What to Expect

Therapy is an investment of your time, money and emotional resources. It can be challenging, but the pay off is worth it. To be effective, it often requires the processing of painful emotions. Therefore, it is important that you feel that your psychologist understands your problems and personality. Most people will have a pretty good idea about this during the first three sessions. If we were to work together it is something I would be touching base with you about quite regularly as well.

Please feel free to have a look around my website which will hopefully give you more of a sense of my treatment approach. You can also send me an email or give me a call for an obligation-free chat.

Deciding if I am the right fit for you

Do I feel understood, heard and validated?

Do I feel that we are on the same page?

Does it feel like we are working together as a team?

Has there been a receptive response to feedback I’ve given?

Your First Session

I will ask you about the problems that have led to you seeking therapy. Specifically, there will be a focus on the emotional aspect of the difficulties you have been having. I will endeavour to:

  1. Make sure that we both have a shared understanding of the difficulties you have been having
  2. Explore some of the barriers that have stopped you from getting the results you have been seeking
  3. Help you find the pathway to reach the goals you are hoping to achieve.

The pace and intensity of therapy will be tailored to your individual preference and ability to tolerate and handle difficult emotions.

I usually schedule 1.5 to 2 hours for the first session. This allows me an opportunity to get to understand the types of problems you have been facing that have brought you to therapy and also gives you an opportunity to see if my approach is the right fit for you.

Dr Jamie Barnier

Subsequent Sessions

What we talk about in subsequent sessions will be driven by you. I will be working towards helping you to reach your goals, overcome the emotional difficulties you have been facing and uncovering repetitive themes that may be impeding on the progress that you would like to make.

It’s important to schedule sessions regularly in order to have the best chance of reaching your treatment goals. Where possible, I try to book people in at a regular time slot each week or fortnight so that therapy can be prioritised but so that it also has minimal interference with your other commitments.

Dr Jamie Barnier

How I Practice

My main therapeutic focus is Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). ISTDP attempts to address the root cause of a person’s difficulties. A lot of the difficulties that we face are internal (meaning they come from within us) and are often covered by hidden (or unconscious) barriers or defences that can interfere with our recovery and quality of life.

Another way of looking at it is that people often have an awareness of the things contributing to their problems (for example, drug use, excessive eating, unhealthy relationships) but simply having a knowledge about what is contributing to the problem does not help you overcome it or lead to lasting change. There are hidden barriers getting in the way. Simply put, you can’t change what you can’t see.

ISTDP seeks to make you aware, both cognitively and emotionally of these hidden barriers so that you can move forward in your life and become unstuck. ISTDP has been around since the 1960s and is widely practiced in North America and Europe. Importantly, it is an evidence-based therapy which means that it has a lot of research showing that it is effective across the full range of psychological and psychiatric presentations.

Needing more information?

For further information, about what to expect during a therapy session please feel free to have a read of a blog post I wrote on this topic.

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