Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions
“Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you are going”
Collaborative and Empowering:
We both work closely together to build a shared understanding of what’s going on and the best way forward. This way of working involves you and the therapist working as a team on the joint endeavour designed to help you.
Any psychological therapy can stir up difficult reactions and/or memories as part of the process of change. However, research evidence suggests that CAT is a safe therapy because it is designed with several safeguards to help you manage these reactions and to promote successful positive change (See the work of Professor Glenys Parry, e.g. in 2019). CAT provides a clear structure, treats people as equals, works collaboratively, and your progress and outcomes are monitored.
Effective and Efficient:
Research evidence suggests that CAT works. CAT aims to help someone get results as quickly as possible. CAT is considered a shorter therapy than many other approaches with most people having between 16 and 24 CAT therapy sessions. There is evidence that you can get the same results with a time-limited therapy as a longer-term therapy, if you and your therapist work well together.
CAT focusses on understanding your relationship with yourself, the world and other people. For example, learning about how you might neglect or punish yourself and the impact this has on your mood and confidence (as well as the way you experience other people). Sometimes we are not aware of the relationship we have with ourselves and learning about this can help transform our daily experiences and open opportunities for numerous positive experiences.
The CAT model is clear, explicit and transparent, so it makes sense to people.
CAT can be used innovatively to support our understanding of ourselves, improve our psychological well-being and to make positive changes. CAT can help in a range of ways from 1:1 therapy to supporting teams in their effectiveness at work. CAT can be adapted to suit the needs of the person, team or context.
I pride myself on listening to what you are experiencing and what you need help with. I will work together with you to develop a joint understanding of the difficulties or patterns that you experience, how these are maintained, and the most helpful ways forward. There is no mystery in my approach, and I will explain what I am doing and why. I am focussed on helping people achieve positive changes that last and want you to achieve results as quickly as possible. I believe that we are all continually developing as people and there are many ways to live successful lives.
I take therapy seriously for example:
I take your safety seriously and I don’t take risks with your well-being.
Experienced and Competent:
I am experienced and ensure my ongoing competence. This involves monitoring the quality of my work, reviewing the work I do in depth with my supervisors and continued training and development to ensure my skills are maintained and developed further.
You are the centre of the work of therapy and I believe in equality, honesty, care, compassion and respect.
I keep up to date with the latest research evidence and apply newer research findings in my work to ensure that you are offered the best possible therapy.
It is important that results are experienced as soon as possible so I won’t offer unnecessary sessions.
Therapy is a confidential process.
Some people who come for therapy have a mental health diagnosis given by another professional such as a GP or psychiatrist (such as depression). People might be experiencing difficulties diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), difficulties associated with psychosis, emotional sensitivity, sleep problems, panic attacks, stress and so on.
However, human beings are complicated and mental health diagnoses such as Bipolar Disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), PTSD, anxiety, depression and OCD only describe some of the symptoms of distress, but they don’t fully reflect our complexity as people.
Bearing this in mind there is a list below of examples of some of the difficulties faced by people I have seen for therapy:
Feeling drained, lacking energy and/or direction in their life
Living “two lives” – successful on the outside (e.g. career and/or parent) but underneath feeling unhappy, overwhelmed and/or empty.
Struggling with patterns that keep repeating
Having a neglectful and/or critical relationship with themselves
Feeling out of control of life, self and/or relationships
Experiencing dissatisfaction in an area of their life e.g. relationships or work
Experiencing symptoms that cause distress e.g. avoiding important events/activities, feeling anxious, not able to relax, feeling stressed, flashbacks, struggling with feelings (such as anger) and/or trouble sleeping.
Just find themselves doing things that aren’t good for them (but can’t stop)
Never satisfied with themselves and/or others
Feel like a bad person
Doing things that they later regret
Wanting to change something in their life, but don’t know where to start or how to do it
Feeling something is missing in their life or feeling lost
Working on making positive changes, but positive improvements never last
Putting pressure on themselves to achieve things (striving) but it is never good enough or success doesn’t last
Feeling alone (even in a group or with people who love them)
Set standards for others that they don’t achieve and then feeling let down
Struggling to connect in relationships
Lacking self confidence
Relationships go wrong however hard they try
Find themselves looking after everyone else, but don’t feel anyone looks after them (or others take advantage)
Struggling to make decisions
Feel like they don’t deserve a good life
Unable to relax and enjoy the moment
Need to come to terms with something e.g. bereavement, loss, tragedy, trauma or change.
