People seek therapy for many different reasons. Some are facing particular obstacles, for example, problems at work or breakdown of a relationship. Others have specific psychological problems that may have caused distress for a long time such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, uncontrollable worry, panic attacks, social anxiety, and depression. Some other people seek therapy because they have a more general sense of disillusion or unhappiness and are not sure what would improve their lives.
When individuals are suffering they understandably and instinctively seek relief. Unfortunately, many ways of seeking relief can be counter-productive and can become problems in themselves. For example, avoiding difficult feelings through excessive alcohol or procrastination. Often how we cope with difficult feelings and/or conflicts with other people creates vicious emotional cycles i.e. our honest attempts to deal with problems can backfire and lead us to feel stuck and overwhelmed.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often useful in uncovering these vicious cycles which keep us locked in anxiety, depression and interpersonal conflict. CBT provides proven techniques for changing our emotional reactions and developing helpful coping strategies. Beyond tackling vicious cycles therapy can help us develop both a clearer understanding of our minds and provide practical strategies for solving day-to-day problems.
Typically a first appointment lasts between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. I will likely ask a lot of questions about the things that our troubling you. I will also ask some general questions about how you spend your day so that I can get a picture of your life. To the degree that it seems relevant I will ask about your background and childhood. I may suggest some questionnaires to test ideas. At the end of the first appointment I will normally be able to provide an outline of how the problems can be tackled.
Currently I am doing all my therapy and psychological consultations remotely via FaceTime, Skype and Zoom.