Consultations at Fitzwilliam Psychotherapy
Prior to starting psychotherapy, we meet once or twice for consultations to give an opportunity to explore the fit between what our prospective clients are looking for and what we offer. We at Fitzwilliam Psychotherapy recognise the importance of this as a way of thinking through what you are looking for and what this might involve in terms of your existing commitments. We recognise that the decision to start psychotherapy is often a major one and that there is an investment at a number of levels in doing this; for this reason, it is important to think through what you are seeking from this work. For this reason, we are happy to suggest other psychotherapists, counsellors or others in the helping professions should it become apparent that you are seeking something that we do not provide. We encourage our clients to attend weekly and, in order to develop a consistency in this, at the same time each week.
As psychotherapists, we generally work with people for a number of months to a number of years; this usually means working for at least a year but often two, three or more years. However, we also see people who wish to engage in this work for a shorter time following an event in their lives or due to a decision that they are struggling to make. We also appreciate that some people may prefer to see what this may be like before committing to a longer time frame.
We understand that in order to get the most out of this work, our clients require a level of security in what is available. With this in mind, we offer regular sessions, with sessions at the same time weekly. We also appreciate that our clients’ confidentiality is essential to our work and we appreciate that what we talk about is kept within the confines of sessions.
We are also trained in a tradition of psychotherapy that emphasises the value of this work in helping the person to come toward a fuller experience and that, toward this end, different parts of experience – from our earliest years, through our childhood and into our adulthood – are relevant to our lives. This work helps to link up our experience and, in this, helps to relieve those concerns. The purpose of longer-term work is to help our client to look at their lives as a whole and to help to deal with issues that run deeply into their lives. While it may be possible to make a choice quickly in life in some instances, the kind of change that brings about a shift in our quality of life usually takes a much longer time. This change involves something deeper and means often that we need to look at all different aspects of our lives.
What has taken place in our lives may continue to have a strong effect on how we experience things, what we do in our lives and what is difficult for us. There may be trauma. There may be loss. There may be rejections. There may be many things that have left us feeling wounded. We may not have had the chance to discuss our experiences up until now as we have tried to get on with our lives. The pace of our lives may have made it difficult to deal with these up to this point but there is now a space to make these changes.
Psychotherapy is about making sense of our experience and, over time, becoming aware of parts of our psychological lives that may not be fully conscious to us – things that have been forgotten or that have been set aside because it has been too painful for us to look at them. Our making sense is not always about a change in how we think about things but it is more about how we experience things in a fuller and wider way.