Wondering what's involved?
If it's the first time you've ever experienced a counselling or psychotherapy session what you can expect is a friendly welcome first of all. Once we are connected and settled you will have the opportunity to tell me a bit about the issue that brings you to session. Usually I will gather some health and lifestyle information as well as ask what you are hoping to get from coming. I'll also tell you a bit about how I think we will work together and what ideas I have about taking things forward. At the beginning of each subseqent session I will ask what has stayed with you since the previous session and if there is anything you want to focus on more in the current one.
Sessions usually take place on a weekly basis and last for approximately one hour. Your first session lets us get to know each other and what you want from counselling, if it doesn't feel like we have the kind of rapport you feel comfortable with I will help you find another therapist. The number of sessions are controlled by you and after a few sessions we review how things are going and whether we will continue so you always feel that you are in the driving seat of your own therapy.
Counselling is effective, many clients start to feel relief after the first visit. Sessions are designed to be supportive but objective helping to you get another perspective and decide what changes you want to make. Together we work out how - therapy is a safe place for you to explore what resources you already have and develop more.
What happens if I need to miss a session - is this a problem?
It is preferable if we can meet regularly each week, a lot of missed sessions will mean that you are likely to lose momentum or focus and that the process of therapy is interrupted. As sessions progress we may agree to meet less frequently, but only if this is in your best interests. If you aren't able to attend a session my cancellation policy requires that you give me a minimum of 48 hours notice, irrespective of your reasons for cancelling or postponing a session.
If I decide that sessions with you aren't helping me, can I end them?
Yes, of course, but please discuss your feeling that sessions aren't helping first. This gives us a chance to figure out what is best for you and I can also then recommend another counsellor based on the feedback that you have given. For my part, I will not end sessions abruptly, I will always talk things through with you to make an ending to the work we have done.
If you annoy me, should I say something?
This would be really helpful! If I say or do something that is irksome to you it can be an important opportunity to explore why and is usually very relevant to our work together. I view this as a positive chance to make sure we maintain rapport and that I am working as effectively as I can with you.