What can you expect when you book a session with me?
Our first session is what I call ‘initial consultation’ in which I would like to get to know you and talk about issues that brought you to my office. I will also explain in more detail the approach I use in my work with clients. If you have any questions about the effectiveness of CBT and/or hypnotherapy, I will explain it in that session.
I want to make sure that you feel comfortable in my office, so it is important for me to address your questions right at the start. Some clients have misconceptions about hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is not mind control and you will not in any way be forced to reveal information you wish to keep private.
It is instead a tool for you to achieve your goals. If you have doubts or questions, it is important that we discuss them, so they do not interfere with your progress.
Once we identify what you wish to address in therapy, we explore where you would like to be at the end of the process and the goals you would like to achieve. You might want to work towards an emotional goal such as “I want to learn how to manage my anxiety / anger”, behavioural goal such as “I want to stop biting my nails / start exercising” or maybe your goal will be cognitive in nature such as “I want to learn how to manage my intrusive thoughts.”
At anytime during your therapy, you can ask questions about techniques I use or the strategies or skills I suggest for you to practice.
What about following sessions?
In our sessions I might asked you questions such as “What is going in your mind when you think about your upcoming exam at university?” Some people might say “I think that I will fail the exam, and everybody will think I’m a failure!” With your help, I would like to identify those unhelpful, disturbing
thoughts and see what effect they have on your behaviour and emotions.
Another domain we will focus on are your emotions. I might ask you what emotions you experience in specific situations, or after you did (or did not do) something. Usually clients who see therapists feel negative emotions that, according to them, are unbearable, overwhelming, or paralyzing. We will monitor how these emotions change as the therapy progresses.
The third domain I address in my sessions is behaviour. For example, people who wants to have friends but are socially anxious tend to avoid social contact. It is uncomfortable for them to be with other people and being relaxed among them is almost impossible. So, they either do not go anywhere or engage in behaviours that may have long-term negative consequences on their health such as drinking alcohol before engaging with groups of people.
In my sessions I might ask you questions such as “What do you do when you are in a specific situation? Or “What would you like to do but you struggle with or avoid doing at the moment?” (e.g. stop smoking, go out and socialize…).
After we identify your unhelpful thoughts, behaviours and difficult emotions we can start working on them. It is important to understand that CBT and hypnotherapy is a collaborative process. You will make progress and achieve your goal only if you participate in in actively. To support the therapy, I
might suggest some tasks for you to do between our sessions (e.g. a reading task, journaling, monitoring your behaviours, emotions and thoughts…). The purpose of therapy is to gain insight, to learn new skills
and strategies in our sessions and practice and apply them in your life.