How Therapy Works

It is singularly vital to us that you and your counselor are on the same page when it comes to the whats, hows and whys of therapy. Please read through the following carefully and write to us if you have questions.  

Informed Consent

Psychotherapy or Talk therapy is a confidential process of engaging in conversations with a trained professional about significant and personal experiences. Here at ASTEP Chennai, we are most effective in helping you when our therapeutic relationship is strong. Its strength, we believe, is founded on: a) your trust in our competency, b) a shared understanding of your concerns and goals and, c) our ability to utilize your feedback to inform the process. 


  1. Central to effective counseling / therapy is confidentiality. We will keep it confidential that you are a client with ASTEP, along with any information regarding your therapy process. 
  2. Exceptions to this would be in the interest of ensuring safety and support to client. When minors/children and young adults experience potentially dangerous self harm, we will include significant adult family member (s) in appropriately sensitive ways while focusing our entire effort in developing a safety plan with the client.
  3. Exceptions may include third-party interest (such as a child client’s school). It will be with client’s (or a child’s caregiver’s) consent that we will share details of our work with the interested party.
  4. It is the right of the client that all details pertaining to our services remain confidential even from close and dear family and friends. While we understand it is out of genuine care and concern that such a request be made, we would disclose information only with our client's permission. 

Therapeutic Gain

  • While many clients experience relief, personal growth, better relationships and so on through therapy work, not everyone benefits from counselling. We will ensure a consistent evaluative dialogue throughout our engagement to determine if and how this has been helpful. Within our means, we will also help you transition to other treatment alternatives that may be a better fit for you.

Therapeutic Discomfort

  • Even while a client experiences therapeutic gains over time, the process of examining and delving into a difficult past or intensely negative parts of their life may trigger greater distress. We actively focus on self-care and a sensitive pacing of our work that is most appropriate to ensure effective working through these dialogues. 

Emergency and Crisis

  • In Chennai, please contact the organisation Sneha's 24 hour Suicide helpline for third-party support:  +91-44-24640050. 
  • ASTEP counselors will not be able to attend to emergency calls and urgent care related requests. The nature of crisis work is significantly different from therapeutic work, although they have aspects that are common. 
  • Your therapist may be able to give you an appointment at a short notice when you’re going through a particularly rough time. We will immediately work on setting up a support system that a client can rely on during crises since we are highly limited in how much we can provide such services for all our clients. 

Client FAQs

How does counselling/therapy begin?

We see all clients in person, by phone or video calls, by appointment only. The first session is scheduled according to the client's needs and the availability of a counsellor. 

What does your service not include?

We do not conduct any standardised assessments (such as IQ testing) that clinical psychologists do, or, provide reports for the same. 

How long is a session? How frequently do we meet?

One session is typically an hour long. The sessions are held at a frequency best suited to client needs. The frequency can change with time and is discussed during sessions while evaluating the process. Most often, it is once a week.  

How long will the process last?

Sometimes, clients come for a few sessions but in some situations it may be more helpful to meet for longer. While a client can end the process at any point of time and return at a later date when required,  it may be more beneficial to the client to terminate sessions collaboratively with the counsellor, understand what has worked, what hasn't and how to plan for whatever the client's immediate future needs may be.

Is there a choice of therapist?

The availability of a counsellor for the earliest session at the client's requested time is the primary determinant in this allotment. Needless to say, you will continue to work with the same counselor throughout our service period. 

We work as a consulting team since we're stronger than any one of us as individual practitioners. There are exceptions to team consultations (one being when there's a conflict of interest for a given client such as a counselor's friend or family).