People want results for money spent in all areas of their lives. None more so than if they are paying privately for therapy. Every minute of the session is being paid for and that puts responsibility on both the therapist and the client to make it worthwhile. Today, I am going to introduce PsychEngagement®, a method I have honed over the years that places responsibility on the client to move forward and the same on me as a therapist to help them make that happen. I take the journey with the client in a sense of mutual engagement. The good news is that it can be applied to just about any issue a client may have.
Going to therapy has helped millions of people deal with and face their issues. It is not always successful for a myriad of reasons but generally, it provides a safe, non-judgmental space for anyone to work on what (and sometimes who) is troubling them. There are a range of methods that can be applied and therapists who are very skilled and highly trained to deliver them. Generally, it’s all good.
However, therapy is not always effective and it could be for the very reasons mentioned above. Sometimes there is a mismatch of method to issue. Sometimes, therapists get too stuck in a particular way of approaching therapy and this leads to inflexibility. Some methods (like psychoanalysis) are designed by nature to be long lasting and take time for recovery to start. This is one reason why brief therapies like CBT, delivered over six to twelve sessions have become popular. One might argue that this means that deep issues cannot be dealt with in this time but CBT especially deals with looking at the ‘here and now’ and changing the way you see an event. Where that view came from is less important.
One of the main causes of drop off (clients dropping out of therapy), is the fact that they feel they do not move forward. Some don’t want to and it is then down to the therapist to challenge this. Some want to too quickly with a ‘quick-fix’ attitude and these usually cannot be persuaded to stay the course needed to work on issues or they do not want to face certain things that are sure to come up. Some just cannot be helped, as simple as that.
PsychEngagement® puts me, as the therapist, and the client at the centre of the work done. It is a mutual journey that we take together on the road to recovery. It has obligations and expectations for both sides once awareness is found and delivered. It puts emphasis on the client to take definitive action to move themselves forward but by being supported every step of the way. Why can I do this? Apart from my training as a psychotherapist, I have ‘been there and done that’ in my life. What that means is that I can identify with most of the issues my clients have. When this combined with the motivation for change, it can have a truly dynamic effect on recovery.
Let’s look at the main elements of PsychEngagement®:
- A free, no-obligation initial session is given to present issues and receive feedback. A decision is then made by both as to whether further sessions are needed or wanted. This can be done anywhere in the world.
- If further sessions are planned, I will send a mail detailing the plan as agreed. The initial phase of treatment will be three months. After this, we will sit together and plan the next phase if needed. This helps to set a structure and framework. A fee is agreed on a monthly basis that will cover everything needed during that month. A client will never get an extra invoice from me for ‘extra’ work. This is my commitment.
- Client will be reminded that once awareness is found of how to move forward, the action they take will be decisive. I have found this to be an absolute truth in my career as a therapist. Clients need to be helped with the ‘how’ but the ‘why’ is very much down to them. As stated, this is a collaborative effort and I guarantee that I will walk that path with them.
- Work is consolidated in video or phone sessions at an agreed time per week. The approach taken is to gently encourage (and sometimes challenge) clients to see the need for change and then they are helped to take that final step. The feedback I have is that once people can see the need for change and they feel supported through it, they can sustain it.
- Between sessions, clients will be given set assignments to do. This could be journaling, recording thoughts, behavioral tasks like setting boundaries, etc or bibliotherapy (the reading of books to gain awareness). It might even be to learn and practice meditation or visualisation. Assignments are sent to me and my team and feedback is given.
- Constant support is given between sessions in the form of email or chat (I use Wire which is encrypted end to end, @drnicholasjenner) and feedback is given within a short time.
- Extra sessions or a phone call can be arranged if needed.
If you would like more details or want to engage in PsychEngagement®, please contact me below