What happens at the initial assessment?

For most people it is a big step to decide to see a psychologist. Even looking at the various types of therapy on offer might seem intimidating and confusing. This page explains what to expect at the first appointment and how to begin to decide what type of therapy is right for you.

The first point of contact is our practice manager, Lucie, who will help you book an appointment and sort out practical matters such as getting contact information, payment and cancellation policy. 

The first session is called the initial assessment. It will last for one and a half hours. The psychologist, Asser, will ask about why you have decided to see a psychologist and what you' re hoping to get help with. Sometimes you will be asked to complete questionnaires to assess the severity of symptoms but most initial assessments are simply a conversation about the difficulties that have made you seek help. The purpose of the session is to establish what the problem(s) is and develop ideas how to address it therapeutically. For you it is a chance to find out whether the proposals are meaningful for you and give you a sense of whether it is possible to solve your issues via psychotherapy. It is also an opportunity to decide whether you feel that you can work with the psychologist.


Committing to a series of therapy sessions is a highly personal process and no one should feel pressurised to do it. It is also an opportunity for the psychologist to decide if they think they can help with your particular issue, if not, they will try point you in the direction of someone they think might be able to. 

At the end of the session the psychologist will summarise what was talked about and how they suggest we can work with the issues together. You will also be given the opportunity to think about what was discussed and not necessarily decide there and then if you want to book another appointment. 

Asser will present ways of working with your particular problem using different modes of therapy and go through pros and cons of each method. Asser has experience with a range of different problem types and conditions. He sees clients with problems such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, personality disorders, psychological trauma, attachment and relationship issues, bereavement, addictions, childhood emotional and sexual abuse and more.

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Cirencester Psychology is the trading name of AMH Psychology Ltd.