1. How much does it cost?
Please refer to my Availability & Fees page for up to date info on my fees.
2. Do you have appointments available now?
Please refer to my Availability & Fees page for up to date info on my availability.
3. How long does a session last?
Usually 50 minutes
4. How often and for how long would I come to see you?
Usually once a week at the same time on the same day each week. From Sept 2019 to Jul 2020 I will be available to work with my clients and supervisees for about 36 weeks.
5. For how many sessions would we work together?
For individuals it depends on the nature of your particular difficulties and how long they have been around for you. Because I am an experienced, senior counsellor/psychotherapist my work with individuals tends to be medium to long term by which I mean months or years. I work with couples for a minimum of 12 sessions plus an introductory session making 13 sessions in all. This is because in my experience 13 sessions is the minimum amount of work it takes to make a real difference for couples. Please contact me if you’d like to find out more.
6. Can I try a few sessions without a long-term commitment?
Your only initial commitment is for one introductory session. After that, if agree to work together, my initial contract is usually for a minimum of 6 or 7 sessions with individuals and 12 sessions with couples.
7. How long would I have to wait to meet you
Please refer to my Availablity & Fees page for up to date info.
1. Where are you?
My practice is located in Wimbledon equidistant between Wimbledon Town, Wimbledon Village and Raynes Park with free car parking usually available immediately outside.
2. Do you offer therapy by email, Skype or Facetime?
I prefer to work in person in my consulting room in Wimbledon as in my experience face to face talking therapy is the most effective. However, as part of an ongoing therapeutic contract with a good, therapeutic, working alliance in place, a limited number of sessions with individuals can be by Skype, Facetime or email. Certain restrictions apply to the use of Skype/Facetime.
3. Which geographical areas do you cover?
I tend to work mostly with clients from South West London across the following areas: Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park, Raynes Park, Putney, Fulham, Parsons Green, Wandsworth, Battersea, Earlsfield, Southfields, Clapham, Tooting, Balham, Streatham, Croydon, Morden, Kingston, Coombe, New Malden, Sutton, Surbiton, Worcester Park, Roehampton, Richmond and Epsom. I am pleased to welcome clients from all over Greater London and much farther afield but please remember to consider the time you would spend travelling to me in addition to the usual 50 minute session time.
1. What sort of therapy do you do?
I am an Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor/Psychotherapist which means that I integrate theory from five main different psychotherapeutic theoretical models. The models I use are TA (Transactional Analysis), Psychodynamic (dealing with unconscious processes), CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Relational (which uses the therapeutic relationship) and Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT).
2. What qualifications and training do you have?
I am a Senior Accredited Member of BACP (The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), I have a Degree (BA Hons) in Counselling, a Diploma in Counselling and I am trained in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) and Couples Counselling. I have also completed an additional training as a Supervisor of other therapists and have applied to be granted the status of MBACP (Snr Accred) Supervisor.
3. What is the difference between counselling, therapy, talking therapy and psychotherapy?
A good question and one which continues to be discussed within my profession. My opinion is that there is no difference whatsoever and that the terms counsellor, psychotherapeutic counsellor, therapist, talking therapist and psychotherapist are interchangeable. My Senior Accreditation with BACP is as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist. I refer to myself as a therapist.
4. What experience do you have?
For nearly eighteen years I have helped many people with many different issues in various counselling services in South-West and West London and since 2004 I have had my own private practice in Wimbledon.
5. How does counselling/psychotherapy work?
Another very good question! With my training, qualifications, experience and ongoing learning, I would be alongside you while we discuss and reflect on the difficulties concerning you. I am empathic, supportive, objective, encouraging, uncritical, non-judgmental and also challenging. I hope you will gain insight, awareness and understanding into your issues, maybe enabling you to see perspectives, options and possibilities you had not considered, been aware of or even thought possible. I might offer some ‘tools’ to help you with particular issues, we might discuss changes you could make. As recently as ten years ago it was thought impossible that the adult brain could transform itself but we now know that the adult brain has the amazing capacity to change, develop and grow. This is called ‘neuroplasticity’ and it is the reason therapists are in business! Usually I do not give advice, I help and enable people to make their own decisions. Investing in yourself by committing the time and resources to discuss, consider, reflect and work on yourself and your issues is the starting point of the potentially transformative collaborative relationship called therapy.
