My name is Elisabeth Auer and I am a UKCP accredited psychotherapist in Twickenham, London Borough of Richmond.
My therapy room is based in an office block close to Twickenham Green and is easily accessible by public transports, bike or car. For people who are not able to come in person I provide online sessions via Zoom.
Frequency of Therapy Sessions and Duration of Therapy
I recommend a regular weekly session time for the first phase of therapy. Some people reduce to fortnightly or less frequent sessions once a secure and stable therapeutic relationship is established. The sessions last around 50 minutes and provide space to talk about everything that has affected or puzzled the client - this may be real-life events, relationship or parenting issues, but also thought patterns, feelings, memories, or the content of dreams.
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is not a "quick fix". Some people come for several months, others for years. Opening up to a stranger who helps exploring deeply engrained patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving is a very intimate process and needs time, consistency and commitment. If you are looking for time-limited therapy and techniques and strategies how to work with specific issues/thoughts/behaviours I would recommend a well-qualified CBT therapist.
What is "Psychoanalytic" Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy with a psychoanalytic orientation focuses on mental processes which are buried in the unconscious. By working with dreams, speech and language, and bodily expressions, and by utilising the therapeutic relationship to explore relational patterns and behaviour, we try to bring unconscious processes into awareness.
The Importance of the First Session and the Meaning of the "Therapeutic Relationship"
The first therapy session is an opportunity for a potential client to get to know their therapist and ask questions. Not all therapists adopt the same professional stance as to how a therapist should behave during sessions. Some more traditional therapists adopt the position of a "blank canvas" onto which the client can project their phantasies, thoughts and feelings. They reveal very little about their personal and private circumstances. Others, who work more relationally, may use their personal life experiences to enhance and enrich the therapeutic process.
Either way, for the success of a therapeutic process it is important that you feel comfortable with the way your therapist works. If you feel that your therapist or the approach they adopt is not "your cup of tea", then you may want to look further.
Why is it sometimes difficult to explore or talk about certain issues?
Even if a strong and trusting relationship is established, certain defence mechanisms make an exploration of a person's inner world difficult. Defence mechanisms protect people from experiencing painful feelings and from becoming overwhelmed.
These defences need to be understood before we can embark on a process of change.
To change internalized ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving we need to try something new. This may feel risky at the beginning and can take some courage. But the more often we practice new models, the easier it will get.
Who is suitable for analytic psychotherapy?
I am an adult psychoanalytic psychotherapist and work with people from 18 years onwards. For younger people I can recommend local practitioners.
You need to be able to commit to regular sessions. It is also important that you have developed some curiosity and interest in exploring your internal world and internalized models.
I am generally open to working with people suffering from a wide range of psychological issues. However, I recommend that severely drug- or alcohol-addicted people see an addiction counsellor prior to committing to analytic psychotherapy. Unfortunately, I also do not have any medical/psychiatric training.
I enjoy working with people from diverse cultural background and gender and sexual diversity clients.
If you have any more questions or would like to arrange a first session, please get in touch.