What happens if I decide to have therapy?

Posted on 16th October 2018 by admin

What happens when I decide to have therapy?

Deciding to reach out and see a therapist is huge decision for many women. It’s the start of admitting that you are not coping, and you need help. For many they worry that by admitting they need help is an admission of failure. Many, I included, hide the fact that they are even IN therapy once they begin.

For some therapy will come via a GP referral for others they will seek out a therapist privately. Which ever route you go you can congratulate yourself for seeking help in the first place.

But what happens then? A lot of women worry about what therapy will be like, what they will be asked. If they admit to everything they are thinking or feeling the therapist will be shocked, disgusted or worse. Will they make a report that goes their GP or their employer? Will their baby be taken away if they admit to having thoughts of suicide?

So here is my list of things you should know about therapy.

1. All therapists are bound by a code of ethics set out by the Governing body they are members of. This covers confidentiality. You will be given a copy at the start of therapy which outlines the confidentiality terms and the reasons they can be broken.

2. Confidentiality can only be broken under two criteria; there is a risk you will harm yourself or others. Any breaking of confidentiality would be discussed with you by the therapist and would NOT be done without your knowledge.

3. Therapists are trained to listen without judgement. They should work to create what is termed a ‘therapeutic alliance’ between you and them. This should enable you to feel that you can share ANYTHING. There is a safe space in the therapy room and anything shared will be done so without fear of negative judgment. If you need silence that’s ok too. You won’t be rushed.

4. At the start of therapy, you may be asked to complete a form which assesses your level of depression or anxiety. This is so the therapist can monitor your scores as you improve.

5. The therapist will want to know basic information such as your GP details if you are on any medication currently such as anti-depressants, and if you have ever sought therapy before.

6. The therapist will take notes but should ask your permission to do so. Similarly, he may record the session and again would ask permission before doing so.

7. All therapists are required to be in clinical supervision. Your case may be discussed with a supervisor, but your name and personal details are not shared. All supervisors are bound by the same code of ethics and confidentiality applies.

8. Should you be receiving therapy that is being provided via an employee assistance program a report may be required by the EAP from the therapist. This will usually be a basic report and you can request to see the report before it is sent.

9. A session will typically last 50 minutes with time given at the start for a revue of the week and at the end in the case of therapies such as CBT for homework to be given.

10. If you cry that’s fine. If you dont cry ( but think you should) that’s fine too.

11. All therapists become therapists because they want to help people. Be as honest as you possibly can with them. They want to help you get better.

The biggest compliment someone can pay me as a therapist is to say ‘I found you so easy to talk to’ as without this  initial basis therapy will not work. If you have any questions about this or my work please contact me