Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It is not a single pill that ‘cures all’. Therapy varies depending on the therapeutic relationship of the psychologist and patient and the particular problems that are being addressed.

Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend carrying out robust research into the effectiveness of treatments – often referred to as Evidence Based Practice. However, while research is invaluable, it cannot provide the individual answers and suggestions for treatments for everyone.

That’s why when you are considering starting a course of therapy it is advisable to discuss the possible treatments so you can make informed decisions based on the best evidence, the therapist’s experience and your own wishes and individual needs.

With this in mind Dr Hurn believes the most important part of therapy is establishing a good working relationship based on trust and the core principles of acceptance, collaboration and empathy.

Choosing a therapist

Your first session with any therapist will usually involve an assessment of your needs. This is done through a combination of questionnaires and conversation to understand the changes or goals you would like to achieve. Your therapist will, at the end of this assessment phase (usually one session) be able to offer you some first impressions of what the work will include and a treatment plan to follow if you decide to continue with therapy. You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with that particular therapist.

What to expect

Psychotherapy is not like a medical appointment. Instead, it calls for an active effort on your part. In order for therapy to be more successful you will have to work on things talked about during the sessions. It is a bit like doing homework, admittedly, but homework that has the potential to change your life – and completing it usually speeds up the whole therapy process.

Therapy involves a commitment of time, money, and energy; so think carefully about the therapist you select. If you have any questions always ask: your therapist will be happy to answer them.

Working with Dr Hurn

As with any therapist, the first session is generally an assessment during which you and he can decide if he is the best person to provide the services you need to meet your treatment goals. If you agree to work together he will usually schedule one session (55 minutes) per week at a mutually convenient time. Once an appointment time is scheduled you will be expected to attend unless 24 hours notice is given. Should adequate notice of a cancellation not be received the session will be charged in full.

Sessions are available in Central Bedfordshire. Home visits can be arranged but may be subject to additional fees.

Contact during your course of therapy

Dr Russ is often not immediately available by telephone as he will not answer his phone when he is in sessions. Phone contact can be made during weekday working hours 9-6pm only on 07973 563511. In an emergency you must contact emergency services or visit your local A&E department as telephone messages and emails to Dr Hurn cannot be perceived as seeking adequate help in a crisis situation. Emergency numbers include 999, Bedfordshire Wellbeing Team 01234 355 122, Emergency Duty Team 0300 300 8123 or Samaritans 116 123.