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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which therapy is right for me?

Research tells us which type of problems respond best to which type of therapy. However, which therapy works best is also determined by your own preferred way of working. Some people like to think about things and figure out solutions in their own way, other people prefer to hear lots of advice or be told about different strategies to try out. Some people like a mix of these approaches. Part of our assessment will be to figure out with you what may be the best approach to suit you and your dilemma.

As we draw on several different therapeutic models we can usually find a way forward that helps.

Why should I pay rather than use NHS services?

There are services available on the NHS that are free to use. Sometimes these services have Clinical Psychologists. We would advise that you see your GP first to talk about these options.

When talking with your GP about free services, it may be useful to ask about:

Knowing your options means you can decide whether paying for therapy is right for you and your family.

The advantages of coming to Family Focused is that we offer an appointment within two weeks of being referred. The same person who you meet for assessment will usually see you for therapy too, unless there is a good reason such as you want to change therapist or another therapist has specific skills that suit your particular difficulties. There is no wait time between assessment and therapy at Family Focused and we offer a broad range of talking therapies that we can tailor to meet the needs of you and your family. We can meet for as long as is needed but we will review this with you regularly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long will I have to wait to be seen?

We offer a free telephone consultation as soon as possible after you contact us or are referred to us. We offer an assessment appointment within two weeks. There is no delay between assessment and treatment.

How long will therapy last for?

This depends on how things go. We do not set a time limit and aim to offer therapy for as long as it is needed. However we don’t want to keep seeing people if there is no need.

We will begin with an assessment which will last between 1-3 sessions. In this time we will help you to make sense of the difficulties you are experiencing and talk about the ways forward. We find that this is sometimes enough help. However, if together we agree that some therapy sessions would be helpful, we usually offer 6-8 sessions followed by a review to discuss how things are going. During the review we will talk with you about what has changed, what needs more work and whether things have improved enough to end therapy.

If you are uncertain about ending, we sometimes suggest a break from therapy. If this feels the right way forward for you we have found offering an appointment in one or two months time to see how things are going often helps you test out how ready you are for stopping therapy but with the knowledge that we are still here.

If at anytime after therapy ends you would like further work you are always welcome to get back in touch.

How often will therapy happen?

This depends again on the problem, your circumstances and the approach we decide to use. For some people it may be best to meet every week to begin with, for others less frequent meetings might be better. We will discuss the frequency of sessions with you at the end of the assessment phase.

What if I need or want medication?

As Clinical Psychologists we are not qualified to prescribe medication. If you or we feel medication might be beneficial we can refer you back to your GP or to your local Child or Adult Mental Health Services who will have Psychiatrists who can advise you about medication options and arrange prescriptions for you. We can do this alongside offering you psychological therapy.

Do you do home visits?

It is normally best to meet at a place outside of your home, this is because sometimes you might need to talk about difficult things that you can then “leave behind” in the therapy room. Also there are less distractions in a therapy room (such as the phone ringing or someone knocking on the door). This means we can all listen and concentrate better in a therapy room. However, if there really is no-where else for us to meet, then we may be able to visit you at home.

How confidential are you?

Like all professionals and agencies we are bound by law to keep people safe. If we are concerned about your or anyone else’s safety, or you tell us about criminal activity, we will need to take action and speak to other agencies.

Apart from these rules, we are able to keep what you say to us confidential. Sometimes it is useful to let other people know about the work we do together, such as teachers or GP’s. However we will discuss and agree that with you during out meetings.

If you are under 16 and we meet you without your parents / carers present, then we will discuss with you and your family what would useful to talk about as a whole family and what can be kept confidential between us.