© 2014  Dr. Tatiana Brennan - Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist         Contact: + 353 (0) 86 246 0908        Email:  drtatianabrennan@gmail.com

What to Expect?

 

Referral and Initial Contact 

Referral may be made by any health professional or mental health service, as well as self-referral. Potential clients can contact Dr. Tatiana Brennan directly through email or through a brief phone call to book the first consultation. For young adults whose parents are concerned, the parents may initiate contact. Nevertheless, it is essential that the young adult is fully aware of his/her parents' decision to contact the psychologist. It is also important that the young person is encouraged to take control of his/her own therapy from the beginning.

 

First Consultation(s)

Adults

The first consultation lasts one hour approximately. During the hour the therapist aims to understand the client's reasons for seeking psychological therapy. Presenting problems, background history, health status, current medication, coping mechanisms, significant events and expectations for psychotherapy are usually explored. Confidentiality and contract are discussed at the end of the session and a copy of the contract is given to the client. The therapist's initial assessment and management of the therapeutic relationship begins at this early stage. For the client, the first session will offer an opportunity to clarify any questions about therapy and to make an informed decision whether to engage with the process. The following sessions last approximately fifty minutes each. The therapist usually needs three to four sessions to build enough information to make an initial assessment and formulation of the case. However, ongoing psychological feedback and strategies are provided. 

 

Click here to download Client's Details Form and Psychotherapy Contract 

 

Children

The parent(s) or guardian(s) are asked to attend the first consultation without the child. The first consultation lasts one hour approximately* and it aims at understanding the child's difficulties. The child's developmental and health history, family background and status, parenting style, family's coping mechanisms and other significant information are sought. It is essential that both parents give written consent for their child to attend psychotherapy/counselling. The therapist can only see the child after the consent has been given by both parents. In cases where only one parent is the legal guardian, the guardian parent must provide evidence of sole guardianship. At the end of the first consultation, parents are informed that they need to explain their concerns to their child and their reasons for taking her/him to see Tatiana. The conversation with their child needs to be open, warm, relaxed and age appropriate. It is recommended that the child feels that it is his/her decision to go or not to therapy and that the parents are supportive of their child's decision. Parents can take photographs of the therapist and the toys, as well as clarify any questions the child may have.  If the child is unsure or does not wish to attend psychotherapy, the parents may suggest to their child to go once and make a decision afterwards. For the child's first consultation, the parents are asked to come to the room with their child and express once again their concerns. The therapist introduces herself and tells the child what she already knows of her/him. The therapist also explains to the child what the process entails, confidentiality and limits of confidentiality. After contracting, the parents go to the reception and the child stays with the therapist for the remaining of the session. For most cases, the sessions are exclusively for the child. However, short feedbacks may be sought or given at the beginning or the end of sessions. Full initial feedback is given to the parents in the presence of the child around the fourth session. The feedback consists of formulation of their child's problems and recommended strategies. A follow up will be discussed in future sessions. 

 

*Please note that any extra time requested by the parents for the first consultation will be charged accordingly.

 

Click here to download Client's Details Form (Child), Psychotherapy Contract and Parental Consent Form

 

Adolescents

 

For the initial consultation of younger adolescents, the parent(s) are usually invited to the room with their adolescent child for the first fifteen minutes of the one hour session*. The parents are asked to express their concerns and expectations for psychotherapy. The young person is also invited to communicate his/her views on the issue and whether he/she wishes to engage with psychotherapy/counselling. Contract, confidentiality and limits of confidentiality are discussed. For older adolescents, if they do not wish to have the parents in the room, it is recommended that the parents and the client agree on that decision before starting psychotherapy. In cases where the parents wish to see the therapist without their adolescent child, it recommended that that decision is mutually agreed between parents and their adolescent child.  It is essential that both parents give written consent for their adolescent child to attend psychotherapy/counselling. The therapist can only see the adolescent after consent has been given by both parents. In cases where only one parent is the legal guardian, the guardian parent must provide evidence of sole guardianship. 

 

*Please note that any extra time requested by the parents for the first consultation will be charged accordingly.

 

Click here to download Client's Details Form (Child), Psychotherapy Contract and Parental Consent Form

 

 

Short- or Long-Term Psychotherapy/Counselling

 

The terms short and long therapy vary for different types of psychotherapy. Some therapy approaches believe that all clients need long-term therapy, and some believe that no one should ever need to be in therapy a long time, but the reality is that it just depends. For instance, Indication for short-term and long-term psychotherapy depend on client's presenting problems, internal and environmental factors, support system, amongst others.  Some clients want to address various issues, whilst others  just want to make some improvement in their lives. Sometimes further issues emerge as therapy develops and the client may decide to continue in therapy. As a reference, the recommendation is between four to six sessions for adults to begin to feel some symptom alleviation (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety). For behavioural change a minimum of twelve sessions is recommended. Loss and developmental/life crisis may require less sessions than Issues of early life trauma/abuse, personality difficulties, obsessive compulsive behaviours and eating disorders. These problems usually require long-term therapy (at least one year of weekly sessions) as the client may experience difficulties in various areas of their lives. Nevertheless, clients are informed that the decision to remain in therapy is theirs. For children, the recommendation is a minimum of 6 sessions (excluding intial consultation with parents and feedback sessions) for noticeable improvement of presenting symptoms. For children undergoing acrimonious parental separation or in foster care, the number of sessions may increase.

 

End of Therapy

 

Clients are informed that therapy ends when they feel that they have achieved their therapy goals, or gained enough insight into their difficulties to make changes and propel them towards life and growth. Following noticeable positive changes for the client, the therapist gives feedback about the therapeutic process and asks the client how he/she wishes to proceed. It is always the client's decision to continue in therapy, end therapy, or end and re-engage with therapy in the future if needed.

 

Payment Method

 

Each session is paid on the day by cash, cheque (payable to Tatiana Brennan) or card. Please note that the therapist may not have change, therefore it is recommended that the client brings the correct amount for each session. Sessions that are not paid on the day, must be paid on the following session. No more than two sessions should be outstanding before therapy can continue, unless previously agreed with the therapist. In cases where the client is experiencing financial difficulties, it is suggested to discuss the issue directly with the therapist as soon as possible and an alternative method of payment may be agreed. 

For cancellation, please check Cancellation Policy in the Psychotherapy Contract.