Frequently Asked Questions

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional and behavioural problems by psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, changes in behaviour leading to improved social and vocational functioning, and personality growth. A psychotherapist helps people understand their problems from a new perspective by offering an objective point of view and new ways of thinking about and responding to problems. Going through the therapy process changes people’s feelings about themselves and their situations, and they become happier, more self-confident, and more effective in dealing with life’s stresses.

What are your fees?

Please see the Fees webpage for further details.

Where do you practice from?

I practice from an office in Manchester City Centre (M1 2AP) near Piccadilly Gardens and the Northern Quarter.

How do we get started?

If you have further questions, or you simply want to go ahead and book an appointment, do please contact me by phone, email or book your initial consultation session online via this website.

I recommend that you first book an initial consultation/assessment session. This allows us to discuss your current difficulties, and to ensure you feel comfortable with me.

If at the end of this initial session, we are both happy to proceed, we can arrange further sessions, or you can take time to think about things further. You are under no obligation to continue.

What conditions can you work with?

Nearly everyone can benefit in some way from psychotherapy, CBT, EMDR, DBT Skills, Counselling, NLP, or coaching. Whether you want to change long-term chronic problems, relationship issues, deal with anxiety, build self-esteem and confidence, work through PTSD and trauma, rid yourself of a phobia or some other emotional or behavioural problem, or improve a skill you already have.

Click Here for examples of conditions

How long is each session?

Sessions last for 1 hour. I offer a full hour rather than a ‘therapy hour’ which is actually just 50 minutes. Additional time outside the hour is given to allow you to settle in, make payment and re-book.

If you would prefer longer sessions then please enquire before booking, as it may not be the most appropriate choice for certain issues.

How often will I need to attend?

Initially, I like to see people at least once a week. This enables us to build a solid working relationship, and give the therapy or coaching some momentum. After the first few sessions, it may be possible to reduce the frequency of the meetings.

Do I have to have a gap between sessions?

Whilst the mind can change very quickly, it’s often the processing and integration of that change into the rest of our lives that may take some time. Hence the value of having a gap between sessions. The size of the gap largely depends on what you worked on during the session and how many sessions you’ve already had. The therapist will make appropriate recommendations.  A one week gap between sessions is standard.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you do not give at least 1 working days notice of cancellation or rescheduling, or if you do not attend your appointment, you will obviously be charged as if you have attended the session.

You can easily notify me by email or by phone if you need to reschedule. I’d prefer cancellations to be done face-to-face so that the treatment ends properly, but if that is not possible then a quick email or phone call is okay.

Why do you charge a cancellation fee?

There are certain tasks I must carry out before, during and after each session. As well as financial overheads that must be paid whether you attend your appointment or not. The time slot also becomes unavailable for someone else who would have attended. If I am setting aside my time to see you, and taking the time to prepare for you, it seems only fair that you should expect to pay me for my wasted time and effort, whatever the reason for your cancellation.

How many sessions will I need?

As everyone is unique, this is not something we can accurately predict at the outset, but I will attempt to give you estimates based on my experience of working with people with similar issues. I am trained to offer both short and long-term psychotherapy.   For short-term psychotherapy, I mostly see people for 2 to 4 months of weekly sessions. I also offer longer-term psychotherapy and counselling which is more suited to chronic, life-long, or complex issues which may require many months to a year or more of therapy.

As a very rough guide:

A very simple and specific issue: 6-8 sessions of Short-term therapy
Single specific issue: 8-12 sessions of Short-term therapy
Complex or interlinked issues: 8-20 sessions of Short-term therapy
Many interlinked complex, chronic or life-long issues: 6 months to a year or more of mid to long-term psychotherapy/counselling is recommended.

Essentially, we will work for as long as is necessary for you to resolve the issues you came with. We will review the estimates regularly to check that you are receiving the therapy that is right for you. Of course, you are free to end at any stage but do discuss this with your therapist.

What happens when I want to finish my therapy?

When you wish to end your therapy, it is important that you tell me beforehand and give me some notice. Please don’t just stop coming.

I usually suggest that we end our work face-to-face in a session, rather than over the phone/E-mail etc. This closes our work cleanly rather than leaving any loose ends and gives you a chance to face any difficulties surfacing at this stage.

We will negotiate an ending period, which, depending on the length of time you have been attending and your requirements, may be anything from 1 to 4 sessions.

For short-term therapy, I would prefer a minimum of 1 to 2 weeks of notice of termination of therapy.

For mid to longer-term therapy I required 4 weeks notice.

Can you guarantee me a cure?

Nothing in life is guaranteed, and it is not considered professional to offer one. It is important to realise that psychological therapy is not a magic wand which ‘zaps’ the problems away, it is instead a collaborative relationship where we both work together to help you change. Therefore the more involved and committed to the treatment you are, the better the results will usually be for you. There are also many factors in your life which are outside of my awareness which can affect your progress.

Why would I need a therapist? Can’t a good friend help me? Why would I need to see someone like you?

