Therapy, also known as psychotherapy or counselling, is the process of meeting with a therapist to resolve problematic behaviours, beliefs, feelings, relationship issues, and/or sensations in the body. Starting therapy can be a big step toward becoming the most empowered and healthiest version of yourself, regardless of the issues you’re facing. Through therapy, you may work on self-destructive behaviours and habits, resolve painful feelings and improve your relationships.
For more on this topic, refer to this blog article written by a Senior Therapist from our team.
Therapy can be right for anyone, regardless of who you are. It aims to improve interpersonal relationships, conquer insecurities and fears, manage stress, and develop a more effective communication style. In both the short term or long term, therapy can be beneficial whether you are seeking treatment for a specific problem or for persistent and continuous personal development and empowerment. The therapeutic process is focused on helping you develop and heal to live your fullest life.
At the onset, finding the right therapist can appear to be an overwhelming task. Some individuals might even have prior experience of therapy within an environment that was unable to meet their needs.
At Elephant, we put the client first and prioritise your needs, preferences, and goals. We ask you to completye a customised recommendation where we will recommend a therapist for you based on your needs (e.g. specific challenges you are facing, timing requests, budget etc).
We understand that some clients might feel some hesitation before committing to a full session before knowing if they have found the right therapist. For this reason, Elephant is very happy to offer a 15 minute complimentary “chemistry session” for clients to address any concerns and gauge their comfort level with the therapist before proceeding with a full session.
On the whole, you can expect that your therapist will be someone who supports you, listens attentively, models a healthy and positive relationship experience, gives you appropriate feedback and follows ethical guidelines. Good therapy should be tailored to you and your experiences and be provided by a therapist who works ethically within their own scope of competencies. Indeed on some occasions, we may believe that your challenges are not within our scope of competencies, and in such situations as our duty of care to you, we will be transparent about this and will recommend a specialist, within Elephant or beyond, who may be better placed to support you.
Each therapy session lasts for a duration of 45-50 minutes. Should there be a need for it, clients may discuss with their therapist to book extended sessions (e.g. back to back session).
There are many reasons why people seek counselling, and no matter the reason, it takes a lot of courage to take the first step for most people. After this initial step, you would need to be prepared to commit yourself to the process of counselling. For this reason, it is vital that you find a therapist in whom you can trust and work with.
Whether during the first session or at any point during your therapeutic process, if you feel the need to change your therapist, please discuss your concerns with the therapist or let our support team know about your request. Our team will work with you to find a therapist whom you may feel can better suit your needs, and we will ensure a smooth transition, whether that be to one of our other team members or to an external therapist.
Our rates differ based on the therapist or psychologist and are based on their experience level and expertise. Please see our fee page for more details and see the team’s individual biographies for their respective rates. If you have any questions about our fee structure, please contact us via email at email@example.com.
The chemistry session offered can be a time for clients to address any concerns, raise questions and understand the therapeutic process better. This can also be a time for clients to speak to their potential therapist to gauge their comfort level with beginning a therapeutic journey with them. In this session, you will outline some concerns, issues or goals you have for coming to therapy and collaborate with your therapist on a plan on how to move forwards.
The first 2-4 sessions usually involve a history-taking as your therapist needs to learn about who you are and what your presenting issues are. This is known as an assessment phase. It is important to understand that during these initial sessions, you are not “in therapy”. Rather the therapist is following a procedure of understanding what your needs are, whether they feel they can support those needs and if so, setting a plan for the future therapy. We also encourage clients to use this time to decide if your therapist is the best person to provide the services you need in order to meet your goals albeit it is worth mentioning that goals continually evolve as treatment continues.
At Elephant, we believe the therapy process is deeply personal and we strive to provide support in whatever way you would feel comfortable with. Though no two therapeutic processes will be alike, in all modes of therapy you will establish goals for your therapy and determine the steps you will take to get there. Your relationship with your therapist is a confidential one and focuses not only on the content of what you talk about, but also the process.
If your initial session is face to face, we invite you to arrive at our clinic 10 minutes before your session such that you can complete the therapist-client service agreement form and intake form.
If your initial session with your therapist is online, you will be asked to complete the therapist-client service agreement form and intake form which will be sent to you via email before your session. Upon receiving your completed forms, your therapist will reach out to you with an introductory email and secure teleconferencing link for your session.
It is not possible to precisely predict the number of sessions you may require to be in therapy before completing an assessment. Even after assessment, the number can change as the work evolves. However, once you and your therapist have agreed to proceed with therapy, your therapist will agree to schedule a number of sessions and frequency of sessions to fit your goals and needs. Typically, Elephant therapists will customarily dedicate regular weekly sessions for you, unless otherwise therapeutically indicated. This can be further discussed directly with your therapist.
While the action of speaking is similar, a very different type of conversation forms the key difference of speaking with a therapist versus a friend. In the client-therapist relationship, therapists provide a neutral, confidential, judgement-free zone for you to share your personal issues. While friends and family might wish to support you, occasionally their emotional stake in the relationship with you can disrupt the objectivity in conversation.
Psychiatrists are medically qualified doctors who have chosen to specialise in psychiatry. This means they can prescribe medication as well as recommend other forms of treatment.
Counsellors and psychotherapists do not prescribe medication but they do often play a support role for certain client who may need a psychiatrist and medication.
The terms counsellor, psychologist and psychotherapist are often used interchangeably and have many similarities, but there are some important differences as well. In general, counseling is recommended for specific issues and situations, such as addiction or grief, and takes place over weeks to several months. Psychotherapists and Psychologists, in contrast, tend to explore past issues that might be contributing to present day problems. Psychotherapy often takes place continually or intermittently over a period of years. In actual practice, however, there is a great deal of overlap between the two types of therapy.
Notwithstanding all the different titles, it is important to note that the most important consideration to make when choosing a clinician is the connection and affinity a client feels in the clinician.
During the initial history taking assessment phase (typically 2-4 sessions), no notice to end therapy is required. Once you have entered therapy, the termination of the agreement requires one month’s notice. This reflects the importance of closure, a process which benefits from being worked through effectively, and the parallels that the therapeutic relationship may have with your other relationships.