Session Guidelines

For a therapeutic journey to be meaningful, a safe environment is essential that allows expression and provides room for inner growth. These guidelines aspire to create a safe therapeutic climate and also help you understand my approach towards therapy and inner work.

Sessions

The best way to contact me for scheduling requests or changes is email or professional mobile number (10:00 to 18:00 IST) given on my individual profile.

I will return your call or reply by email within 24-hours, with the exception of weekends, holidays and vacations.

First Session: The first session, usually 90-minutes involves a detailed discussion of your needs and sharing of your current life context. I will also respond to any queries you may have about my therapeutic approach.

Ongoing Sessions: Once we agree to continue therapy, I will schedule 50-minute sessions at mutually agreed upon times. In certain circumstances, I will engage in a 90-minute session (especially in relationship work).

Frequency: The frequency of therapy varies and depends on the nature of problems and individual needs. It is unusual for therapy to last for less than six sessions. Many clients see therapy as self-work and continue it for a lifetime.

Home assignments: As part of therapy, I encourage self-work in between the sessions. This varies for different clients and helps realise and assimilate the session learnings. Over a period of time, this empowers individuals and helps establish their relationship with their inner self.

Connecting outside of sessions: I do not encourage connecting outside of sessions except in regard to scheduling. Clarifications and questions about your sessions, if any, will be taken up in the next session. Personal email / phone chat is not my way of therapy.

Focus: The focus of therapy is on you and the issues you encounter. However, examples from the lives of others and/or therapist’s experiences may be shared to build an understanding. It is advisable to not take this as a method of learning and ask intrusive questions about the therapist’s personal life.

 

Respecting Time

 

I encourage timeliness as you will be investing this for your growth in therapy. Respecting your time and mine helps build a healthy relationship which serves as a safe space for the therapeutic journey.

For late arrival to an appointment without intimation, the session closes at the pre-defined time. Of course, if the calendar has space for extending the time, exceptions can be made for a particular session. Full session fees are chargeable.

Emergencies

 

If you are unable to reach me and feel that you cannot wait for me to return your call, contact your family physician or the nearest emergency room and ask for the clinician or psychologist on call.

I value and honour the trust you place on me to support you. However, emergency care has special requirements and I am not an emergency care responder. In case of an emergency, please take care of your health and safety. Please attend emergency outpatient of the nearest hospital or contact an emergency care provider.

Making the right interventions

Non substitution of physician: Physical and psychological symptoms may interact. My work supports the healing process through unfolding of the psychological symptom and is not intended to substitute medication. If warranted, I encourage medical consultation and request my clients to share the prognosis and line of treatment with me.

Self-harm and suicidal tendency: There are times where one feels like indulging/or has indulged in self-harm and/or committing suicide. You will share this with me immediately / at the earliest.

Confidentiality

I follow the confidentiality clause and all the exclusions to the confidentiality are mentioned in the agreement (detailed in the psychotherapy agreement signed before initiating the sessions).

You are free to share about your therapy and your experience with others. We however appreciate that you consider the therapist’s privacy before sharing any information (that is not in the public domain) especially on any public forum, including print, radio, television, social media, internet/online forums etc.

 

Social Exchange and Gifts

 

My engagement with you will honour our therapist-client relationship. Accordingly, I do not accept invites, nor do I invite clients for social engagements and/or any interaction beyond therapy hours. Beyond customary social greetings, I may not engage with you should we encounter each other in a social setting. Likewise, to respect the nature of our therapeutic relationship, we may not exchange gifts.

 

Discontinuing Therapy

Therapy can be discontinued by either party, as detailed below:

Client: You have the right to end therapy at any time. If you decide to discontinue therapy, you can inform me within a session, so that an appropriate date can be decided, and both of us can work towards the conclusion.

I do not encourage discontinuing therapy by phone or email as ending a therapeutic relationship is a process that calls upon therapeutic skills and observations to suggest if discontinuing is the right approach and to complete the relationship appropriately, as the case may be.

This is in your own interest: frequently, during therapy, underlying unconscious difficult material may surface and this may stop you from discussing it due to heavy emotional arousal. Sometimes, you may also be convinced that you can’t afford therapy, or that you don’t have the time, or that therapy is not working, or that nothing is happening, when, actually a breakthrough is about to happen. Therefore, it is important to seek guidance with the help of the therapist when confronted with these doubts, rather than leave just when life can begin to have new meaning.

Therapist: When I feel that you may benefit from another therapist, I will help you with a referral. If an issue is outside my current levels of competence, I shall discuss this with you and help you find another therapist.

Disclosures: One of the important aspects of therapy is honest disclosure. This promotes personal health and safety, which is crucial to a therapeutic journey. Accordingly, in my first session I request my clients to disclose the following:

  1. That you are a legal adult in the country of your residency.

  2. If you have been suicidal and inflicted self-harm OR have had thoughts about it OR presently think about it.

  3. If you have ever been incarcerated for a felony or convicted for an offence and the nature of that offence. Alternately, if you are currently on probation, remand or any injunction from competent legal authority. You will also disclose any criminal (non-civil) proceedings you are involved in, in a court of law.

  4. Any psychiatric evaluation you may have undertaken or been asked to undergo by order; and its findings.

  5. Psychiatric, psychological, psychotherapeutic or psychoanalytic work you may be undertaking in parallel or have undertaken in the past 2 years. This also includes intense self-work like retreats or rehabilitation centres.

  6. Medical emergencies you have had, if any, in the past 2 years.

  7. Diagnosed medical conditions and medications you are taking currently (prescribed or self-administered) for any physical or psychiatric condition.

  8. Two emergency contacts (names, numbers, email-ID, relationship).

 

I hope that the above guideline has given you an understanding of my therapeutic approach.

About Pathways to Self

Pathways to Self is a dream born from two individuals who have charted their own path through self-work. We offer individual therapy and organisational consulting, grounded in psycho-somatic-spiritual approaches.

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Care by Kshitij S