What To Expect
Therapy is a journey of self-awareness, and working with me will typically involve you exploring life events (past and present), relationships, feelings, thinking habits, and patterns of behaviour. I believe that early experiences in life can influence how we behave and feel as adults - and can particularly shape the relationships we have in later life.
Finding the right therapist can sometimes seem a little daunting. I try to make the process as simple as possible for my clients.
If you decide to get in touch with me, we will usually have a brief initial call, which is free of charge. We then arrange to meet. This could be at my consulting room in Walton-on-Thames (pictured), or if you’d prefer we could ‘meet’ via Zoom. Hand sanitiser is available for your use when you enter the office, and you are welcome to wear a face covering (or not, the choice is yours). The room is well-ventilated and I am fully up-to-date with covid vaccinations.
In the initial meeting, we will find out what you are looking for from therapy and what works for you. The therapy contract can be short-term or longer-term, depending on the changes you want to make. Shorter-term work often focuses on supporting you through a specific crisis, whereas longer-term work will tend to focus on deeper-rooted issues (of which a particular 'crisis' may be a symptom). Some people feel ready to end the counselling after only a few sessions, whilst other will continue for months or even years. Our work is open-ended for as long as you need it to be - we will discuss and review this as we progress.
I use an integrated approach to therapy that includes psychodynamic, person centered, existential and transpersonal models. If it is right for you, some of the ways we may work will be more creative, such as drawings, visualisations and mindfulness.
You will need to feel ready to see a therapist and it's important to find a counsellor that you feel comfortable with. Research suggests that it is the relationship between client and therapist that is at the very heart of the therapeutic process. Our initial meeting will help us to establish this.
We will agree agree a suitable time to meet each week. I have early morning, day time and evening appointments, with a limited number of sessions available at a reduced rate, for people in receipt of benefits.
"On day one, I never could've imagined just how differently I'd be feeling at my final session - thank you!"
"At first I felt a little apprehensive as I have never had counselling before, but you were very calm, patient and let me come at things in my own time..."
"Phil was adept at helping me explore troubling issues with empathy. He prompted me to think productively about why I felt the way I did. It enabled me to start feeling like me again and therefore retake control of my decisions and my life."
"I really appreciated your ability to listen and understand the underlying issues; and your flexibility to focus on the issues that were pertinent at the time"
"I found your whole approach helpful; I felt very comfortable, and was able to talk very openly"