What to expect

The process of assessment and therapy

How to make an appointment

To make an enquiry or appointment, please email me hello@harbourpsychology.co.uk or call me on 07828 391923 (leaving a clear message and number). I can respond to emails more quickly than telephone messages so if you want a quicker response, please email first.

I aim get back to you within 24 hours during the week. I typically do not respond to messages at the weekend. We can then have a free initial phone consultation for up to 15 minutes, where we can either decide to meet for an assessment, or I can signpost you to other suitable sources of help.

The assessment process

We will meet together for an initial 60 or 90 minute session. This is a chance for you to tell me about what brings you to therapy now and also gives you an opportunity to get a sense of whether you feel comfortable talking to me.

During the initial assessment, I will listen to you and ask questions to clarify or explore further. I would hope to cover a range of topics including your strengths, personal history, family history, lifestyle, relationships, and so on – whatever feels relevant.

I may ask you to complete some questionnaires. There is no pressure to talk about anything you don’t want to. It is usual for assessment to take 2-4 sessions in order to gain a full understanding of your difficulties and the best way forward – the length of the assessment really depends on the complexity of the issues you wish to focus on.

Following assessment, we will have some ideas about therapy options. I you decide to work with me, and I believe my skills are a good fit for you, then we can agree on an initial plan. If therapy with me isn’t suitable for whatever reason, we will discuss this and I will recommend suitable alternatives.


Therapy sessions last for one hour, once a week. I usually keep the same appointments at the same time for you each week, as this supports developing a regular pace and rhythm to our work which can feel less achievable with sporadic or less frequent appointments. However, sometimes it can make sense for appointments to be less frequent, for example, as therapy is coming to an end, or during follow up. We can discuss what would work best for you.

When working with adolescents, often parents or carers will join some sessions, or part of some sessions, or occasionally I work only with parents or carers which can be helpful if children or young people are not yet willing to engage in therapy.

I draw on a range of therapeutic approaches, including CAT, CBT, ACT, DBT and EMDR. Please see the Therapies offered page for more information on these approaches. Because of the different approaches I am trained to use, no two therapies ever look the same. However, I tend to work in a time-limited way, and so I usually make a suggestion during the assessment phase for how many sessions I think may be needed and we will work together with this limit in mind, but always with the opportunity to review and change our plans depending on your needs.

We will review progress together at every session. If at any point the therapy does not seem to be helping, then we will discuss this together to understand what might be happening, and think about the best way forward. I always aim to work collaboratively and at a pace that suits you.

Ensuring that the therapy follows a clear path through beginning, middle and end phases and knowing where we are in that process can bring a sense of containment to the therapy journey. The beginning phase is about creating a shared understanding of you: how your past has shaped you, the challenges life presents to you now, and your future hopes. The middle phase is where we focus not only on change and new learning, but also continuing to deepen your understanding and self-awareness. Many of us have experienced difficult or traumatic separations and endings in life, and so ensuring we have the opportunity to consciously explore and experience ending our time together can be very helpful. Doing all of this in the context of a supportive therapeutic relationship means that we can explore, notice and observe together, and in doing so, consider and experiment with new ways of managing difficult and challenging experiences.

Often people find that spending some time between sessions reflecting, practising a skill or other activity we have learnt or discussed together, can enrich the whole experience for you and support the changes and insights you make to take hold.


I treat all information confidentially. Any written notes I make are minimal, and stored digitally on a secure web based programme called WriteUpp. I will not share any of your details with anyone, unless:

  1. I am concerned that you or someone else is at risk of harm. In such cases I am legally obliged to share this information with relevant agencies. Although I do not need your consent to do this, I will aim to share my reasoning if appropriate.
  2. I attend regular supervision with a Clinical Psychologist, in which I need to share the minimum of information about the people I am working with. My supervisor will also treat this information confidentially.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for the purposes of storing sensitive information.


Please note that during the coronavirus outbreak I am not offering face to face appointments. All sessions will be provided online, please see below.

I work at The Consulting Centre, 348 Poole Road, Bournemouth, BH12 1AW which is conveniently situated on Poole Road opposite Tesco, Branksome.

By Car: Direct links from A35 and A338

By Bus: Within easy walking distance from bus stops operated by Yellow Buses and More Buses (M1 & M2 Service)

By Train: Within easy walking distance to Branksome Railway Station (London/Weymouth mainline)

Online Therapy

I offer online therapy via Zoom, or an alternative secure platform if you prefer. While social distancing measures remain in place, I am not meeting with people face to face, so all therapy sessions will be online until further notice. The timings and therapies offered remain unchanged. Many people prefer this way of working, as it reduces travel time and costs. However, for some it can feel new and many people feel unsure about working together online. If this is the case for you, I would recommend trying at two or three sessions before you make a decision, as most people find they get used to it quickly.

Fees and payment

Please contact me for further information about fees.

I accept payment by cash, debit or credit card, BACS or cheque. For further details please see the Terms & Conditions document, which I will email or send you prior to our first meeting.

I am occasionally able to offer a reduced fee for people on very low incomes / benefits, please contact me for availability. You will need to provide proof of your income.

Contact me to discuss any questions or to find out more.