Michael Costello

Clinical Psychologist

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The Therapy Session

The initial appointment will usually include a comprehensive assessment regarding the history of the presenting problem; it will also usually also involve taking your social history. I will collaborate with you to decide on your goals, assess your expectations, and plan possible ways to manage and improve your situation. In subsequent sessions, the progress of the therapy will be reviewed, with particular reference to your goals and expectations and you will be encouraged to provide feedback to ensure that your needs are met.

Depending on the problem, the initial assessment may also include utilising well established questionnaires and measures that gauge the severity of associated symptoms. The same questionnaires and measures may also be used again throughout future sessions to assist in determining the progress of therapy, which includes assessing symptom alleviation and progress towards agreed goals.

The number of sessions will vary depending on type and severity of problem, and will be negotiated with the client. This can often depend on the nature of the issues addressed. In reality there is no set number of sessions that someone can see a psychologist for, though with managed care, such as 'GP Mental Health Treatment Plan' often restricting or reducing the number of sessions available, I believe in the importance of focussed, goal-oriented therapy to collaborate in finding practical answers and solutions to the problems presented as soon as possible. To this end, I will often suggest homework assignments or recommended readings which you can pursue between sessions to enhance the counselling process.

 

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