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Are you approaching counselling for the first time? Congratulations on your decision to take this journey.

Counselling, also known as talk therapy, can help you add meaning to your life. I believe that knowing what to expect will allow a smoother introduction to the experience. Therefore, I set up this page to describe the first steps in your counselling journey. 

First, we will work toward making you feel more at ease and get better results. In your first session, we will learn to know each other. I will ask general questions about you; this will be the initial assessment to allow us to discuss your situation and needs quietly and explore your expectations from our time together.


Questions I might ask include:

What brought you to therapy and led you to seek counselling?

What have you tried before?

Then, we will go over information about your personal history, current situation, your life and the challenges you are experiencing. We will slowly start exploring your challenges and their impact on your life.


What happens in a session?

I am committed to supporting you along your journey and overcoming challenges.

Counselling therapy is about helping you express yourself openly and help you reach your goals.

A positive counsellor/client relationship is one in which you feel safe enough to open up. This feeling of safety is fundamental to facilitating the achievement of your goals in therapy. 
Feeling safe allows you to open up, knowing that no matter what you bring to the counselling session, I will be non-judgmental, caring and actively listening to gain a deep understanding of you and your needs. 

That does not mean, however, that you won't find the relationship at times difficult or anxiety-provoking, as changes are challenging. Please do not feel afraid to raise an uncomfortable matter when it happens.

Making the most of each session
To get the most out of counselling, use this time to increase awareness, learn new skills and be actively involved in getting what you want from the sessions. Be open to moving outside your comfort zone and between sessions, and reflect on the work done in the counselling room.

Sometimes, it can be helpful to write or draw after a session and bring this to your next session. 
If, at any point, you are left with concerns or discomfort from a session, to allow for the counselling relationship to grow, it is crucial you tell me about this when it is happening.


How to benefit the most from counselling.

As therapy is teamwork, here are some ideas to ensure it becomes a valuable experience:

  • Be open. I need to get you to know better, and therapists are not mind readers; the counselling session will be more effective if you are yourself. Be curious, ask questions, and answer questions openly and honestly; this is a safe space, and everything you say is confidential and will be treated with respect.

  • Be prepared. If something relevant raises your concerns between sessions, take note of it. Before you get to your sessions, think if there is something you would like to talk about, even if we might already have a plan for that day. Your worries and thoughts are important.

  • Ask questions. Understanding the counselling experience and how counselling works will help you to feel more comfortable. Feel free to ask me questions about the therapy process and to repeat anything you don’t understand.

  • Be honest about your feelings. In the first and future sessions, a lot will go through your head; don't be afraid. Sharing challenging feelings can be initially tough; however, challenging feelings are the ones we need to work on. 

  • Listen to your own reactions and share them with me. We will both learn from these insights.

  • Have realistic expectations. Therapy is not a quick fix for your problem; rather, it is a process in which you will learn tools to help you handle your emotions more positively.

  • Do the exercises you have been assigned outside the sessions to gain the most out of this experience.


About benefits

Talking therapies such as counselling aim to help improve how people experience life and build a more meaningful one. Therapy is an effective treatment for emotional problems. Simply talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive person can often make you feel better.

It is healing to voice your worries or talk about something weighing your mind. It feels good to be listened to and to know that someone else cares about you. Moreover, counselling can help you:

  • Reduce challenging feelings such as sadness, anxiety, or depression

  • Increase self-awareness

  • Increase self-esteem

  • Be mindful

  • Feel more confident and value yourself

  • Notice your thoughts and understand how to handle them

  • Come to terms with your past

  • Better understand yourself and others

  • Improve relationships


About confidentiality

Confidentiality in counselling is paramount.  Everything discussed in our sessions together is confidential, with some exceptions:

  • As a therapist, I'm bound to have regular supervision. I may discuss our work with my supervisor, but your identity will remain anonymous.

  • If I'm subpoenaed by a court of law

  • If, for any reason, I believe you or someone else might be in danger.


How you may feel after a therapy session

Depending on the topics discussed in the session, it's common to feel a range of emotions after a session, and everyone reacts in different ways to different sessions. You might come out of your session feeling:

  • relieved if you've shared something important and felt heard and understood

  • energised, if you've realised something new about yourself or set a new goal to work on

  • drained, if you've found the session challenging or complex work

  • frustrated if you didn't get what you wanted out of your session or haven't felt heard or understood

  • upset or overwhelmed if the session has brought up painful or difficult memories or feelings.

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