What is Therapy?

A therapy session is time set aside on an agreed date at an agreed time which provides a ‘safe’ place, which is private, undisturbed and cannot be overheard or interrupted. It is time set aside to look at what has brought you to therapy and to look at the best ways to help you to look at your issues and to identify a course of action for you, either to help you resolve your issues and difficulties or to help you find ways of coping.

Therapy is a very personal experience, your therapist needs to be impartial, and be able to express warmth and empathy to assist you to talk openly about your feelings and emotions. They should also be non-judgemental (this means not judging what a person discloses about themselves, their attitudes or behaviours) fair, open and trustworthy, this then gives the basis for a respectful working relationship to develop.
The therapist should be professionally trained and qualified, and have knowledge about the issues that you want to discuss. You have every right to ask a therapist about their qualifications, availability, methods of working, costs etc. before you choose to undertake therapy with them.


Why people choose therapy?

Usually a person will choose to have therapy because they are experiencing difficulties or distress in their lives. Often people feel isolated and feel that they have nobody to talk to or others may have a very supportive family and friends and yet they can find it difficult if not impossible to explain why they are feeling the way they are, maybe feeling anxious or depressed.

Often it is easier to talk about personal, family or relationship issues with a person who is independent of friends and family

Other life issues and events such as bereavement, divorce, redundancy, health issues, abuse, bullying etc. can all be difficult to deal with and can be the reason why a person chooses therapy or sometimes a person can have feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general or feel there is a need for balance in their lives and again therapy can help. A person does not need to be in crisis or on the verge of one before they choose therapy.


How long will therapy take?

In your initial meeting with your therapist they will discuss with you and will agree a number of sessions in advance, talking about your issues and difficulties may take time, and will not necessarily all be included in one session.

In one to one therapy, a session is usually 50 minutes. However, a specialist therapy, for example trauma treatment, may involve longer sessions.


Contracts and Boundaries

Confidentiality is essential in a therapy relationship as part of building trust, therapists should establish clear ‘boundaries’. This is a framework where you and the therapist have agreed a contract covering such issues as dates and times of therapy, contact details, agreement about the limits of confidentiality and clarification of the nature of the relationship that it is a professional one. A written contract can be given at your first session, stating the things that have been agreed.