FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not entirely sure what my issue is. Can you still help?


Yes, therapy can usually help even if you do not have a clear sense of what is troubling you or are feeling distressed without knowing why. My role is to carefully listen to you and to help you understand and process your uncomfortable feelings.




I have never really talked about my emotions before and I am not sure I can open up to a complete stranger. How can you help me?


You are not alone. Many people are not used to speaking about their emotional experiences which can make the thought of sharing difficulties with a complete stranger seem rather daunting. Although family and friends may be willing to support you, they may not be best placed to offer the confidential and non-judgemental environment required for you to be fully heard and understood. It is perfectly natural to feel nervous or apprehensive about starting therapy. I try to help new clients by never fogetting what it is like to sit in the client’s chair. With empathy, patience and undestanding, I am able to support my clients through the challenge of discussing personal details for the first time.




How will I know if you are the right therapist for me?


I am trained in a range of psychotherapeutic disciplines which helps me to tailor my approach to you and our therapeutic relationship. As the quality of the therapeutic relationship is widely recognised as paramount to therapeutic outcome, it is important that we feel able to relate well to each other. So, I would suggest that you go with your instincts during our initial phone call to assess whether or not you feel comfortable with how I respond to you and we can take it from there. If for whatever reason I am not the right practionier for you, I will try to refer you to other therapists, where appropriate.




What can I expect when I first call?


When you contact me by email or phone I shall acknowledge receipt of your message and arrange a convenient time to call you. During our first conversation, I will as you to briefly talk about why you are seeking therapy. We can then arrange a mutually convenient time for an initial assessment meeting which can take up to 90 minutes depending on indvidual circumstances. There is no need to prepare for the initial assessment meeting, simply attend with a willingness to express your issues and to ask whatever questions you may find useful. At the initial assessment meeting, I will ask for background information and invite you to talk in detail about what has lead you to seek therapy. The initial assessment meeting is an opportunity for us to explore your concerns and assess whether we might be right for working with each other. If we do decide to work together, we will arrange regular session times and agree a fee.




What will sessions be like?


As you talk about your troubles during our sessions, I will listen attentively and explore with you what has been said, unsaid and experienced. It is vital that you feel free and safe to talk about personal and sensitive issues. So, if there is anything that you do not want to talk about, I will respect that decision though it is usually helpful to explore with you the reasoning behind it. As therapy progresses, we will begin to engage in a trusting, shared relationship which promotes the experience of a non-judgemental, safe and respectful space. In this environment, you will have time to consider what you might want to better understand and change. Sessions are at a regular time each week and last for 50 minutes. I request that breaks are pre-booked, giving reasonable notice and that sessions missed or cancelled less than 24 hours in advance, for any reason, are paid for in full. We will limit any contact between sessions to necessary diary arrangements.




How long will therapy take?


I offer individual therapy for adults on a time limited or open ended basis. Where time limited therapy is appropriate, I offer12 sessions. Open ended sessions can obviously last much longer depending on your emotional and psychological needs. I will endeavour to offer guidance on the length of time you are likely to require. It will usually be for the client to decide when to terminate open ended therapy by giving a notice period commensurate to the length of therapy received.




What are your fees?


I am aware that during the Coronavirus pandemic many people will value emotional support as they find themselves trying to cope in extraordinary circumstances. I am therefore offering a limited number of ad-hoc, sessions per week, without the need to commit to ongoing therapy. My fee for these sessions will be assessed on an individual basis. Please indicate on the contact form if you would like to have ad hoc sessions. My regular fee for ongoing therapy is £80 to £100 depending on the time of day the session takes place. My fee for the initial assessment session is the same as the agreed session fee. I request that my fees are paid the day before each session by PayPal.




Is online therapy effective and safe?


Working online can be as effective as working person to person. In fact, as therapeutic engagement develops, the more people report that the online environment fades from awareness. However, there are additional factors to take into consideration to help preserve the integrity of the therapeutic relationship when working online.


It is vital that online sessions are conducted when confidentiality can be assured. I therefore ask clients to log in from a quiet and private location where there will be no physical intrusion or risk of being overheard by a third party or of a third party being present without knowledge. It is also important to have a secure wifi connection and adequate firewall and virus protection. I do not permit sessions to be recorded.

I offer online sessions via Zoom a video conferencing service which is free to download and relatively straightforward to use. I am as satisfied as I can be that Zoom’s current security and privacy measures, which include end to end encryption and supporting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, make it suitable for online therapy. I shall change to a different video conferencing service if I have reason to believe that Zoom no longer provides a secure or satisfactory platform for online therapy.





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Supporting clients with empathy, compassion, impartiality and the tenacity to make a real difference

© Anna Robinson Therapy 2020

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