How Therapy Works – Practicalities & Process
Part 1. The practicalities:
You do need an appointment to see us. You are welcome to phone us and set up an appointment directly or ask another health professional, such as your GP, to make a written or phone referral. Typically appointments are booked one to two weeks ahead.
If you are coming with a couple issue we strongly suggest you come together to the first appointment, to make sure the therapy gets off on an equal footing for both partners.
We operate normal business hours, Monday to Friday. Our first appointment is normally 9:30am and our last appointment 4:00pm.
We have found that an hour is too short for couple work so we allow 90 minutes for couple sessions. Individual sessions are normally an hour.
A 90-minute couple session is $295 (inc GST).
We charge $195 (inc GST) for an hour-long individual session.
We accept cash, cheque or EFTPOS but not credit cards, sorry.
If our prices are beyond your means we can recommend some lower cost options with other services such as Relationship Services http://www.relate.org.nz/ and the Home & Family Society http://www.homeandfamily.org.nz/.
Our offices are in an annex to our home in Glendowie at 8 Crossfield Road. It's about 15 minutes drive from downtown Auckland through the beautiful Eastern Bays along Tamaki Drive.
We are on two bus routes:
- 007 Cross-town from Pt Chevalier, through Mt Albert, Balmoral, Greenlane, Newmarket and Remuera
- 767/8/9 from downtown along the waterfront to St Heliers & Glendowie.
Part 2. The process of therapy:
1. Lots of questions.
To start with we are likely to ask you a lot of questions. We need to get to know you and what you are dealing with so we can help. They may include general questions about yourself (age, work, family background, prior relationships etc), specific questions about the difficulties you are having (including details of exactly how they occur, your understanding of how they began, solutions you have tried), and questions about what sort of help you are expecting and exactly how you will know when things are better.
2. Summary and Reflection
When we feel like we have a reasonable handle on who you are and what is going on for you (and that can a number of sessions), we are likely to try and sum up the picture as we understand it, to make sure we are seeing things in a way that makes sense to you. This process of summarising and reflecting what you have told us and shown us keeps on going and is itself an important part of the therapy. However you are paying us for our expertise and so we do a lot more than just listen and summarise.
We will make suggestions about things you could do or try. Just what they will be depends on the kinds of difficulties you are having. We may offer specific skills that would help you, suggest books that you could read or things you could think about. We may suggest reasonably simple changes in behaviour or we might challenge the way you look at yourself (e.g. inviting you to notice that you are always putting yourself down, or frequently more defensive than the situation warrants). We may even say things that you would never normally say to someone – but that you need to hear (e.g. “you are really good at getting the discussion off the point” or “you are being a bully”). There is always a reason for the suggestions we make and the things that we do – if it doesn’t make sense to you, you should challenge us.
4. What you can do to make therapy work better.
Coming to therapy is not like going to see an accountant or mechanic where you can hand over your problem and expect them to fix it for you. With personal or relationship issues the work will ultimately have to be done by you. The more you can take what was discussed during your session with us and practice it, apply it, work at it or think about it in between sessions, the more you will get out of coming to see us. It is for this reason we supply a pad and pen for you to take notes during sessions.
5. Review Progress, Make New Suggestions
If you find what we are offering helpful and keep coming, then the process moves into a more collaborative or coaching-type phase where we make suggestions, you go away and try things and then we process the outcome and make further suggestions on the basis of our conclusions.
6. Ending Therapy
You get to decide when therapy ends – ideally because you have achieved the goals that you set in the early session(s).
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