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Q&A’s

Fees & Sessions [Expand]

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?
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. I am available to work with my clients for about 38 weeks a year.

5. For how many sessions would we work together?
It depends on the nature of your particular difficulties and how long they have been around for you. Because I am an experienced, senior therapist most of my work with individuals tends to be medium to long term by which I mean months or even years. However, depending on your issues and subject to my availability I can sometimes work shorter term. Please contact me if you’d like to find out more.

6. Can I try a few sessions without a long-term commitment?
After the assessment session if we agree to work together our initial contract is usually for a fixed number of sessions, eg 3 to 7.

7. How long would I have to wait to meet you
Please refer to my Availablity & Fees page for up to date info.

Location [Expand]

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.

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 therapy is the most effective. However, as part of an ongoing therapeutic contract some sessions can be by Skype, Facetime or email.

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.

I can also work by Skype, Facetime and email as part of an ongoing therapeutic contract.

All About Therapy [Expand]

1. What sort of therapy do you do?

I am an Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor which means that I integrate theory from various 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 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.

3. What is the difference between counselling, 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 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 seventeen 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.  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 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 do set the agenda. But usually it is the client who starts  the talking.

7. Can I arrange therapy for someone else?

There are many 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?

Therapy involves Work, Investment and Commitment… with capital I, W and C. It is a Commitment to and an Investment in yourself. Are you ready, willing and able to invest and commit to therapy? Before starting therapy you need to carefully consider whether you have the resources of time, money and emotional energy to commit to attending a therapy session usually once a week. Like many things in life, effectiveness and results are proportionate to what you’re 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 some testimonials from them.

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 had many 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 intro 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 intro 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 intro session should give us a better idea of whether a course of paid therapy sessions with me could help you. An intro session lasts for 50 minutes. If we agree to continue, it would usually be for between three and seven more sessions including a review.

17. What is a Psychotherapeutic Counselling Contract?

It is a written document setting out in detail how we would work together. After the intro session, assuming we both agree to work together, before we start sessions proper I would email you my Psychotherapeutic 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?

You are very welcome to, simply complete the Contact Allan Form or text me on 07520 633 111.

Testimonials

“I would recommend taking the time to take a clear look at where you are in life, how you got there, and what you would like to change to everyone. Every area of my life has improved by going through this process with Allan, and I have changed in ways I would never have expected at the beginning of the time together. In short, I never thought I would be able to describe myself as a happy person. It’s not an easy process, and it takes focus and commitment, but for me it has been more than worth it. My view of myself, my work and my relationships have all improved immeasurably as a result, and I hope they will stay that way because of what I’ve learned.”

“I had very mixed feelings when I approached Allan as I had quite a negative view towards therapy and saw it as a sign of weakness, but with my marriage in a state of chaos I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did. It’s amazing how preconceived perceptions can turn out to be so different to reality. So after two years of therapy my marriage is saved and I’ve learned so much about myself and it’s all thanks to Allan.”

“How was counselling helpful? At the inception of my counselling with Allan I was at an extremely low ebb. Following an upsetting relationship break up my self esteem was at an all-time low, I was unable to clearly identify the causes of my set backs and my confidence had plummeted. Working together with Allan I was able to gain a clearer insight into my own behaviour and its origins. I have a newly restored sense of self belief, higher self esteem and an understanding of the behaviour of others and its impact upon me. I believe that I have the ‘tools’ and knowledge to prevent a reoccurrence of my previous problems, not just in the realms of personal relationships but in all relationships. I am very proud of the work that put in with Allan and I cannot recommend him highly enough.”

“When I first went to see Allan I was in a pretty rough way and had lost both perspective and confidence. Allan helped me by providing someone I could talk to – I found his sessions provided a regular checkpoint and an oasis in a time of stress and anxiety. As we built up our relationship, Allan helped me understand why I was feeling the way I was and provided me with a different perspective on my life, not being afraid to challenge some of my negativity. This helped me regain my confidence and gave me the mental tools to help me cope better in the future. I felt like we went on quite a journey over the course of our sessions and that I was provided with a new perspective with which to face the future.”

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