Several reasons. First, your friend is not trained to deal impartially with such problems. Any hurt or upset or problem you have may also affect your friend, who being close to you, would not have the detachment necessary to help you to deal with the emotional content of the problem professionally. Also a psychotherapist understands the functioning of the mind, and in particular how to effect change at deeper psychological levels.

How can I be sure that you are the right therapist for me?

I offer an Initial Consultation/Assessment session which lasts up to 60 minutes. This gives us the chance to meet face to face and discuss your problems more fully and gives you the chance to think things over, if you wish, before finally making up your mind. It is absolutely essential that you feel comfortable with your therapist. A good therapist will respect all this.

The Initial Consultation/Assessment session also gives me the chance to determine whether I am the best person to help you. It is after all my job to help you to feel better, not worse. If I don’t believe that I can help you, I will not waste your time, and may refer you on to someone with different skills or experience.

Are you supervised for the work you do?

Yes, I am required by my governing bodies, the UKCP and BACP, to attend at least 2 hours of one-to-one supervision per month with a fully qualified supervisor. During clinical supervision sessions, cases and other professional issues are discussed (anonymously) in a structured way. The purpose is to protect my clients, ensure good service, and assist in my own professional development.

Are you DBS Checked?

Yes, I have an up-to-date enhanced DBS certificate.

What are your qualifications, and what training have you had?

Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy
Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy
Certificate in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
Attachment-Focused EMDR for Healing Relational Trauma and Adults Abused in Childhood
Dr Laurel Parnell’s Master Class in Attachment­-Focused EMDR
DBT Skills with Marsha Linehan (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with Pat Ogden, Ph.D.: Body Oriented Therapy Techniques for Trauma and Attachment
Borderline Personality Disorder and Traumatic Attachment: Trauma-Informed BPD Treatment Techniques for Dysregulated Emotional and Autonomic States
Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing, Step by Step Master the body-orientated approach to trauma and stress disorders
Working with Relational Trauma: Dealing with Disorganised Attachment
Personality Disorders Certification Training: Advanced Diagnosis, Treatment & Management
Treating Personality Disorders: Advances from Brain Science and Traumatology
Dr Frank Corrigan’s Master Class in Deep Brain Reorientating (DBR)
Dissociation and DID: The Fundamentals, PODS
Child Sexual Abuse: Hope For Healing, PODS
Shame and Self-Loathing in the Treatment of Trauma, Janina Fisher
Intensive Trauma Treatment Course with Bessel van der Kolk
Working with Adults Survivors of Childhood Trauma
EMDR Certificate
Certificate in Supervision
Working with Complex Trauma on the First Stage of Trauma Recovery
Working with Complex Trauma on the Second Stage of Trauma Recovery
Skills for Health UK – Mandatory H&S Training
Initial Assessment Training
Safeguarding Training
Certificate in Psychopathology in Psychotherapeutic Practice
Certificate in Human Development
Certificate in Sleep Disorders and Insomnia
Certificate in Ethical Practice
Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Intermediate Certificate in Contemporary Psychotherapy
Licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Diploma in Advanced Hypnotherapy and Hypnohealing
NLP Coaching Diploma
Diploma in the Art and Science of NLP Coaching
Diploma in Hypnotherapy
Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Certificate in Stress Management Techniques
Certificate in Hypnoesitherapy (Pain Control)
Accredited Supervisor Certificate
Natural Awareness Practitioner Certificate
My professional memberships:

A Full Registered and Accredited Member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP Reg.)
A registered member of the BACP (MBACP)
Accredited and registered member of the Community for Contemporary Psychotherapy (AccMCCP)
Accredited Master Practitioner Member of the Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ANLP, AMPM)
An Approved Therapist Member of Anxiety UK

Member of the Society of NLP ukcp_logo_registered_psychotherapist Member of the Hypnotherapy Association

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

I Believe Strongly in continuing professional development, which keeps my skills fresh and at the cutting edge. I am required by my governing body (UKCP) to do a minimum of 20 hours CPD each year, though I usually do considerably more.

So when can I come and see you?

I work full-time in private practice and am therefore available to see clients Monday to Friday, both during the daytime and most evenings. You may contact me by email Click here to email or phone me at the number below for more details.

I currently practice from a consulting room in my home, which is on a quiet residential street in Chorlton, and also at a local complementary health clinic on certain days of the week.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, an appointment is always required.  Please do not turn up without an appointment as you will not be seen and are also likely to disturb other peoples sessions.

If you feel you need to speak with someone very urgently please read the Emergency Help? question below.

How do I book an appointment?

You may book online, contact me by email Click here to email or phone me on 07463 542368 to arrange an appointment.

Can I book an appointment for someone else?

Only make enquiries or book appointments on behalf of someone else if you have discussed it with them first and you have their permissions to do so, or you are their legal guardian. In most cases, I prefer that people make their own enquiries, and book their own treatment as this shows that they are interested in and committed to their own therapy.

If you are an employer or health professional wanting to refer a staff member or client to me for counselling or coaching then please call or email me to discuss.  Again you will need their consent.

What can I expect at my initial appointment?

