WHAT TO EXPECT
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Finding a counsellor that is right for you is a very personal experience and can take time. It’s impossible to really know how well you will get on with someone from a website, so our initial session together is our opportunity to get to know each other. I'll ask you what has brought to you to therapy and you can to talk about the issues that are of concern for you and discuss your needs. There will also be time for you to ask any questions you may have about how I work.
It may be that you don't know exactly what it is that's troubling you at this stage, but have some niggling doubt that something isn't quite right. Talking therapies work because most people find that just by putting a problem into words helps them discover things about themselves they had never before realised. If you talk about something it gets it out into the open, and that helps build awareness and with it healing, acceptance and change. The difference between you talking to a friend and a professional is that the therapist will help facilitate you in this process as you work to have a better understanding of yourself.
If you come to see me for an initial session, it's important that you feel comfortable with the choice you make, and at the end of the initial session you are under no obligation and may choose to see a number of therapists before making up your mind.
After your initial meeting, we still meet at the same agreed time and day each week.
I offer individual short-term counselling – usually between 10 – 12 sessions – and longer-term work. Some people find that they start with short-term counselling and then wish to continue beyond the contracted sessions. This is quite normal. It may be that you are unsure at the beginning just what it is you want to get out of counselling, but simply know that something in your life isn’t working for you right now.
People come for counselling for all sorts of reasons: low self-esteem, a sense of disappointment, a constant critical voice in their head which is beginning to get them down, or an inability to say no to requests from family, friends and work colleagues leads them to feel anxious and stressed.
My therapeutic background is in Transactional Analysis which uses a set of practical, conceptual tools that can work really well with short-term therapy to help clients have a better understanding of how they communicate with others and what drives them to respond and act in certain ways. Or you may have a more complex difficulties that can take time surface as our relationship develops.
As we explore together, I will work with you to look at current challenges in your life where you may be feeling stuck. As we review our work together during our initial sessions, you will be able to assess how you are progressing and consider whether you wish to continue beyond our initial agreed contract or come to an ending.
I have found that an agreed notice period of at least one session is necessary, but ideally it is better therapeutically to give as much notice as possible, allowing us time to resolve unfinished issues and for you to end our work together in a safe manner.