How to get the most from your sessions
- Make Notes: it can be helpful to make some personal notes after the session while things are fresh in your mind, as well as jotting down and any thoughts or feelings / issues that you would like to discuss between sessions.
- Extra space for quiet time / self care activities: this encourages reflection and allows time to process what we have been working on. It could be anything (a long walk, an early night, going for a drive, an unhurried drink in a coffee shop or quiet bar, soaking in the bath, chatting with a friend or a quiet night in. It is often in such quiet moments that people find things slot into place.
- Keeping a progress journal: some people find it helpful to start and maintain a private journal in addition to making notes after and between sessions.There is no particular format. Entries can be anything from a few bullet points or words to pages of writing, daily, weekly or occasionally. Free private journalling software (Penzu) is available from this site.
- Communicate if you need something different: If things are not progressing how you would like, your goals from our work change or you would like us to review progress then please say. We will usually review every 6 or so sessions but its important to get the most from your sessions.
- Discussing session content with others: Some people prefer to keep their sessions private and some like to discuss their sessions with their partners and friends. Whether you share and how much you share is up to you but you should never feel obliged to tell others. It is often deeply private and personal and your loved ones should respect that, and you have a choice even if someone else is paying for your sessions.
- Helpful books: If you would like to read a book alongside our work then I can usually recommend some titles and there are some helpful titles recommended on this site too.
Letters & Reports
If you wish me to write any letters about your treatment, progress or mental state (for legal reasons or for a third party for example) a fee will be charged to cover my time.
What to expect
Your first session
The first session usually involves taking a history and getting to know a bit more about you in order to fully assess your current situation. This is an important foundation for our work and from that we can start to form an idea for a plan of action and decide where we need to focus in order to attain your goals. We will discuss any current medication & details of any previous therapy or psychological assessments. If your sessions are being paid by a private health insurance company then please bring your policy details / authorisation code along with you.
Will usually be semi structured and involve talking, questioning looking at things from different perspectives. These perspectives usually include: the past, the present and the future, your perspective (including your thoughts, feelings and behaviours) and other people’s perspectives. We may identify and examine any repeating patterns or themes. We may look at how to resolve issues, patterns and themes from past using various psychological techniques and explore suitable coping and management strategies for the difficulties whilst we are working on resolving them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is psychological therapy like?
Most people find it interesting. It can help you to change the things in your life that are not working for you and help you to be a better person for yourself and your loved ones. It can help you to get to know, get to like and appreciate yourself more rather than fighting internally against yourself.
I have a relative, friend or loved one with mental health issues who I care for
I often work with “carers” when the person with the problem is not ready to attend. I also see loved ones of those who are undergoing treatment elsewhere to help them manage and help their loved one better. Sometimes and unintentionally loved ones can hinder progress or collude with the problem making it worse. Sometimes just one session can make all the difference.
What is the typical length of treatment, frequency & number of sessions?
Every one is different but generally speaking most people come for short term (6-8 sessions) or medium term (8-18 sessions) work although some people / difficulties can take longer.
Some people will come twice a week either because the severity of their problem warrants it or because they choose to work intensively on something. Some clients have a block of sessions then a gap and then come back to continue. The majority attend weekly sessions, however, it will depend on what you are looking to achieve as well as your time-scale and budget. On the first full session together we can decide what is going to work best for you.
Location & Facilities
Face to face clients are usually seen in a ground floor office in a Basepoint Business Centre in Camberley, London Road, Camberley Surrey. There is a waiting area in reception and informal seating on the second floor (with a vending machine for snacks and drinks) as well as a small cafe (where coffee, tea and snacks can be purchased) on the ground floor which is usually open between 8.30am and 6pm.
We have free parking for visitors on the left as you drive in to the Basepoint users car park. Just in front of the main entrance.
Can you prescribe medication?
No this is something that a GP or Psychiatrist would be able to do.
Can I get my sessions on my private health insurance?
Usually. I am affiliated to several private health insurers (eg. AXA-PPP, Cigna, Nuffield) but am no longer taking any new referrals from BUPA (May 2018) or any third party Rehabilitation companies. A call from you to your health scheme provider should be all you need to obtain a claim number or reference number / authorisation code for your treatment. Occasionally they may require a GP referral letter.
Do I need my G.P to refer me?
No you can refer yourself privately, although some health care providers require a GP or Psychiatrist referral.
Can I get treatment with you on the NHS?
No this is not possible for private clients.
Do you offer home visits?
Yes sometimes and as appropriate. Please note that a charge will be made for travel time in addition to the usual fees.
Appointment times, types & availability
All sessions are by appointment only and appointments are available between the following times:
- Weekdays: Monday evenings (7pm -9pm), Tuesday day and early evening (8am – 6.30pm), Thursday day and early evening (8am – 6.30pm), Friday afternoons (2pm – 6pm) & some evenings (6pm -8pm)
- Saturdays & Sundays: by arrangement please ask
Standard appointments are just under an hour. Let me know if you wish to book a longer session (1.5 or 2 hours). Longer sessions can be useful for couples or breakthrough sessions.
Daytime appointments are usually available within 1 weeks. Evening appointments within 2 weeks. CURRENTLY (May 2018) there is no evening availability for new clients and limited day time availability.
Skype, Email & Telephone appointments
Offer flexibility and convenience. Some people prefer the sessions this way. It is your choice. The charges are the same as I charge for my time.
Each individual has the right to be given information about how their data is processed and why. From May 25th 2018 you will be asked to sign a privacy notice which explains this.
Deletion of information can be requested however, law requires details of session notes to be kept for 7 years and life for some clients. This information will be retained securely in a locked cabinet. Any email correspondence is kept securely on a pass-coded device.
You have the right to withdraw consent at any time, when you have previously given consent, although records already held (session notes) need to be held securely for given timescales according to law and a right to object to your data being processed (unless carried out for legal reasons).
You have the right to verify the accuracy of your data and ask for it to be updated / corrected and to restrict the processing of your data. You have the right to see the data which is held. Session notes kept are brief, dated pen and paper records stored in a locked cabinet in a locked room.
Information which is stored: in addition to session notes, name, address, health policy and authorisation code, date of birth, GP and Psychiatrist details are kept for those accessing treatment from health insurance policies. Contact details are stored securely on a pass-coded device. Where possible only first names are used. Any letters, reports or updates between myself and your health provider, psychiatrist, GP. or solicitor for court cases about your mental health or personal details, psychometric test scores are shared with your consent and in secure password or encrypted format.
Lawful basis for holding your details and processing information: in relation to delivering a contract to you as a registered independent health care provider.