You don't need to do anything to prepare for your first session. Just come as you are and I will take you as I find you. It is natural to feel apprehensive before your first session, I remember my first therapy session! You will be very welcome.
Your first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other. It will last up to 60 minutes. You can tell me about what it is that brought you to counselling and we will discuss how counselling may help you. There is no right or wrong way to 'do' it. Everyone has different needs, and the first session will help give us both an idea of what yours are.
We'll also discuss confidentiality and there will be a small amount of paperwork to run through. When working online or by telephone, I will send you an agreement form to read by email before the session.
It really depends on what it is you would like to achieve through counselling. People attend counselling for varying lengths of time, from 6-8 weeks to many months and longer.
I would strongly urge you commit to at least 4 sessions initially, as it is possible you may feel slightly worse before you feel better as various things come to the surface for you. It is important not to stop attending in those initial sessions if you want to be able to work through things.
We will discuss the amount of sessions you might have at your first session and have regular reviews if therapy proceeds past 6 weeks.
I will accept you NO MATTER WHAT you tell me. I will never judge you regardless of any differences between us. I encourage you to be as open and honest about your feelings and circumstances as you feel you can be so that we can work together to help get you to wherever it is you would like to be.
Research has shown that the most successful results gained from counselling happen when a there is trust between a client and counsellor. The more honest you can be with me about what you are thinking, feeling and going through, the more you will gain from counselling. It is for this reason I feel it is important that as an established and experienced counsellor, you know you can trust me and be honest with me without any fear of judgement or analysis.
No. Offering advice is not something I do. The discussions we have during counselling sessions will be aimed at helping you understand what is going on for you as an individual and to look at what might be best for you in your current circumstances. You will be encouraged to look at the different options you have, and together we work through them to find the right one for you.
If I were to offer advice it would only be my opinion, and it may not be right for you.
No! All of what we do takes place during your counselling sessions. You may think about things yourself in between sessions, and you may choose to do your own research or homework, but I will not set you any specific tasks.
You really don't need to bring anyone with you to your sessions. If someone brings you along, I would strongly suggest they leave you at the door and come back for you at the end of the session.
Having someone else in the room with us will potentially alter what you say, how much you reveal and the way you talk about things, even if it is someone close to you. In fact it may prevent us from getting to the root of the problem. If you really feel you need someone with you, please talk to me first.
Not currently. I have experience working as a children's counsellor in schools and colleges, and privately. However, this is not the focus of my work at this moment in time. If you are looking for counselling for children, I would be happy to offer you recommendations.
I currenty only provide counselling for individuals. Again, if this is something you are looking for, I would be happy to offer you recommendations.
The content of your sessions will remain confidential, yes, and whatever you tell me will be treated without judgement and with great respect. I will never share your personal information.
There are some exceptions to this confidentiality, which I will explain in our first meeting.
My availability changes on a daily basis! I will endeavour to see you as soon as possible.
Simply contact me and let me know when you are available for an appointment (the more options you give me the better) and I'll be back in touch to offer you a date and time that suits us both. If I'm available straight away I'll see you straight away! I'm currently available during daytime hours.