Light House with Lou Hillier

Lou Hillier (BSc, MSc, C.Psychol) Psychologist

What is Psychological or Talking Therapy?

It is so much more than just talking and listening! Psychological therapy is the purposeful application of evidenced-based psychological theories and knowledge within the collaborative relationship you establish with your psychologist to achieve your agreed therapeutic goals. It is available online by video-call or voice-call, all you need is an internet connection and an email address.

Confidentiality

All information shared is not passed on to any other party and remains entirely confidential. There are two exceptions to this: 1) When either you or another is at risk of harm, then limited information may need to be shared with relevant other professionals to ensure safety.  2) When information has been shared indicating a criminal offence may have been committed or is planned to be committed, relevant authorities may need to be informed.

What conditions or problems can be treated?

I can treat most emotional and/or psychological disturbance, however mild or severe, with the exception of active self-harm/suicidal behaviour and active psychotic symptoms. If you are not sure what help you need, why not send me a private message or email peacebuddhas@gmail.com and I will help you figure out what you need. 

List of issues that can be treated:

~ addictions ~ adhd ~ adjustment disorders ~ agoraphobia ~ anorexia ~ anxiety ~ attachment disorders ~ bereavement ~ bipolar disorder ~ body dysmorphia ~ bulimia chronic pain ~ depression ~ dissociative disorder ~ eating disorders ~ fear ~ gender identity ~ generalised anxiety ~ health anxiety ~ identity issues ~ impulse control ~ intimacy ~ loss ~ low mood ~ low self-esteem ~ obsessive-compulsive disorder ~ panic ~ paraphilias ~ personality disorders ~ phobias ~ post-traumatic stress ~ overeating ~ relationship problems ~ relaxation ~ sexual identity ~ sleep ~ social phobia ~ specific phobias ~ stress ~

How can Psychological Therapy help me?

Whatever your circumstances, psychological therapy can help you build confidence and self-esteem, develop more successful relationships, reduce unhelpful and repetitive behaviours and increase your overall well-being. It can help you to realise ambitions, to face challenges and difficult situations with renewed self-belief and enthusiasm, and consequently gain more pleasure from life and from your relationships.

How does Psychological Therapy work?

First of all, an honest, collaborative and trusting relationship with your psychologist is essential. Your psychologist will be non-judgemental and provide you with unconditional positive regard and empathy so that the relationship becomes therapeutic and healing all by itself. Once a therapeutic relationship is established, your psychologist will work with you to identify your goals for your treatment. With these goals in mind, you will be helped to gain insight, awareness and understanding of your past and current personal situation and any repeating patterns. This includes how you relate to others, yourself and the world and how you conceptualise the future. The resulting personal growth can facilitate a greater sense of meaning, happiness, empowerment and control in your life. It is a psychoactive process that develops over time as you apply your learning to your life outside therapy.

What is Online Psychological Therapy?

Online therapy uses video-calling apps, such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime and Viber, and works in the same way as psychological therapy that is provided in-person. It is ideal for people who can’t easily get to a therapist’s clinic or who don’t have much spare time for travel or for those who prefer to talk about deeply personal issues from the comfort and security of their own home. It is also the preferred option for many people as a result of Covid-19. Otherwise, online therapy works in much the same way as it does in-person.

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that focuses on the here-and-now and it specifically targets relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety and related conditions. It does this by helping you identifying and then change your unhelpful thoughts and behaviours to more helpful ones. Sessions tend to be highly structured with the therapist teaching you the practical techniques, skills and strategies you need to help you reach your treatment goals. There is an emphasis on collaboration between you and your psychologist but you learn to think about your difficulties and the solutions to them in the prespecified CBT way.

What is Person-Centred Counselling?

Person-centred counselling is the classic form of talking therapy developed by the great Carl Rogers. Whilst similar to other forms of talking therapy in providing you with a therapeutic relationship characterised by non-judgement, empathy and unconditional positive regard, person-centred counselling differs significantly in that it aims to be as non-directive as possible. This means that the dialogue goes where you want it to go and your psychologist may make observations and offer reflections on the material you bring but the content of sessions is entirely up to you. It provides a space for you to explore and share your thoughts and feelings in-depth and at length with another, your psychologist, who is not ‘the expert’ but rather a companion walking alongside you on your journey of self-discovery.

