The Trusting Alliance
The particular ‘relationship’ negotiated between a therapist and a client is always unique. I encourage a trusting alliance or partnership in therapy which is guided by the client’s needs, feelings, values and their identified outcomes for therapy.
The therapist works with a client to identify suitable ways of dealing with their problem/s and to understand why a behaviour exists in the first place, what its function is and then how to ‘unlearn’ the behaviour which creates difficulty for the client. New alternative behaviour/s are identified to satisfy the same underlying need, yet in ways which leave a client feeling good about themselves and empowered. This process increases the choices available to a client, as well as opening possibilities for them to see themselves as ‘part of the solution’ rather than ‘the problem’. Together, therapy achieves the change and personal growth a client may wish for themselves, which also forms part of their identity in the long term – how they would like to know themselves and be known by others.
Trust is foundational to the trusting alliance and complete confidentiality is guaranteed concerning whatever a person discusses in therapy. To ensure safety and trust within the relationship, the therapist encourages mutually respectful interactions between their client and themselves. A client’s feelings and needs are affirmed as real and appropriate, rather than denied or ‘talked right’ or ‘punished’.
A person can discover the value and benefit of those emotions that may otherwise cause them fear, such as anger or shame. Clients may sometimes experience relief at sharing emotions, behaviours and thoughts which they could fear experiencing on their own. Both beneficial and disadvantageous ways of responding to such feelings and thoughts can be discussed without fear of judgment. Therapists can offer perspectives about emotions, behaviour and experiences which a client may perhaps otherwise not consider. Opening possibilities up for discussion, can increase a client’s choices for decision-making and future management strategies.
A client may decide, in hindsight, that certain decisions made in the past were ‘mistakes’. Rather than becoming overwhelmed by feelings of failure, shame and avoiding similar situations in the future, therapy can assist a client explore how they can learn from past behaviour or ‘unlearn’ ways of behaving which have proved unhelpful.
Any person who wishes to explore therapy can be referred by their general practitioner, a psychiatrist, any other person or, even better, refer yourself (this means you are already empowering yourself by owning your right to be healthy and using the environment to help you). To ensure that focus is maintained for all of us in the consultation, therapy sessions last for 50 minutes or at most an hour. In order to avoid resentment and guilt contaminating therapy, yet taking into account the importance of accepting that health means we respect that we are imperfect, you as the client will be charged if you fail to give 24 hours’ notice that you can’t make an appointment (except if such absence occurs due to a crises in health). Similarly, if I double book and you are inconvenienced for your session, you will get a consultation for free.
I am registered with the Health Professions Council as a counselling psychologist (no: PS0061050), and my practice is registered under practice no: 8640998. Relevant medical aids packages should therefore cover fees for consultation. Fees for therapy are in accordance with medical aid rates.
Clients are responsible for prompt payment of their accounts, and for negotiation with their medical aids regarding their reimbursements (or problems of with payment), if any. In accordance with the aim of therapy to encourage mutual respect and personal and relational empowerment, if a client has a problem with making payments, you are urged to speak directly to me about this so that an alternative and mutually suitable arrangement can be reached.
At the end of every month, you will receive a statement of account which indicates how much has been paid and how much is owing, and banking details for payment. Payment can be made in cash after every consultation, or by EFT at the end of the month.