnerability might say about your strength of character.
At these times, back yourself and your original decision.
Ideally you engaged in a thoughtful and well-considered process to arrive at the decision to engage in therapy at this time. Feeling overwhelmed, lacking motivation, or worrying about future outcomes is a normal part of the process, especially in the early sessions.
Talk to me about your concerns and try not to skip sessions.
The treatment plan we developed together has been structured in such a way as to maximise the impact of the strategies used in session. Skipping appointments can disrupt your progress. Try to attend all sessions and to prepare for each session by arriving a few minutes early and giving thought to what you would like to discuss.
Don’t expect instant results.
You are not where you are because you have not tried to change things, or because you are unintelligent or have missed something obvious. My clients are motivated, high functioning, experienced problem-solvers. Their first real experience of feeling stuck is often highly confronting to their sense of themselves as being an independent, bright and convergent thinker.
Being willing to experience emotional vulnerability and openness is often an important part of achieving change, and working on emotional issues can be painful and may require hard work.
You may need several sessions before you begin to see improvement. Depending on the nature of the problem, the time you have been dealing with it, its impact in your life and a host of other variables, progress could be slower than you want or expected. Research has generally found a positive relationship between treatment length and clinical outcomes. This suggests that statistically more individuals will show significant change or recovery with increasing treatment length. Give it time and talk to me if you are worried about your progress.
Do your homework between sessions.
Out of session practice is encouraged as a way of helping you to consolidate the insights you gain in our time together. This could look like listening to a podcast episode, watching a YouTube video, or participating in an experiential activity to practice skills.
It is entirely your decision the extent to which you choose to engage in these additional components – spending 50 minutes in session working towards your goals is the baseline and everything extra that you do is likely to hasten progress.
If psychotherapy isn’t helping, talk to me.
It is important to have a sufficient amount of treatment and reasonable expectations for treatment length, before deciding treatment is not working.
Nevertheless, if you are worried about not making gains after having actively engaged in a therapeutic process for a reasonable length of time, it is always appropriate to discuss your treatment progress with me. Together we may decide to make some changes or try a different approach that may be more effective.
Remember, no one therapist is likely to have all the answers every time. However, you can anticipate that in working with therapists over time, the right fit will have you incrementally moving towards your goals.