What is Relational Psychotherapy?

Relational psychotherapy explores the current relationship dynamics and patterns in your life to establish how you relate to other people and to yourself. These patterns will often manifest in your relationship with you psychologist who will share observations to help you understand yourself in relationship to others more fully. It will track back to your early life experiences to explore how your childhood attachment figures related to you and what you ‘internalised’ that this meant about you. These early patterns are important because they will provide insight into how your current difficulties in relationships have arisen. Your psychologist will help you understand the reciprocal nature of relationships and what things you do that are maintaining unwanted patterns and what you can do to make changes and develop more helpful and rewarding relationships with others and with yourself.

What is Integrative Humanistic Psychotherapy?

Integrative Humanistic psychotherapy draws on a number of different therapeutic theories and styles, for example: Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Existential, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural, Person-Centred, Mindfulness, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy and Art Therapy. Your psychologist will work with you in a semi-directive way, you’ll still be in-charge of content but will be asked to experiment with new ways of looking at things and new ways of expressing yourself in order to gain greater insight into yourself, your relationships and your history.

What type of treatment will be best for me?

This depends on what the main difficulties are that you want to work on and what you want to achieve. Sometimes, when people read the descriptions of the different types of therapy they will have a strong feeling that they would like one type over others. But if you are not sure, your psychologist will help you make this decision. It is also common for people to start off with one type of therapy and then agree with their psychologist to bring that part of treatment to a close and try another style. The key point to remember is that your psychologist will be flexible and the aim will always be to meet your needs, so as they change, your treatment will be adapted accordingly.

How many sessions will I need?

This depends on your reasons for seeking therapy and what you want to achieve. An initial assessment is made in the first contact and during subsequent sessions you and your psychologist will plan how best to meet your goals and needs. For some, six to twelve sessions are enough, others may want more. Or you can book one-off sessions as and when you need them. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, or how you can benefit from therapy, the initial contact will help you move towards answering these questions.

How often will I need sessions?

The standard frequency is once a week each week during treatment. Flexibility is possible to meet your specific needs, for example, having two session a week or one every other week. You can also change the frequency at any time during treatment. It is helpful to discuss frequency  in the initial assessment.

How long do sessions last?

Sessions are either Full (45 minutes) or Half (25 minutes). You can mix and match to suit your needs.

How do I pay and what is the cost?

Free initial telephone consultation and please do not hesitate to ask about concessions, which are available for frontline key workers, low income, benefit/pension recipients, students, trainees.

In-person £60 for a full session (45 minutes).
Online/telephone £52 for a full session (45 minutes).
Online/telephone £27 for a half session (25 minutes).

Payment is required to reserve you session and is made through PayPal as this has payer and payee protection and is fully secure. If you do not have a PayPal account they are very easy to set up.  Alternatively, other online secure payment methods, such as direct bank transfers, can also be used. 

What if I have to cancel a session?

I encourage clients to prioritise their therapy and have a cancellation policy to support this. There is no charge for a ‘planned cancellation’, which is when you provide notice of at least 1 week and the fee paid is carried over to your next appointment. If you provide notice of less than 1 week but more than 2 working days, this is an ‘unplanned cancellation’ and half the fee is retained and half goes towards your next session. If you give less than 2 working days notice the whole fee is retained.

Will I get ‘worse’ before I get ‘better’?

Not necessarily, although it is not unusual for people to experience some turmoil and emotional ups-and-downs during times of personal learning and change that is an expected result of engaging in psychological therapy. Your psychologist will support and help you deal with all your experiences and prepare you adequately to deal with the end of therapy and beyond.

What if I’m not satisfied with the service?

All British Chartered Psychologists are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and work to the strict codes of professional and ethical conduct of both these organisations. In the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with the service, there are complaints procedures you can follow through the BPS and HCPC.

I have another question that is not here?

Send me an email to ‘peacebuddhas@gmail.com’ with your specific question and I will answer as soon as I possibly can.