The first session
There will be an opportunity for me to find out more about you to assess if I can offer help and for you to get an experience of being with me. It is also an opportunity for you ask questions about therapy. I ask quite a few questions to gather information. I encourage people to go away and reflect after the first session to be sure that they want to start.
I am happy to have an informal discussion of up to half an hour free of charge for you to ask questions and for me to see if the issues you bring are those I may be able to help you with.
We generally start in the chairs facing each other. It is important for you to know that there will be no interruptions during the session and that the space is totally private and confidential. We may initially start like many other approaches talking about your past and current life and hopes and wishes for the future concentrating on patterns that are getting in the way and where you want to be.
Sometimes I will attend to your emotional experience by bringing my awareness to what I perceive to be happening in your body and from time to time I might feed this back to you, I encourage you to direct your attention as non- judgementally as possible to what is happening so we can together gather information and begin to make links to psychological patterns.
Body based interventions
I may from time to time use more active body based interventions such as touch, movement, massage, breath awareness or meditation and focussing to help you feel more embodied. For example, if someone has come for psychotherapy for anxiety or depression I may invite them to lie on a mattress and together we will observe and pay attention to bodily experience such as excitation or numbness and see if we make connections to patterns in the person’s life. Paying attention to the body in the present you may then gain insight which leads to more helpful patterns. It is most important that you feel safe and you will never be asked to do anything that you do not feel OK about.
There are a whole host of techniques from Body Psychotherapy that can be used but since each person is unique I tailor the work to suit the individual and suggest whatever I feel might be useful. Research has shown that the relationship between the therapist and the client and the client’s willingness to work are more reliable indicators of success rather than particular techniques.
We will review the process at regular intervals to ensure that we are on track.