When you begin therapy its helpful to be clear about the expectations and responsibilities of both the client(s) and the therapist. This handout details some of the areas that come up in a therapy relationship and lays down how I like to deal with them. You may have come across some of these issues in another therapy setting, in this case some of the guidelines may differ from your previous agreements with another practitioner.
• We shall agree on the days and times of our meetings, and from then on those days and times will be yours. Regularity and continuity are important in good therapy, as they give a reliable feeling of structure to the whole process. For this reason it is rare to rearrange a session.
• If you should for any reason arrive late, we shall stop at the appointed time in any case. This means that I will always be ready for you at the appointed time.
• If we are doing couples therapy, both partners need to be present for the therapy to proceed. The work is with the couple, rather than one or other partner.
• If you do not come for one of your appointments for any reason, the fee for that session will be due. If you cancel your appointment at least 7 days before it is due, I will not charge for the session. It is sometimes possible to rearrange a session, but only as an exception.
• Fees can be paid at each meeting, but some people prefer to pay for a batch of four or five meetings in advance. If you would like a receipt, please ask me for one.
• It is well known in therapy that things can sometimes feel worse before they get better; please remember this, and if you hit a bad patch, don't assume that this means failure. It often means holding on and trusting the process.
• Please feel free at any time to raise questions about any procedure you do not understand or feel unhappy about for any reason. The purpose of our work together is to work for you in a way which genuinely meets your therapeutic needs.