Feeling emotionally overwhelmed
Feeling absolutely nothing
Feeling out of control with something
Experiencing difficult relationships e.g. repeatedly abused or neglected
These are just some examples, so don’t worry if what you are experiencing isn’t here.
People typically work with me on a range of areas where they want to achieve positive changes.
Developing self-confidence, sense of who they are and learning to drive their own life
Improved energy levels
Living in a way that’s energising, congruent with their values and true authentic self
Improved effectiveness in an area of their life such as being a parent or being successful at work
Finding ways to be the best they can be and have the best life they can whatever the challenges they face
Letting go of the past e.g. making sense of how an adverse life event (or events) affected them and then moving on
Achieving improvements in areas such as mood, sleep, work-life balance and developing a broader range of successful coping strategies
Improved ability to establish a new beginning or make decisions about something important
Finding ways to cope with major life events such as bereavement, illness, relationship breakdown, loss, trauma and so on
Improved relationships with themselves (e.g. better self-compassion and self-care) or learning how to treat themselves well so they can cherish others
Experience more rewarding relationships (current or new)
Improved resilience, health and well-being
Escaping or changing something e.g. certain kinds of relationships
Reduction of distressing symptoms
Improved sleep, and mood
These are just examples so don’t worry if you want something different.
You are also in control of choosing the right therapist for you. If you are not sure you are seeing the right therapist for you then you should stop and consider seeing someone else if you want to continue therapy.
I welcome discussing these issues with you if they are relevant for you.
The second stage: If we decide together to go ahead with CAT therapy, then we will agree a total number of sessions for therapy. The number of sessions for therapy varies for different people and is usually at least 24. I also offer follow up sessions to help consolidate progress.
There are lots of reasons why CAT is time limited.
For example, research evidence suggests that CAT works, and CAT aims to help someone get results as quickly as possible. CAT is considered a shorter therapy than many other approaches and there is evidence that you can get the same results with a time-limited therapy as a longer-term therapy, if you and your therapist work well together.
Over the therapy CAT fosters independence including by developing a firm foundation for successful change through a jointly developed deeper psychological understanding of what’s been going on. The aim is that therapy helps you develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to continue to drive your positive changes following the end of therapy. CAT aims for lasting change and avoiding both unnecessary sessions and avoiding someone becoming dependent on seeing a therapist.
Often people who come to therapy have had difficult experiences in relation to endings, abandonment, loss or rejection. If this is the case, the work of therapy often covers these areas. A time limited approach (by its very nature) helps to structure this therapeutic work and provide the opportunity for the person to have a different experience (with the support of the therapist).
Assessment and Therapy costs £150.00 per 60-minute session.
I will ask you to pay for each session at the time of our meeting using cash or card during the first stage where we are developing a joint understanding together.
Do you accept payment by card?
Yes, payment is either cash or card.
If for any reason you can’t come to an appointment, then please give me as much notice as possible. There will be no charge for sessions that you need to cancel or postpone if you give me at least 48 hours’ notice. If you give less than 48 hours’ notice or miss a session without letting me know, then the full fee is payable.
Clinical Supervision, Coaching and Mentoring
These sessions are usually 1.5 or 2 hours and cost £150 per 60 minutes.
I will ask for payment either when we meet by cash or card or if your employer is paying then I will organise arrangements for payment with them. The cancellation policy is the same for supervision, coaching and mentoring as for therapy (see above).
Can my insurance company or employer pay for the sessions?
I see people who pay for their sessions themselves or their sessions are paid for by their employer. I do not see people where sessions are paid for directly by insurance companies. I see a small number of clients so that I can continue to offer my best to every individual.