At your initial session, I will spend time talking with you about your symptoms, the history of the problem, any relevant medical history, and your desired outcomes. This is necessary to ensure a full understanding of your condition, and may involve some questions of a personal nature. Please be assured that all information is strictly confidential, and will be used to properly assess which approach will be best suited to your needs.

How many sessions will I require?

A very difficult question to answer without getting a lot of information from you first. As a general guide, very specific issues can often be worked through with between 8 to 12 sessions, for more deep-rooted, life-long or complex problems which may require mid to long-term psychotherapy or counselling, a number of months to a year or more of weekly sessions will be more likely.

What payment methods do you accept?

  • Cash
  • Debit or Credit Card I
  • Private Medical Insurance.
  • Direct bank transfer.
  • Online Payment – Pay using your Debit Card, Credit Card or PayPal account.
  • If you decide to pay online, please pay before you attend the session. I will then receive email notification of the payment.
  • I do not accept cheques.

Code of Ethics and Practice

I am covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance and am bound by a strict Code of Ethics and Practice, set out by my governing bodies, the Community for Contemporary Psychotherapists, and the UK Council for Psychotherapist (UKCP).

Can I get a refund?

No refund is payable for the sessions you have attended whatever the circumstances. If you pay in advance for the treatment then unused sessions will be refunded as soon as you let me know that you don’t need to continue. You are paying for my time, skills, knowledge, experience and training. I cannot offer guarantees and it is unprofessional to do so, as there are many factors in your life which are outside of my awareness and influence which can affect the results.

Do you offer emergency psychological help?

No. As a sole psychotherapist in private practice, I do not have the resources to offer 24/7 emergency psychological support or advice.

If your enquiry is very urgent, see the Emergency Help section below.

Emergency help?  What do I do if I’m feeling suicidal or intensely distressed?

If your life is in immediate danger: call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E.  Or ask someone to help you.

If you feel very low, desperate or you want to die: contact a relevant helpline for support or talk to someone you trust (Click here for a list of helplines and NHS suicide advice).

You can also call your GP (or 111 for out of hours support).  They will help you find the support you need.

Do you offer telephone or email support to current clients?

Yes. If you are an existing client and you need non-emergency support or advice about your case, you may call during office hours or email me.  If your enquiry is very urgent, see the above Emergency Help question.

Definition of Contemporary Psychotherapy

Contemporary Psychotherapy is an integrative outcome orientated model that combines and utilises the commonalities of the main contrasting and effective models of psychotherapy. A contemporary psychotherapist regards no single model of psychotherapy as complete or superior to other models, and is therefore open to the integration of elements of other models into their practice. (Gawler-Wright, 2012)

A contemporary Psychotherapist is trained in Systemic Neuro-Linguistics and has the practical skills of cognitive, linguistic and behavioural modelling, enabling them to be adaptable to the unique experience and functioning patterns of each client, constantly evolving their model of the clients world according to the clients progress and communication. These advanced modelling skills also allow a practitioner to observe and absorb from the most successful approaches to psychotherapeutic treatment, resulting in a psychotherapy that is flexible and constantly evolving. (Gawler-Wright, 2012).

Contemporary Psychotherapy has an eclectic background, and draws many of its principle ideas from Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Systemic Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Ericksonian Hypno-Psychotherapy, Self-Relations Psychotherapy, person centred, psychodynamic, mindfulness and recent developments in Neuroscience.

Gawler-Wright describes it as “Contemporary Psychotherapy is a child of Gestalt therapy, Hypnotherapy and Family Systems therapy and a sibling of CBT” (Gawler-Wright, 2006).

Contemporary Psychotherapy has the following defining features (Gawler-Wright, 2012):

  1. it is aware of and responds to current advances in its own and other fields of knowledge;
  2. it is sensitive to current sociological, cultural and political issues;
  3. it works with the full life trajectory – past, present and future – of the client;
  4. it responds flexibly to different stages and cycles in the client’s progress;
  5. it utilises the naturally occurring cycles and altered states of the human system;
  6. it recognises the differing time requirements and time constraints affecting the treatment of each client.

Therapy Services

Integrative Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Trauma-Informed Therapy
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
AF-EMDR (Attachment-Focused EMDR)
Somatic Therapy
Clinical Supervision
DBT Skills
Life Coaching
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Ericksonian Hypno-psychotherapy
Online Therapy via Zoom / Skype
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Open Public Workshops
Corporate Workshops and Training
Closed Group Ecotherapy Workshops
Ecotherapy / Nature-based Therapy
Outdoor Nature-therapy Retreats

Contact Details

Nigel Magowan
UKCP Registered and Accredited Psychotherapist
Registered Member of the BACP
EMDR Therapist
UKCP Approved Clinical Supervisor
Accredited Therapist Member of Anxiety UK

New address:

Nigel Magowan t/as
Inner Changes Psychotherapy
Piccadilly House
49 Piccadilly
M1 2AP
Website: www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk
Email: enquiries@manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk
Phone: 07463 542368 (Manchester City Centre)

Opening hours:
11am – 7:30pm, Monday – Friday

Payment accepted by debit/credit card, direct bank transfer, PayPal, cash or medical health insurance.

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