Psychotherapy can be thought of as a process between the client and therapist. The client brings his/her personal thoughts, interactions, dreams and history to the therapist. The therapist helps the client to think about the feelings that belong to the material and so the client can begin to take back and learn to process themselves difficult feelings around events.
There is a rhythm to the sessions whereby the client brings the material, the therapist helps process it and the client can take it back. This process heals the client because it frees the psychic pain we feel from distressing and disturbing events. We become stronger, and better able to tolerate our difficulties.
In order for this process to work the following needs to be in place:
The client and therapist must feel that they can work together. Clients seeking a therapist or counsellor should ‘shop around’. The client should choose the therapist they feel most comfortable with. Sometimes we feel a connection straight away and we are happy to begin work with that person. This is perfectly fine, it is when we don’t feel that we can work with the therapist and we assume that it will be the same with everybody that we can lose out. A good therapist will understand this and will help you to find a good match for your needs.
Commitment to the process
It is perfectly normal that we look for some time frame for our work with our therapist. Finances are usually the biggest constraint. It is not usually possible for a therapist to say how many sessions a person will need. It depends on the reasons why a person comes and how easy it is for them to trust and go with the process.
The regularity of sessions is crucial- missed sessions break the connection and generally delay the healing or therapeutic process. Weekly sessions at the same time, same day are standard. If a change needs to be made then I will be as accommodating as possible. In my practice I will charge for a missed session unless my client is ill, has had an emergency or has given me enough notice.