First Session

What to Expect in your First Session

For many the thoughts or recommendation that they attend therapy can be a daunting and frightening experience.

For many individuals will struggle with the idea of attending talking therapy and with the idea for a long time before making the decision to say yes to therapy

Approaching a first session of counselling or psychotherapy, most people may feel anxious and uncertain. You may have many questions or are uncertain as to why you need to see a counsellor at all. You may feel compelled or are attending because someone else has prompted you to go.

Perhaps you feel that your situation is hopeless or impossible, or if you doubt anyone in the world could be of help, all these uncertainties are completely normal feelings at this stage.

The therapeutic session lasts 50/60 minutes. You are completely free to ask any questions that you might wish, about myself, or the process of counselling. It is important to me that you know where you are at, what to expect and that quite importantly – that you feel you can work with me, collaboratively, during our time together.

In the first meeting, you may just want to fill our time with the presenting problem, but at a reasonably early stage, we will need to mention practical considerations such as session time, length, location, cost, frequency and duration.

This will help both of us understand our commitments and expectations of each other.

Approaches I Use

In my practice I use what is known as as an Integrative approach. What this means is that I combine different approaches and styles to help my clients. In effect I am guided by my client as to which approach works best for them. Some of the different approaches I use are listed and explained below (Click on the therapy for more details):

Session Time

In most cases a session lasts for between 50 and 60 minutes. The initial session may take a little longer as there are some administrative tasks to be completed.

Based on my expereince with clients, some people request a longer session – because they are travelling a substantial distance, or they have a particular issuethey wish to address that they feel will take longer etc.

In order to facilitate this I also offer sessions of 90 minutes or two hour durations. Naturally the fees for these sessions are higher. Longer sessions must be requested in advance and the fee will be agreed at the time of booking.

The length of therapy

Many ask “How long will this take?”, “Will I be coming here for long?” The answer to this is really “How long is a piece of string?” At the start it can be hard to say. I like to be open and honest with the client. First I put a plan in place where we agree on a number of concurrent sessions and then when these are over we review the work going forward.

This can be six/ eight /ten sessions whatever the presenting issues. Panic attacks/ smoking for instance may sometimes vary between two four sessions. Other issues can take longer and this is dependent on the clients willingness and ability to engage with the issues they have presented with. At all times the client is involved and in charge of the length of the therapy process, which by it’s nature is entirely collaborative and co-operative.

Telephone or Skype Counselling

For some people, travelling to my premises may not be possible – they may not drive, are incapacitated or a fear or phobia may prevent them from initially leaving their home. In this case, I can offer either a telephone or skype service. Sessions must be pre-booked and pre-paid in advance using Paypal. Fees for these sessions are agreed at time of booking. Please contact me for further details.

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