Analysts and psychotherapists are sometimes referred to here as ‘therapists’. Where the word ‘therapist’ is used it means both analysts and psychotherapists.
The patient and the therapist work together to explore the patient’s difficulties. The core of the process is the relationship between patient and therapist.
It is very likely that any difficulties that the person experiences in their life will come up in the relationship with the therapist in some way. This is known as the ‘transference’. This is to be expected and is, in fact, helpful as the therapist and patient can then address these difficulties and work through them.
The process can sometimes be difficult and painful. Some courage and resolve is needed by the patient in order to face the issues that may come up (see ‘When the going gets tough’ below).
All our therapists have undergone analysis themselves in order to allow them to work in depth.
There is an initial consultation where the individual meets with an experienced analyst. This is when questions can be answered and the patient’s needs can be discussed. This is done in a secure and confidential setting. Sometimes more than one meeting may be needed in order to decide what is best for the individual.
Sessions with an therapist last for 50 minutes. Initial consultations may take longer. There is a charge for these consultations.
Towards the end of the consultation/s, the analyst will discuss whether they feel analysis or psychotherapy could be helpful. S/he will make recommendations about the number of weekly of sessions needed. Sometimes an alternative form of therapy would be more suitable. The analyst may be able to make a referral to another therapist if that is the case. The individual can then think about what is practical for them and discuss this or any other issues with the analyst.
How long will the analysis or psychotherapy last?
At the beginning, it is difficult to say how long therapy may last. It will depend on the patient’s needs and aims. The process develops at its own pace. Sometimes what may seem like a limited problem may turn out to be related to longer-term issues. For example, difficulties following a bereavement may bring up wider issues about loss and relationships.
Sometimes an individual will come with a very definite and particular difficulty to work on, e.g. to do with trouble with a work colleague, and it may be that only a few sessions will be necessary in order to get the problem into some perspective again.
When the going gets tough
Sometimes therapy is difficult (!), challenging, disturbing or painful, as the person is put in touch with parts of themselves they have not acknowledged before, such as anger, hatred, love or intimacy, or as they explore painful experiences from the past. As described above, these issues may be experienced in relation to the therapist (in the transference). The therapist will be used to working with such feelings and, however difficult it may seem, it can be discussed and worked through.
Ending analysis and psychotherapy
It is always, essentially, the individual’s decision when to finish their therapy. It might be when they have resolved the issues they raised, or have done what feels possible or practical at the time. This will be discussed in the sessions. A suitable period for ending can then be agreed. There will be time to think about the individual’s situation, to consider the forthcoming ending, and to bring the therapeutic relationship to a close. The process of ending will quite often bring up issues which have not emerged before and time may need to be allowed for these things to be considered as well.
Fees for Analysis or Psychotherapy
Sessions with a psychotherapist will usually consist of one or two sessions a week. Sessions with an analyst will usually be between one and five times a week depending on what is thought to be most helpful and what vacancies are available.
A fee is charged for treatment and the amount is decided by arrangement between you and the analyst or psychotherapist. Reduced fees may be available if you have a low income or receive benefits. The recommended minimum fee is £15 a session. Fees are decided together with the analyst or psychotherapist depending on your particular circumstances.