Making the decision to seek counselling can take courage and the prospect of attending the first session may feel daunting. The following questions and answers have been put together to help you feel more comfortable with what to expect from the counselling sessions that I provide.
What will happen once I have made an inquiry?
Following your inquiry I will contact you to introduce myself and to have a brief discussion with you as to how I might be able to support you. Sometime people will go ahead and book an initial session during this first contact where as others like to take some time to think about it.
How will I know that you are the right counsellor for me?
This is something that we will not know until we meet and have our first session together. The relationship between us is the key part of the counselling process and it is important that we feel comfortable working together – when we are comfortable with someone we are able to relax, build trust, allowing openness and honesty, these are all important elements that will help us to explore your concerns.
What will happen at the first session?
The first session is an opportunity to find out more about you and the concerns you are currently facing. We may look at the areas of life you are struggling with or specific issues that you are aware of, we may look at who is in your family and friendship groups and how these help support you, or how they may not. I may also ask about any history of mental health issues, previous counselling and general information of how you are eating, sleeping and exercising. This process helps me to build a picture of you and your concerns.
What happens if I would like to go ahead with further sessions?
If you are happy to go ahead with further sessions then we will agree and sign a counselling contract, this is not as scary as it may sound and is a regular feature of starting any counselling. Simply put the contract is a document that we both sign to say that we both agree on a commitment to work together and outlines what is expected from each of us in terms of professionalism from myself and expectations of you as a client. It will also detail the time, frequency and day of our sessions.
What happens if I don’t feel comfortable working with you?
If you do not feel I am the right counsellor for you then it is absolutely fine to tell me, I will not be offended. We do not ‘gel’ with everyone in life and it is perfectly alright to say this. I am happy to point you in the direction of another counsellor(s) or suggest another agency or support group for you to consider.
How often will I need to attend counselling sessions?
Many clients attend counselling on a weekly basis and book their sessions on the same day and time each week and this often works very well for many but I appreciate that this is not always possible so am happy to discuss this.
How long will I need to come to counselling?
The number of sessions people may need will be different for each individual and I am always guided by you and your best interests. There is never an obligation to continue counselling following your first session but if you would like to I usually suggest having a block of 6 sessions initially with the chance to review how you feel your counselling is progressing at our sixth with the option to extend our sessions from here. I carry out both short and long term work and you will know what feels right for you.
What happens if I no longer wish to attend counselling?
If between sessions you decide that you no longer wish to attend counselling, whether this is because you feel happy you have received the help you needed or for any other reason then all I ask is that you contact me to let me know your decision. Sometimes especially if we have been working together for a while I will make the suggestion of having a final session. This is not to try and change your mind or convince you to continue sessions but is simply a way to formally review and end our work together which in itself can be very therapeutic especially if you are someone who avoids or find endings difficult.