Striving to find meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man
(Frankl 1992, p. 104)
This is often the most difficult task. Often clients are referred to a specific therapist by their own General Medical Practitioner (doctor). If this is the case, then you don’t really have to “choose”. However, it is still very important that you feel comfortable with the therapist and feel that you can trust the therapist.
If you have to choose a therapist yourself is important to look at the following:
a) The way the therapist works
b) Where the therapist is based
c) What the consultation fees are
d) What your own Medical Aid allows for therapy
e) Whose responsibility it is to claim back from medical aid
Once you have met your therapist it is important to ask yourself whether you feel comfortable enough with this person and whether you are ready to start working on the reasons that brought you to therapy in the first place.
The first session is mainly for information gathering. The therapist will assist you in looking at the reasons why you are seeking therapy. Often getting started in the first session is the most difficult. Do not worry about that too much; the therapist will assist you in telling your story. There is no “right or wrong way” to start. How you choose to start, and how you tell your story, is entirely up to you.
The therapist might ask questions about your personal background, possible traumas and what brought you to therapy in the first place. At the end of the session the therapist will suggest a date and time for follow-up appointment.
Individual therapy sessions involve you beginning each session by sharing what’s on your mind that day. It is always a good idea to decide beforehand “what” you would like to discuss in the session. You are welcome to make notes in between session about how you felt and possible problems you encountered since your last session.
My role is to assist you in telling your story and to highlight and interpret any specific process that might be playing off in your life. Your role is to co-create the “meaning” of these processes in your own day-to-day life and to decide “what” you can do to bring forth change in your own life.
Remember: “Life is like a dance. The dance partners change from time-to-time, but often we are caught in a rhythm, that we do not know about, and which is difficult to change." These rhythms often make you feel stuck and frustrated. In therapy the therapist will assist you to bring about change.
It is always better to have the first three sessions in three consecutive weeks. That way you will feel more secure and therapy will start to become a safe space for you. You might even start to look forward to each session.
Because I work “short term, with long term effect”, you might start to feel more comfortable to space your sessions further apart, say every second week. It also gives you time to work with the issue at hand in real life and gives you a sense of how strong (or able) you have become during the past few weeks.
Sessions are 50 minutes long.
Therapy is a very individual process. I generally work short term, which means that you might only need 4 -6 sessions in total. That said, however, you might decide that even though you feel much stronger after the sixth session, that you would like to “check-in” once a month just to make sure that you have dealt with all the facets of the issue that brought you to therapy in the first place.
Relationship therapy normally takes a bit longer than individual therapy. I would suggest at least 10-15 sessions. During this time, I might ask to see the couple, individually as well. This is normally done to explore certain individual issues that might impact on the relationship. Any relationship consists of two or more individuals that each brings his/her history into the relationship. Our “past” often impacts on, and directs the “dance” that we engage in, in the here and now. Individual sessions are necessary so that you can explore how your own past experiences play a part in your current relationship.
Normally, when therapy is nearing the ending phase, the client will feel that all the issues that were brought to therapy was dealt with effectively and that he/she is better equipped to deal with “these issues” and every day live.
For me it is important that the client decides when he/she is ready to end therapy. I feel strongly about an “open door policy” with all my clients. This means that you are always welcome to come back to therapy in the future whenever the need arise.
In my experience most people start to feel a bit better after the third session, but it is important to keep in mind the initial reason why you came to therapy. Change is a unique, personal experience for every individual.
Remember, it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop!
Yes, I am contracted to Medical Aid, but I do not bill medical aid schemes directly. You are responsible for settling your account in full to the practice and submitting it to your medical aid for reimbursement.
As per the Competition Board of South Africa, each medical, or para-medical practice, is responsible for their own billing tariffs. There are not set tariffs anymore. The amount that your Medical Aid allows for therapy various and depends entirely on your specific Medical Aid and the “plan” you selected. Most Medical Aids do cover therapy from your savings account. You are welcome to check with your medical aid prior to your therapy what their allowance for counselling is.
(Please quote my Practice nr: 8904634 when you speak to your medical aid.)
"No-shows" and all sessions cancelled less than 24 hours in advance, will be charged in full.
Please note that medical aids do not reimburse for sessions that were missed.
Yes, therapy is confidential.
Social workers who practice as counsellors or clinical social workers, have at least a Masters Degree in Social Work or a Masters degree in Mental Health. Social workers help people with personal issues and assist their clients to deal with emotional, behavioural or mental health issues. They normally take the whole family- and / or environmental system into account when working with the individual. Social workers are trained in working with individuals of all ages, starting from 3 years old. Some Social workers are trained to act as group facilitators and are also equipped to assist families that go through difficult times. Depending on their scope of work, they might also do court work, mediate divorce settlements and draw up parenting plans as part of the divorce settlement.
Psychologists study human behaviour and the way in which the human mind works. A psychologist has at least a Masters Degree in Psychology or a PhD in Psychology. They assess, diagnose and treat psychological problems and behavioural dysfunctions resulting from, or related to physical and mental health. They play a major role in promoting healthy behaviour, preventing diseases and improving patients' quality of live. Take note that Psychologist do NOT prescribe medication, but can consult with the family doctor or Psychiatrist when medication is needed.
Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors who then specialize in psychiatry. They focus on preventing, diagnosing and treating mental illness by prescribing medications. They spend a lot of time consulting with their patients on how to manage and take the prescribed medication. They deal with the side effects that some of the medication might have and assist the patient to live a healthy and happy life.
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