What to expect

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 48 hours during the working week. Some people like to have a free initial phone consultation for up to 15 minutes, where we can decide whether meeting for an assessment would be a good idea. Some people prefer to book an assessment without the initial call – it’s really up to you.

The assessment process

We will meet together for an initial 60 minute session. Sometimes a 90 minute appointment might seem more appropriate, for example if there is a lot of complexity or more than one person is attending. 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 will usually ask you to complete some questionnaires – these are done online, and we can then repeat the same questionnaires at the middle and end of therapy as one way of tracking changes and progress.

There is no pressure to talk about anything you don’t want to. Usually by the end of the initial assessment session we will both have a sense of whether we are a good fit for further work together.

Following assessment, we will have some ideas about what therapy might look like and whether a particular approach might be helpful. If 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

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.

I draw on a range of therapeutic approaches, including IFS, CAT, CBT, ACT 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. I am flexible in terms of working either to a set number of sessions agreed early on in the therapy, or until we agree that our work is complete.

We will review progress together regularly. 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. This is a natural continuation of the assessment session. 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.

Confidentiality

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.

Location

I am currently offering face to face appointments from my office at 41 Church Road, Ashley Cross, Poole, BH14 0NN, google map link here. The building is on the same site as BWT Physiotherapy.

It is less than a 5 minute walk from Parkstone Railway Station (London/Weymouth mainline) and on the More Bus M1 and Yellow Bus 1, Ashley Cross stop.

There is free parking on site and around local residential roads (please check signs on roads for time limits).

Online Therapy

I offer online therapy WriteUpp video link (like Zoom and just as secure) or an alternative secure platform if you prefer. Many people feel unsure about working together online. If this is the case for you, but for some reason this is preferable, 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 online via debit or credit card or BACS. 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.