If this is your first counselling session, or or your first time attending a session with me, you might want to know something about what happens before you come. When you book your session on-line, you supply basic details of name, address, phone number and date of birth. I can then get records started, which saves time at the session.

Beginning Your First Counselling Session

At your initial session, the first thing I need to do is go over the limits of confidentiality, which means letting you know what is reportable and what confidentiality and privacy entails. This is a legal and ethical requirement that all counsellors and other therapists should go through with you at the start of sessions. You will have read about these conditions in your confidentiality agreement, which you will have signed and submitted to me prior to the session. But as these issues are important, I check them over with you to make sure that you are clear about them all before we start talking. I then get some brief background information so I have a context within which to better understand and help you.

Talking at Your First Counselling Session

The first step is for you to tell me why you have come. This usually means explaining a problem you are having and why it has brought you to counselling at this particular time. You can do this in your own way, in your own time. You may just want to unload and share your feelings. Or you may want to work through some difficulties in a practical way.

You may want help to manage feelings, such as grief, anxiety or depression. You may want strategies, ideas, help making decisions or any one of a number of things. For most clients, it is a combination of several things. I will ask further background questions as needed. We look at your strengths and supports, your vulnerabilities and any other information relevant to your situation.

Sometimes this takes up the whole session. In this case, further work will begin at the next session. But if there is sufficient time, we discuss what you would like to achieve from counselling.  What is the goal or outcome you are looking for? Depending on what that is, I may ask where you are now on a scale of 1-10, as opposed to where you want to be. We can then do a check in periodically to ensure that we stay on track and that your sessions achieve the outcome that you want.

Click here to download PDF: Your First Counselling Session.

After Your First Counselling Session

Between your first and second session, I formulate a counselling plan based on what you have told me. This entails considering which therapeutic approach seems the most appropriate to your needs. At your next session, we discuss the plan, modify it if required, and reach an agreed approach to moving forward. Further work usually includes a combination of therapy, psycho-education and homework. You might learn new skills, try new approaches, or think about things in a different way. Before you know it, life looks brighter and you feel better.

If you would like to know how to book a counselling session, check out Counselling Booking Information and Counselling Online Booking Calendar. I look forward to meeting and working with you.

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Between Stimulus and Response, man has the freedom to choose (Stephen Covey)