Here are some questions that you might have at this point. I hope the answers are helpful.
If I have missed something that is important to you, please do not hesitate to ask.
What should I expect when you telephone me to discuss counselling?
Even at this first point of contact, I will reassure you that your personal details will not be shared with a third party.
I will ask you to say a little bit about what has brought you to counselling and why you have been drawn to me. This can give us both some insight into whether I can help you and, more importantly, whether we will be able to establish a good therapeutic relationship.
My website will have given you some information about the way I work, but you can ask more about this, if you wish.
Hopefully you will get a sense of whether you want to work with me. If we decide that we could work together, we can then arrange a mutually convenient time to book an appointment.
I will email you a copy of my counselling contract and my privacy statement, ask you to read these, and confirm by email your wish to proceed.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
I will begin the session by asking you whether you have any questions about my counselling contract. It is important that you are aware of the terms of our working together so that you can make an informed choice about whether to continue.
We can then talk more about what has brought you to counselling and what you hope to gain from it. I will be interested to hear about whether you have had counselling before or explore with you your understanding of what counselling is.
I will talk about my approach and how I feel it can help you and you will be able to share with me your hopes and goals and we can agree together what the focus of the work needs to be.
I hope that this first appointment will give you confidence in your decision to proceed with counselling and give you hope that our work together can help.
How regularly should I attend?
It is helpful to attend sessions on a weekly basis, especially at the beginning. It takes time to share your experiences and build a therapeutic relationship within which real progress can be made.
I do understand, however, that this might not be possible. Let me know if this is the case and we can decide together the frequency of the sessions, so that you get the most from therapy.
How many sessions can I have?
I offer open-ended therapy so you can work with me for as long as you need to. I will do regular reviews with you and will encourage you to reflect on what has been helpful (or otherwise). I offer an honest and authentic relationship and encourage feedback so that we can continually explore ways to ensure you get the most from counselling. I can help signpost you to other therapists/services if we agree that this is the right course of action for your needs.