The therapy sessions will be structured as follows:
- Assessment – agree the problem
- Agree goals and plan of action
- Work to achieve goals (some review sessions included)
- Relapse prevention plan and continued progress plan
- Occasional follow up sessions if desired
The first session will be an assessment. During this session I will ask you about your difficulties or problems. I need to get a good picture about these difficulties and how they are impacting upon you and the things you do. Please be aware that, despite being asked questions, you only have to answer with as much information as you feel comfortable. Many people find that as therapy gets going they are able to talk more openly. In addition, the assessment session is an opportunity for you to get to know more about how I work, in order for you to make sure I am the right therapist for you. It is important that you get the sense that you and I will be able to develop an open and honest working relationship.
During the assessment we will also consider your goals, what it is you would like to change, This can feel like a big overwhelming question but we can break this down together.
Length of treatment
One important part of a treatment plan is the number of sessions you can expect to have. In practice this varies quite a lot – there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ course of therapy. It will depend on the problems you have and the goals that you set for yourself.
One of the most important features of CBT and EMDR that we work together as a team. This will mean that I will try to be as straight forward as possible about what I am doing and will invite you to make an active contribution to your own therapy. CBT and EMDR are a very collaborative approach, which means you are actively involved in your therapy. The idea is that as time goes by you will learn more about yourself and can apply the things you are learning for yourself; hopefully by the time you leave therapy you will be able to act as your own therapist.
Out of session work or homework
Homework makes a big contribution to therapy because it is a way of putting what you have learned into practice. I will always involve you in planning homework, making sure that you know what you are going to do and checking in with you in the next session to find out how things went.
Ending the therapy
Ending therapy can be a little difficult, and many people worry about how they will manage once they are on their own. I understand that you might feel this way so we will review how things have gone and how you feel about ending the therapy, especially any worries that you have about coping in the future. We will also work out how you would manage if things become difficult again. After all, the aim of the therapy isn’t to remove your problems – everyone has problems that they need to deal with. The hope is that you will have learned how to better manage, and so avoid problems becoming major difficulties again.