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The Stages of Therapy

Therapy tend to consists of three distinct stages: The first, is the assessment stage, in which we set the goals and the details of the of therapy and sign them in a therapeutic contract. The second, is conducting the therapeutic intervention and reviewing it at set intervals. The third and final stage, is bringing the therapy to an end by reflecting on the therapeutic process and formulating a plan of how to maintain and build upon the therapeutic gains to continue the post-therapy change.

To learn more about these different stages and what you might find in each of them please click their title below:

The Assessment and Introduction Stage

The intervention Stage

The Ending and Post-Therapy Planning Stage

The Stages of Therapy: List

Starting Therapy

The Assessment and Introduction Stage

My clients come to the decision to start therapy through various routes. These includes talking with friends and family, discussions with their GP, self-reflection, and after completion of therapy and desire to try other forms of therapy and/or therapeutic relationship, deciding to access it privately.

Once a decision has been made, my details can be found by searching for this website online, via psychological directories, and via referral from my colleagues. To enquire about starting therapy you can contact me via this email: Please feel free to share as much information as you feel comfortable with, as the main purpose of this email is to establish a contact between us to discuss availability and answer any of your queries for the purpose of arranging an assessment session.

The assessment session is the first step in the assessment and introduction stage, during which we set the foundation for our therapeutic work. This includes beginning to form sense of your experience, discussing what brought you to therapy, what you would like to achieve from it, and how we can support it. I always encourage my patients to speak freely during these sessions and relieve themselves from the need to prepare for those, as it is of great value to see how my clients share their stories in both raw and premeditated forms. It also important for me to note that while sometimes my clients’ goals are clear and explicit, for others they are more ambiguous. For these clients, clarifying and trying to put these into words is our first therapeutic step.

During our initial assessment session, we will also discuss the practical details of attending therapy, which you can read about in advance in this website on the “Fees and Terms” page.

By the end of the assessment stage, which often takes between one to three sessions, we would agree on a therapeutic agreement. This summarises the details of the therapy, including our goals, initial length, and schedule. As part of the assessment I may ask you to complete one or two shorts questionaries, which are empirically validated measures, so we can have a better sense of your experience and form a baseline if we decide to use it as means of assessing change.

The Stages of Therapy: Text

Being in Therapy

The Intervention Stage

With the therapy agreement in place, therapy can begin. The form of intervention we agree on depends on the therapeutic model that we discuss as part of our initial therapeutic agreement. In most therapies, sessions will be held every one or two weeks. The content of the session depends on the therapeutic model and the stage of therapy we are at. Some sessions will focus on free exploration and reflection of your experience, while others will focus on examining and applying specific changes, such as practicing behavioural techniques and testing cognitive beliefs and adjustments.  

For the benefit of the therapeutic process, depending on our therapeutic agreement, we may agree on completing tasks between the sessions. This can take the form of reflecting and writing your impressions, or more specific exercises depending on the psychological adjustment we will be testing at the time.

Therapy is not a linear process and is influenced by a variety factors. As such, we would review the therapeutic process every 6-8 sessions, to explore where we at with regards to our starting point and to our therapeutic goals and think how we can refine the process if needed. Therapeutic goals and methods can change throughout the course of therapy, as we develop a greater understanding and due to a change in one’s life’s circumstances. Thus, the review process is in place to ensure that the effectiveness of therapy and that we are on an overall trajectory of positive change. 

The Stages of Therapy: Text

Finishing Therapy

The Ending and Post-Therapy Planning Stage

Therapy is an ever-evolving process and as such the decision to finish therapy is a complex one. It is often informed by a reflection on the clients’ goals at that time, the therapeutic process up to that point and on the capacity to extend the therapy.

If a decision has been made to finish therapy, we would enter the final stage of therapy, which aims to consolidate the insight and therapeutic changes that have been accrued throughout the therapy. Depending on the model of therapy, this can take the form of writing a “blueprint” for the period after the completion of therapy, or by writing and reviewing therapeutic letters to one another.

To sustain and protect the therapeutic change, we would often reach the final session by increasing the time between sessions, so we can examine and support change over time. We can also agree on a final session in addition to agreeing to arrange follow-up review sessions, depending on schedule availability.

It is important for me to be available for my patients after the completion of therapy, within the confines of my caseload. With that, I can support them with the ongoing developments in their lives and offer them the support needed using the therapeutic relationship we have established.

The Stages of Therapy: Text
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