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Getting Started in Therapy

Personal Therapy - Tailored to Your Needs

Therapy Session

You may have a clear sense of what you're struggling with - you may not. Often the first part of therapy is working this out. If you have a diagnosis that is useful or meaningful to you (e.g., Bipolar, OCD, EUPD, etc.), then you may wish to bring this, but it is certainly not a requirement. Sometimes it's more useful to describe our difficulties in terms of what we struggle with, whether that’s giving a presentation without becoming paralysed by anxiety, forming satisfying intimate relationships, accepting a compliment, or finding meaning and purpose in life. Therapy is also about making sense, not just of what is causing you distress, but why - because it then becomes possible to do something about it.
In Counselling Psychology we work primarily with what we call a formulation: a unique, psychologically informed understanding of the individual person and their difficulties. We formulate by listening, by asking questions, and by making sense of what appears to be happening in the session, including between the client and the therapist - an invaluable source of information and an important key to understanding you and your difficulties. Unlike a diagnosis, a formulation is unique to you, and is constantly being revised, honed and improved, as we work together. As with every aspect of therapeutic work, I always encourage my clients to ask questions at any time, including how I understand their difficulties (i.e. my formulation). Therapy is a collaboration: I bring expertise from training and experience; you bring your expertise on you and your life and experiences.

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