What can I expect from my first session?
We would initially meet for a consultation, which usually last about half an hour. Clients sometimes feel nervous the first time they come to counselling and this is a relaxed opportunity to get to know each other and decide whether we may be able to work together. It is a chance for me to share with you a bit about how I work and answer any questions you may have. It is also an opportunity for you to tell me a bit about what you are looking for from the counselling. If we both decide we would like to progress we will then arrange to meet on a regular basis for 50 minute sessions.
Will anyone find out what we discuss?
Confidentiality is of primary importance to me and I will therefore not tell anyone you are attending counselling or what was discussed. I would however have to break this confidentiality if I thought there was a serious threat of harm to you or someone else. If this was the case I would always try, where possible, and discuss this with you before taking it further.
What will I have to do?
I will take my lead from you and try to help you to explore whatever it is you wish to bring to the sessions. This means you are able to work at your own pace and will not be pushed to discuss anything you do not feel comfortable covering. I do not generally ask clients to complete homework or set tasks between sessions.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies greatly from person to person. I have worked with some clients for less than 6 sessions and others have chosen to see me for 2 years. The counselling I offer is open-ended and this means that it can be as short or long-term as you feel is necessary. We will talk about this during the initial consultation and may get some idea of how many sessions you may need. This is also something that we can regularly review together.
What can I expect to get out of counselling?
The reasons people seek counselling are numerous and therefore what they wish to achieve also varies greatly. However, clients often feel that the experience of counselling not only helps them to address an initial problem or crisis, but also enables them to grow and learn new ways of addressing any future issues that may arise. Clients may also report; enhanced self-esteem, improved relationships, greater ability to cope with stress or unwanted thoughts and feelings, a better understanding of themselves and ability to communicate with others. Counselling is not however a magic wand and, particularly in the case of deeply rooted difficulties, these effects are not guaranteed, can sometimes take time and depend on a willingness to engage in the process. For some people opening up about things that are affecting them can prove challenging or even painful, particularly early on. In this instance, attending counselling on a regular basis, even when it feels difficult, often proves valuable so that thoughts and feelings can be worked through.