Contacting a counsellor for the first time may feel like a huge step. You may be feeling embarrassed or scared about talking to a complete stranger about very personal things. This is totally understandable and I will do my best to put you at ease and can only reassure you that you are in a confidential and safe space to talk about anything.
What happens during the initial session?
It is very important to find the 'right fit' in terms of counsellor in order to feel it is ok to be vulnerable and to feel accepted for who you are.
The first session gives you the opportunity to meet me and ask any questions you may have before deciding if you want to continue with me as your counsellor. It also gives me a chance to find out more about you and what issues you are bringing as well as giving me an idea of your goals and expectations.
How often do I need to attend?
Sessions are weekly. This is because what underpins any therapeutic work is the client/counsellor relationship. If the first sessions are spaced too far apart it can be difficult to build a relationship and to forge a bond. Blocks of weekly sessions can really create positive change and much quicker because of this.
How many sessions might I need? How long will it take?
Some people come for 3 or 4 sessions, others for a year or more. I tend to re-assess with clients every 4-6 session or so.
My aim is not to keep you in therapy for as long as possible, but to enable you to leave feeling stronger and able to cope with life as soon as you feel ready. You will probably know when you are ready to bring our sessions to an end.
What IS therapy?
This can mean different things to different people. Sometimes it's about laying out your story to someone who is paying close attention and being heard. For some clients it's about understanding what is causing their unhappiness or pain; for others it's about finding out what the pain is telling them and taking action because of this. It can be a place to have 50 minutes a week to talk about your anger, frustrations, worries and fears in life; to let off steam in order to be able to bare your daily life.
It can feel messy. You might talk about one subject and end up somewhere completely different - and that is fine. You might come out feeling worse initially then when you came in. This is part of the process as you might be talking about feelings you have pushed down for years. Talking can be the start of a healing process and a way of moving forward to a happier and more fulfilling life.