Ann-Louise McCarthy
Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Frequently Asked Questions

How is it best to contact you?

I am happy for you to call or email me. If I do not immediately answer the phone, please leave a message and I will call you back as soon as I am free. I will respond to emails, also, as soon as I am free. I will make every effort not to keep you waiting for a response back.

During our initial discussion, we will briefly talk about your reasons for seeking Psychotherapy and I will ask you a few questions that will help me to determine whether I feel you would benefit from Psychotherapy, whether it is likely to be suitable for you and whether I can offer you what you are looking for. If it seems that Psychotherapy would be suitable for you, we will then arrange a date and time for us to meet for an assessment appointment.

What can I expect when I first arrive?

The assessment appointment will enable us to meet and to decide whether we both feel it would be the right thing for us to meet for regular sessions. It will be an opportunity for you to talk about the reasons why you believe Psychotherapy is the right option for you and what has brought you to this decision. We will also think together about whether therapy is an appropriate choice for you. During this session you will have the opportunity to get a sense of me and decide whether you feel you would be comfortable with me as your therapist. It is a two way assessment.

We will also discuss session times, frequency of sessions and fees and other necessary practical information.

Initial assessment appointments usually last about 90 minutes.

Are sessions and my personal information confidential?

Yes, all information you share is confidential. The only circumstance that would necessitate my breaking that confidentiality would be if I believed that you or someone else was being harmed or was at risk of being harmed. It would then be morally and ethically necessary for me to inform other persons or agencies of this knowledge in order to keep yourself and others safe. I would, however, discuss this with you before I forwarded any information on. It must be stressed that this would occur only in exceptional circumstances.

What can I expect to achieve in therapy?

Psychotherapy is an individual journey and each person will bring different issues and want to achieve different goals.

Psychotherapy does not seek immediate solutions but instead involves a method of collaborative investigation between client and therapist that can often result in solutions being discovered.

Psychotherapy is usually longer-term. It allows a free exploration of your emotional journey and consequently, a better understanding of the way you are in the world and in your relationships with others, and why.

You may want to let therapy take its own course, without any specific aims, or you may want to focus on specific difficulties or areas of your life, for instance, reducing feelings of anxiety. Each person will come to therapy with their own reasons and will hope to gain different things. It is important that, whatever your aims of Psychotherapy, you are able to pursue them with a therapist that you trust along with you during your journey of self discovery. With the right therapist for you, this can be a very positive, even life changing, experience.

How do I know you are the right therapist for me?

Choosing a therapist that is right for you is very important as the relationship is like no other. Within this relationship feelings will be expressed and information shared that may never have been before to anyone else. It is important that you feel comfortable sharing your story with your therapist in an effort to allow the deep investigation that is an integral part of the therapy. You must therefore feel able to be open and honest without fear of judgement. The assessment appointment will give you the opportunity to find out whether working with me would be right for you, as well as us both thinking about whether Psychotherapy is the best approach for you.

How long are sessions?

Sessions are 50 minutes and can take place between one and five times a week depending on need, availability and financial capability. Although it may seem alot, some people feel that, even if it is just for a set period, attending for five sessions a week is the right thing to do for them. One to two sessions a week is more common. A time and day is agreed for each session and this is set for each week. The day and time cannot be flexible once this is agreed except under exceptional circumstances.

In cases of need, for clients who usually attend in person, telephone sessions can be arranged additionally but this would not be offered on a regular basis.

What will I be charged?

90 minute assessment appointments are charged at the same rate as subsequent 50 minute sessions for both in person and Skype assessments.

Please contact me to arrange an initial discussion and to discuss my fees.

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