Frequently asked questions about therapy with Dr Armstrong.
If you choose to have your therapy with me you can be assured of a high quality service. You can expect that I will pay close attention to your particular concerns and use my clinical expertise and specialist knowledge to work alongside you to help you overcome your problems as quickly as possible and in turn enhance your wellbeing and quality of life.
My aim is to provide the best quality psychological therapy for all clients and to maintain high standards of professionalism and ethical practice. I am committed to ensuring my approach is tailored to each person’s needs and preferences while being based on proven therapeutic principles and approaches that have been shown to be effective through research.
Please don’t hesitate to email or call my office to arrange a free and no-obligation conversation if you would like to find out more about me or the services I provide. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have or provide evidence of my qualifications and professional accreditation and memberships.
For many clients, attending the first session can be anxiety provoking especially when they don’t know what to expect or are concerned about talking about their problems and concerns to a ‘stranger’. I am very much aware of these issues and will do my best to help you feel at ease and comfortable during our first meeting.
The first session is an opportunity for you meet with me to discuss your concerns, expectations and goals for therapy and to begin to clarify how I might be able to help you achieve them. This initial meeting may help you to decide if you would like to engage in therapy at this stage and whether or not I am the right therapist for you. So please keep in mind that attending the first session does not obligate you to make a commitment to any further sessions.
If, following the first session, you decide to proceed with therapy I will ask you to sign a standard ‘Therapy Agreement’ form which outlines the practical and professional arrangements that will be in place in relation to your therapy with me. This agreement ensures that you understand and are comfortable with all aspects of the service that is being offered before you enter therapy. Typical issues included in this agreement are; session fees and payment, appointment cancellation policy, confidentiality and ethical aspects of practice.
Typically, appointments are scheduled on a weekly basis and may be extended to fortnightly or even longer towards the end of therapy. Some clients prefer to make an arrangement to meet less frequently from the start of therapy. Follow-up appointments can also be arranged after therapy has formally ended to ensure the gains made in therapy are maintained or if a ‘top-up’ session is needed. Each appointment lasts between 50-60 minutes.
It is difficult to predict the exact number of therapy sessions that may be required until I meet with you. However, many of my clients attend between 6-8 sessions. In some instances, fewer or more sessions may be appropriate depending on the nature and severity of your difficulties. At the start of your therapy we will agree on a set number of sessions initially, and review this at regular intervals.
I will attempt to reschedule any cancelled appointments if you are unable to attend a previously arranged appointment. Sessions may be cancelled up to 24 hours before the appointment without charge. Cancellations within 24 hours of the agreed appointment will incur a charge of 50% of the agreed fee. Non-attendance for scheduled sessions without prior notification will be charged at the agreed full session fee.
I am an accredited member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and am bound by their professional codes of conduct regarding confidentiality and ethical practice. I will only breach your confidence if you tell me something that indicates that you may be at risk of harming yourself or others. In such instances, I will first seek to obtain your consent before I disclose information to a third party. Further information about confidentiality and ethical practice guidelines can be obtained from the BABCP at www.babcp.org and from the BACP at www.bacp.co.uk
I aim to be transparent about my fees and will discuss and agree with you at the outset a set number of sessions so that you are clear about how much your therapy is likely to cost. Of course we will keep this under review as your therapy progresses. For many people, having therapy is an important and worthwhile investment in their health and wellbeing that will have benefits long after their therapy has ended. I have a range of fees available for insurance/corporate referrals, which are available on application to me. Fees for direct referral clients are paid by cash or cheque at the end of each session.
The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) is the lead organisation for CBT in the UK and Ireland. CBT therapists who have achieved BABCP accreditation have specialist skills and knowledge. BABCP Accredited CBT therapists have undertaken training and supervised clinical practice that meets or exceeds a set of minimum standards and have demonstrated their competence to practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. For more information about the difference between accredited CBT therapists and accredited therapists who offer CBT click here
"I am more in control of my thoughts when faced with situations I would have previously found unmanageable. I cannot thank you enough for your help."Teacher
"Thanks Joe for your patient and considered approach. I was anxious about coming to therapy but I wish I had come to you earlier. I felt as if a load was lifted off my back after our sessions."Company Director
"Joe helped me change how anxiety affected me and loosen its grip on my life. My only regret is that I did not contact him sooner!"Customer service assistant
" I cannot thank Joe enough for his expertise in recognising my issues from day one. His help has been invaluable in getting my life back."HGV Driver
"My therapy sessions provided me with practical skills for overcoming anxiety. I could not be more thankful to Joe for his help. Seeing him was the best decision I could have made."Healthcare professional
"I struggled with low mood throughout my life. I was very grateful for Joe's compassionate and supportive manner. Thank you for all your help Joe! "Doctor
"Thank you for your patience, your insight, your gentle manner, and for believing me! I appreciated all your time and efforts."Teacher/Therapist
"Joe was very patient and helped me work through my issues using EMDR. My ability to deal with stress and my self esteem has improved greatly and I'm so thankful for that."Student
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