What is Psychotherapy?

PSYCHE means spirit, or soul and THERAPEIA means to cure.

Psychotherapy is the process by which a trained psychotherapist meets with a client or clients with the aim of helping the client to deal with one or more specific psychological, socio-psychological, or emotional, behavioural issues. Psychotherapists use a range of skills and techniques based on experimental, and experientially gained knowledges.

Using psychotherapy and in particular Systemic Therapy the therapist uses his or her ethos, skills, techniques, beliefs, and knowledges to help bring about – collaboratively- changes designed to improve the particular and ‘over all’ well-being of the client and or his relationship system or family.

Psychotherapy may be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications and modalities, including clinical-, educational- or occupational- psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, counsellors, psychiatric nurses, psychoanalysts, and psychiatrists. In the United Kingdom psychotherapy – like many other professions – is regulated by a number of accredited, monitored and checked organisations for example the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy – UKCP.

What are the benefits of psychotherapy?

The aim of psychotherapy and the desire of the client are for the psychotherapy to bring about a sense of well-being to the client and in so doing the client is more able to bring about ‘real’ well being in his or her life. Psychotherapy cannot and does not aim to rid the client of his or her objectively existing problems. What it can do is to help the client to create a state of mind and attitude that can help bring about future happiness, fulfilment and contentment, where the client can more ably live a life where they are able to experience;

  • Increased confidence and self-esteem;
  • A greater sense of self worth;
  • More intimate and satisfying relationships;
  • Feelings of empowerment;
  • Increased success in a chosen career or life style;
  • Improved physical health;
  • Less stress and anxiety;
  • Greater personal awareness and understanding;
  • greater life choices;
  • Feeling more alive and having more energy;
  • Better communication skills

Can I speak to someone before I make an appointment?

You are very welcome to call and speak to me, Julian Samiloff, before you make your first appointment. If I am unavailable when you call and you are put through to my confidential voicemail service, please leave a message giving your name, telephone number and convenient times when I can call back. When I do call back and if I am not able to speak to you directly I am always careful to protect privacy and confidentiality.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment for an initial consultation please contact me either by telephone or via email – both are strictly private and confidential.

What will happen if I do not attend a meeting?

If you are unable to attend your appointment please let me know as soon as possible. If you give me 7 days notice there is no charge for the cancellation. Where there is less than 7 days notice of cancellation or if you do not attend your appointment without prior warning you will generally incur the full fee. However, if there are extenuating circumstances please let me know and we can discuss the matter.

Is it a sign of weakness or strength to go for therapy?

On the contrary, I see the client’s decision to meet with a therapist as a characteristic of strength, resilience, and a sign of burgeoning emotional and intellectual well-being. All people – from time to time – have feelings like vulnerability, anxiety, fear or perhaps some other problem has gained a disproportionate influence over their life. Recognising these issues, and that temporary support may be needed, is a sign of emotional and intellectual strength because with support the person generally becomes substantially more able to take care of themselves and others and in time such a person becomes able to resolve difficulties with an appropriate balance of independence with the flexibility to seek and accept help and support.

What happens in the first session?

If you have never been to counselling or therapy before you may feel nervous and apprehensive. This is normal and people often find it a relief to say how they are feeling at the beginning of the session or on the telephone before hand. My sessions are collaborative and empathic. This means that I note carefully what are your needs and what you say to me. You do not need to prepare in any way before you attend and once you arrive, anything you need to know will be explained and talked over in an environment created to make you feel safe, comfortable and able to say or ask anything.

The first session is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have and for you to see whether you feel comfortable talking about your concerns. To begin with you will be asked for some biographical and background information and then invited to talk about what brings you to counselling or therapy and what are your hopes and expectations. Some people have a clear sense of why they have come and what they want whilst others might only know that they are in distress without knowing why. Both positions are quite normal and simply describe different starting points.
Towards the end of the session there will be the opportunity to discuss how the session has gone and whether further work together would be useful.

How long does each session last?

The standard counselling or psychotherapy session lasts for 50 minutes but in appropriate circumstances this may be varied

How often do I need to come?

Attendance for both psychotherapy and counselling is generally on a weekly basis and is usually a single 50 minute session. However, there may be times when it is important or necessary to come more often or less often.

Can I bring a partner, friend or family member to my session?

Who comes to the session is a matter that needs to be discussed with your therapist. It is my practice to invite the client to bring to the meeting anyone they wish to. This can be a life partner, spouse, relative, children or parents or simply a friend. Sometimes it may be necessary for the meeting to involve only the client and the therapist.

What about privacy and confidentiality?

“What is disclosed in the room stays in the room”. Confidentiality is an essential aspect of counselling and psychotherapy. It contributes greatly to the client’s sense of safety and is one of the things that make the therapeutic relationship different from any other social relationship. Counselling and psychotherapy encourages clients to be as open and honest about themselves, [and sometimes others], as is possible but this inevitably involves clients discussing personal experiences and sensitive information. Consequently it is of paramount importance that the client can feel safe in believing and trusting that what they say and disclose will remain confidential.

It is my practice to hold all records securely and I ensure the utmost confidentiality in the treatment of any information held about clients, which are in line with the Code of Ethics of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the Data Protection Act 1998. [see also ‘policies’ under further reading]

Limits to the confidentiality

All information will be kept confidential unless the client and therapist agree together that some matter or matters can be discussed with a third party. In the absence of consent of the client to third party involvement or disclosure confidentiality may have to be breached in those situations where the therapist considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the life, physical integrity and or well being of the client is at significant risk and or if another person’s life, physical integrity and or well being is at risk.

The client should also be aware that sometimes a therapist may be compelled to disclose information as a result of the operation of civil or criminal law.

In any situation where third party disclosure has happened or is about to happen therapists generally make all reasonable efforts to discuss the situation either before disclosure or as soon as is reasonable afterwards.

How will I know that I am seeing a properly qualified and accredited psychotherapist?

Registration and accreditation of a psychotherapist is essential. By registering with one or more officially recognised bodies, a psychotherapist – like all medical doctors and dentists – ensures that his or her clients can be assured that he or she has current, valid and relevant qualifications and undergoes regular training and supervision.

I am a qualified and accredited psychotherapist. I am a member of the Association of Family Therapist – AFT – a member of the United Kingdon Council of Psychotherapists – UKCP – and registered with the KCCF register of Systemic Psychotherapy Practitioners.

What if I have a mental health diagnosis?

If you have a diagnosed mental health condition and think you would like psychotherapeutic support in addition to the support you are receiving from your GP or psychiatrist or other agency you are very welcome to come for an assessment session. This will be an opportunity to discuss your needs including whether psychotherapy will be useful to you. It is often very helpful to clients when psychotherapists and psychiatrists / mental health teams work together to provide a linked-up package of care. When there is multi agency working with a client the professional hold regular ‘professionals meetings’ where they share appropriate information. In private psychotherapy, clients with a mental health diagnosis are asked for their informed consent prior to any disclosures to any third party.

When privately instructed I do not attend any such meetings nor will I discuss any information respecting my client unless my client so desires and has given me written permission

What are the limits of counselling and psychotherapy and are there any conditions that need more than psychotherapeutic support alone?

There are certain conditions that may require a more specialised form of intervention than psychotherapy or counselling can provide on its own. If this is the case the therapist will discuss with the client the nature and extent of their therapeutic meetings.


If your question, idea, or query is not to be found in the above list please feel free to contact me at your convenience.