Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to questions you might have regarding starting your psychotherapeutic
process. We are aware that entering a therapeutic journey can be doubting and scary at times.
We at Horizon Mental Health Clinic wants to make this journey as easy as possible for you.
Don’t worry if you don’t fully know the answers or can’t find the words to talk about things – therapy is a journey so part of the aim is to help you understand things and gain more perspective. It is often at this point that therapists may want to check if you are facing any risks in your life, so be prepared to answer some difficult questions around any thoughts you might have of self-harm or suicide – these are standard questions which are designed to keep you safe. Sometimes there will also be time to talk a little about you background, so you might expect questions about what life was like for you growing up, and any particularly significant life events or relationships that occurred. Some therapists might choose to focus on your back story less than others – it will in part depend on what your problem is and whether or not it feels helpful to talk about the past at this stage in the process. Bear in mind that you are under no obligation to talk about anything that you don’t feel comfortable
sharing, and most people find that it takes time to build up a trusting relationship with their therapist in which they feel able to share information of a personal or distressing nature.
Each professional therapist and client have their unique personality, which creates a dynamic. It’s important to Horizon Mental Health Clinic that you’re comfortable and get along well with your therapist. A good relationship with your therapist is crucial to the success of your treatment. If you’re not comfortable or satisfied with your therapist, please let us know. We’ll be happy to provide you a different therapist. However, sometimes therapy can be a difficult and uncomfortable process – it’s very common to have weeks where you just don’t want to go or to have periods where you feel angry or upset with your therapist. Often this is when the best ‘work’ gets done, so try and stick with it and work through your feelings with your therapist – it is all part of the process. Whatever your story, we strongly believe psychotherapy sessions at Horizon Mental Health Clinic will put you on a path to the best version of your life and health.
The short answer is: yes – anything you choose to share with your therapist is considered private and confidential; however, there are situations in which your therapist may be legally obliged to break this bond of confidentiality. Generally, this is when you share something that leads your therapist to believe you might be at risk of harming yourself or others around you. In these instances they will explain to you why they are breaking confidentiality with you before doing so, if this is at all possible. Also note that many therapists work within teams, and it is possible that information you share may be discussed within that team or with a senior colleague. This information sharing process is part of the checks and balances that exist in the profession to ensure that your therapist is offering you the best service possible, and rest assured that everyone is bound by the same code of confidentiality. Each service is a little different, so your therapist should explain this during your first session to enable you to make an informed choice about what you might want to share. If not, ask.
At Horizon Mental Health Clinic you will be assigned to the therapist on our team who is the best fit for your needs. Generally, the aim is to get to know each other, to start to understand what has been causing you difficulties, and to reach a joint understanding of how to move forward.
Usually, the session lasts 50 minutes. Therapy methods will vary depending on the problem and treatment goals you wish to address. Your therapist will discuss with you treatment suggestions, therapy methods, and techniques. The benefits and possible risks of treatment, the probability of success, the prognosis without the treatment, and possible alternative approaches will also be explained. However, every situation is unique. Some people may want to explore deeper issues and choose to
continue therapy on an ongoing basis.
You’ll likely get more benefits if you see your therapist every week, at least in the beginning. That way, you and your therapist can get to know each other and build a deeper bond and trust. It also keeps things fresh from one session to the next. As your situation improves, some clients choose to continue seeing their therapist on a less frequent basis. This provides clients a safety net in case they backtrack. However, our professional psychotherapists also recognize weekly sessions don’t work for everyone. If this is a problem, talk with your therapist.
Generally, there's little risk in having psychotherapy. But because it can explore painful feelings and
experiences, you may feel emotionally uncomfortable at times. However, any risks are minimized by working with a skilled therapist who can match the type and intensity of therapy with your needs. The coping skills that you learn can help you manage and conquer negative feelings and fears.