Suzanne Atkinson Therapy Psychotherapy in Frome & Bath

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of commitment do I need to make to therapy?

If we agree to work together, I will ask you to read and sign a contract that we will agree between us. This will outline the agreed fee, time, place and frequency of our sessions. Therapy will usually be weekly. Payment terms for cancelled sessions and holiday will be agreed in our contract.

What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

There are many similarities between the two, but I would say that generally counselling may be shorter and very much goal-oriented. Psychotherapy on the other hand tends to be longer-term allowing work at more depth. Psychotherapy leans towards an exploration of deeply-held feelings and patterns of being that influence our understanding of ourselves and others. Exploring early experiences may help us to understand where these feelings originated and where there is potential to change.

What is the process after we first meet?

Our first meeting will allow me to understand your presenting issues and background, and will allow you to decide whether I'm the right therapist for you. As a trainee I need to run any potential clients by my supervisor. She will let me know if there are any concerns or give me the go ahead to work with you. All trainees work this way, and my supervisor sees me regularly to support me with my clinical practise. This first session is also chargeable.

How much does therapy cost?

I hope you understand that as a trainee therapist my fee reflects my experience and is agreed with my training supervisor. I currently charge £30/50 minutes as I am in my fifth year of training. As my training and experience increase, I will raise my fee accordingly and to reflect changes in living/room rental costs. I usually raise my fee in September or January of each calendar year.

What is your cancellation policy

My commitment is to hold the space open for you and be available for you at this time. Your commitment is to attend and pay for each session. If you are ill or unable to attend I will try to find you another time in the week, but this may not always be possible. Any other cancellations will be charged. I take a total of 8 weeks holiday over the year, these are at Christmas, Easter, and a longer break in summer. I may need to take other weeks here and there, but I would give you lots of notice. Of course you are not expected to pay for any sessions I cancel or take for holiday.

How long will I need to be in therapy?

I usually work with an open-ended approach, which means that we may not need to establish from the beginning how long we will work together. I can also work with you over a set period of time if you have limited time/resources. Short-term therapy or counselling can also be effective if the objectives are agreed between us. Therapy can also be a slow process, allowing the relationship between us to strengthen and unfold. If you decide that you would like to end the therapy, I ask for at least four weeks notice, and we would work toward that ending together.

How do I know that everything I tell you remains confidential?

I will ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement when we begin therapy. This agreement allows me to share some material from our sessions with my supervisor and within my written work. I would never disclose your identity. As a psychotherapist in training this is an important part of my progression to qualification. All personal data is stored safely and I adhere to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). For more information, please look at my Confidentiality page.


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