FAQ’s About Attending Psychotherapy Sessions

What are your fees and length of sessions?

£60 per session for psychotherapy  (60 minutes), the initial session for full price individual psychotherapy is available at half price, £30.00

£70 for coaching (sessions are 75 minutes)

£65 for professional supervision (per hour)

£45 for young people aged 14-20, these sessions are 45 minutes

£75 for couples and family sessions, these sessions are 75 minutes

I offer a £10 discount for counselling students, i.e. the fee is £50.00

What types of payment do you accept?

You can pay in person at each session, pay by bank transfer by arrangement, or via Stripe or Paypal on the website.  Paypal is only an option for those paying the full fee.

Do you have a waiting room?

No, please arrive at the time of your session and please don’t arrive early, as I may be with another client.

How often do I need to attend?

When you begin counselling or psychotherapy, you need to make a commitment to attend once a week. It is preferable if you can attend at a regular time each week, but if this is not possible for you, because of your work commitments, I can usually find a space for you.

Can I come fortnightly or monthly?

If you are attending psychotherapy, you will be expected to attend weekly, with pre-arranged breaks for holidays and so forth.  It is too difficult to build the necessary focus and momentum to make the therapy work if you only attend occasionally. In order for the therapy to be effective, you need to engage with it wholeheartedly, and this includes attending every week and undertaking suggested “homework”. In order for change to happen as swiftly but as smoothly as possible, I need to be fully aware of how you are and where you are focusing your attention.   People attend on a fortnightly or even monthly basis after they have engaged in  substantial period of psychotherapy and they are now practising integrating the work into daily life.

If you are attending coaching, we will discuss the frequency as part of our initial session, as depending on what we are working on, the frequency may be more or less than once weekly.

What is your no-show policy?

If you have booked a session, the full fee is due whether you attend or not, unless you let me know a week in advance that you will not be attending. This can sound harsh. However, it reflects the seriousness of my commitment to our work together. I have put my time aside for you and prepared for our work together, and I cannot do anything else with this time. Payment is an important way in which you demonstrate your commitment.

How long will I need to wait before you can see me?

The joy of private practice is that I can offer you an appointment quickly, at a time that is convenient for you and there is no long waiting list.

What type of treatment will I be offered?

In private practice, the therapist does not have to offer you a fixed number of sessions within a pre-defined therapeutic model. You do not have to fit into a system, but instead the work is built around you and your needs, including the therapeutic approaches used, and the number of sessions. This is something we can discuss together, so that you feel fully involved in establishing your desired outcomes for therapy.

Where do you work?

I work in private premises in the Peverell area of Plymouth, in a comfortable and secure setting with easy access. There is free parking nearby.

Do you see young people/ families/ couples/ groups?

Yes, everyone is welcome, in whichever combination. I can explain the process to you when we meet. However, if the other people are reluctant to attend therapy, but you are interested yourself, I suggest you come on your own, as this in itself can have a big influence on your situation.

How do I find out more?

I suggest you book an introductory session.  This will give you the chance to ask further questions and to experience a trial session so you can find out what working with me would be like. There is no expectation of commitment after this session, and you are free to then decide if you want to proceed.  At that point, it will be clear to you what your decision will need to be based upon.

How do I know what psychotherapist or counsellor will be right for me? How do I choose?

My suggestion is to choose the most experienced practitioner that you can afford, and of course you need to check that they are qualified, and registered with UKCP or BACP. This is important, as whoever you see must be insured and accountable to a code of ethics and practice.

Practitioners who are experienced and dedicated have usually undertaken a number of trainings and are highly committed to providing professional work. This does not mean, however, that they will be cool or “professional” in their manner towards you – you need to feel comfortable enough with this person so that you feel confident to open up and explore what really matters to you. Does the practitioner have good interpersonal skills that help you feel relaxed, and at the same time do you feel they will be able to challenge you appropriately, when needed? Do you feel they have a good grasp of the issues, and sufficient expertise and experience?  Do you feel they understand and respond to you in a way that encourages and motivates you?  Does the location work for you?  You do not need to like the practitioner, however you need not to dislike them, and to feel that you can treat each other with warmth and respect.

What do I say when I come in? How do I start?

Most clients are unsure about how to begin,  and I will help you to get started talking about what brings you here. It can feel  bit awkward at first, as we are not going to engage in normal social chat, but you will quickly get used to it and even enjoy your sessions. It can be so uplifting and encouraging to begin to really address the things that have been bothering you, and I will  actively engage in the session and respond to you. You will soon become familiar with the setup.

What is the difference between psychotherapy and therapeutic coaching?

Psychotherapy is offered to everyone who has done no previous therapeutic work on themselves, or where there are issues in life that affect your ability to function or to feel happy and fulfilled. Coaching is offered to people who have already undertaken psychotherapy, and who are taking responsibility for their own growth and development. Coaching can be focused on specific issues or projects, it is based on a positive growth mindset, and is focused on attaining success and fulfilment, whatever that means for you.

Do you offer sessions on Skype or similar for people who can’t attend in person?

Yes, I offer audiovisual conference sessions, wherever you are in the world, or for people who are attending in person but cannot travel every week. I can also work on the phone.

Please be aware that some of these methods are not 100% confidential, in the way that an in-person session is, as the companies hosting the service may keep the recordings. If this is of concern to you, please discuss with me.

Don’t wait  – text or email me to arrange a phone call.  07825284160, alyssthomas@gmail.com.  Everyone is welcome, without judgement. There are times in life when everyone needs a safe place to work through the complex issues that none of us can resolve alone, and which may be too complex for friends and family to fully appreciate and understand.