To find out more about how therapy works I recommend these books…
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz
Couch Fiction by Philippa Perry
Loving With The Brain in Mind by Mona Fishbane
6. What happens in a therapy session?
Usually you talk about anything that is on your mind and anything can be a suitable subject for discussion in the consulting room. Sometimes, with certain issues and in certain circumstances and/or with couples I may set the agenda. But usually it is the client who starts the discussion.
7. Can I arrange therapy for someone else?
Of course there are times when we all feel we want to help a friend, partner, husband, wife, son, daughter or other family member to deal with their problems. Arranging therapy for them can seem like a great idea. However, in my experience, for therapy to have as good a chance as possible of being effective and productive it is best for the motivation for change to come from the individual – with support and encouragement. ‘You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink’ is an apt saying here.
8. Anything else I should know?
Definitely! Therapy involves Work, Investment and Commitment… all with a capital W, I and C. It is an Investment in and Commitment to yourself. Do you have the resources available to be able to commit to attending a therapy session once a week? Before starting therapy you need to carefully consider whether you do have the time, money and emotional energy to be able to commit to therapy. Like many things in life, effectiveness and results are proportionate to what you’re able and/or willing to put in terms of time, money and effort.
9. What sort of people come to see you?
All sorts of people with all sorts of issues! Women, men, young people, older people, married people, single people, divorced people, separated people, people of all ages, backgrounds, races, cultures, religions, colours and sexual orientations.
10. Does therapy work?
See what some previous clients say about this by viewing their testimonials.
11. Is what I tell you confidential?
Generally yes, however there are certain ethical and legal exceptions which I would be pleased to discuss with you.
12. Would you contact my GP?
Usually there would be no need to speak to your GP. However, there are certain circumstances in which I would be ethically obliged to do so. If I thought it best to be in contact with your GP I would usually discuss this with you first.
13. Are you the right counsellor for me?
I have worked with literally hundreds of satisfied clients. However, I am not the right therapist for everyone and sometimes there are circumstances when I think I am not the best person to help.
14. Can I make an appointment to get started?
Usually the process works like this. After exchanging emails or texts and/or speaking by phone we would either schedule an appointment and/or I would ask you to complete an SAQ (self-assessment questionnaire) online. Having read your SAQ, assuming I thought I could be the right person to help you, I would confirm our appointment to meet for an introductory session and ask you to pay my fee for that introductory session online.
15. What is the SAQ?
The SAQ is an online Self Assessment Questionnaire intended to give me a good initial picture of you, your difficulties and your history etc. I want to check before we meet for an introductory session that I think I could be the right person to help you.
16. What happens in an introductory session?
An introductory session is an opportunity to meet, ask questions, put faces to names, for you to see where I work and for us to see how we get on together. An introductory session should give us a better idea of whether a course of paid therapy sessions with me could help you. It lasts for 50 minutes andI charge my usual fee for an introductory session. If we agree to continue, it would usually be for six or seven more sessions including a review.
17. What is a Psychotherapeutic Counselling or Couples Counselling Contract?
It is a written document setting out in detail how we would work together. After the introductory session, assuming we both/all agree to work together, before we start sessions proper I would email you my Psychotherapeutic Counselling Contract or Couples Counselling Contract and ask you to read through it and agree it or alternatively raise any questions or concerns you might have.
18. How do I get started?
Get in touch with me through the Contact Allan page of my website or text me on 07520 633 111.
19. Can I ask you any other questions not covered here?
Absolutely, you are very welcome to, simply complete the Contact Allan Form or text me on 07520 633 111.
“I had an idea when I started therapy that it was quite an indulgent thing to do, that I should get in and out as quickly as possible. In fact, it became a regular meeting for around two years
A lot of the early sessions were quite emotional, I cried a lot. It helped to have someone to talk to who really listened. I think the greatest progress came after those initial sessions though, once I had let out some of the more raw emotions that I was feeling and built up trust with Allan through doing so. Allan helped me to explore assumptions about myself and other people’s opinions of me that I hadn’t even realised I had been making. Self awareness only takes you so far – having someone reflect back to you, in the safe space created by therapy, what it feels like to talk to you, to build a relationship with you, brought me far more insight that i could have found on my own.
Over time, the process of therapy greatly changed my view of myself and my approach to social situations, and a number of people close to me have commented on how much more at ease with myself I seem.”